The 2022 Toyota GR86 generates more horsepower and torque than ever before

Rebranded under Gazoo Racing performance wing, the second-generation Toyota GR86 arrives in South Africa with a new interior and exterior design, a considerably revised chassis, and a broad range of safety features. Most importantly, the new Toyota GR86 boasts a bigger naturally-aspirated engine – 2.4-litres instead of 2.0-litres previously – and that, of course, generates more horsepower and torque than before.

Punchy mill and enjoyable handling are the hallmarks of the Toyota GR86. The redesigned Hachi-Roku (Eight Six) amazes us with the new 2.4-litre NA engine pumping out 174 kW at 7,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 3,700 rpm, which is 27 kW and 45 Nm more than its predecessor. The older 2.0-litre powerplant creates 147kW and 205Nm of torque, which comes at a lofty 6,400 rpm.

You can buy the Toyota GR86 with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox, and as usual, both transmissions send power to the rear wheels only.

Toyota has bettered the power-to-weight ratio from 116kW per tonne to 136kW per tonne, allowing this nimble sports car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in only 6.4 seconds in the manual gearbox or 6.8 seconds in the auto. However, bear in mind you can enjoy this energetic sprint at the coast only because the engine is not turbocharged. The previous Toyota 86 demands lots of revs at pulling away with a zero to 100 km/h sprint in 7.6 seconds (claimed.

The new GR86 comes with revised headlamps and restyled bumpers. It is 25 mm lengthier yet drops 10 mm lower than the previous model. While the width is the same as before, the new generation model adds a 5-mm stretch in the wheelbase and, interestingly, a 10-mm ground clearance. The standard 18-inch alloy wheels look dashing and more impressive than the 86’s 17-inchers.

Toyota balances the GR86’s athleticism with bold lines and negligible flourishes on the dashboard. The hard and dark plastic surfaces are there, along with a few soft-touch areas.

The in-car tech isn’t as advanced as some of its rivals, but it isn't disheartening by any means. The 8.0-inch display features a straightforward menu arrangement and delightful graphics. We find buttons and knobs around the audio controls as well as for the dual-zone climate control.

Other highlights for the cabin include a 7-inch TFT driver info display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, two USB ports, remote keyless entry, and a push-start button. 

Indeed, the 6.2 cubic feet of boot space isn’t adequate but considering it is a sports car, we can’t complain much. You can, however, fold flat the rear seats to store heavy items such as a golf club bag or even an additional pair of wheels and tires.

Besides the outstanding driver-assist facilities like traditional cruise control and Blind Spot Monitor for manual and Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Park Distance Control, and Pre-Collision Brake Assist for the automatic model, the new Toyota GR86 packs a lot more that makes it one of the best sports cars in its segment. A four service or 60,000km service plan and the typical 3-year/100,000km warranty are available for the GR86 manual (R698,100) or the GR86 auto (R733,700). (Prices correct at time of publication.)

Do you love cars as much as we do? Be sure to read our other car reviews on the MotorHappy blog.



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