Toyota GT86 – Having fun on a budget

The Toyota 86 is a series of 2+2 seater sports cars that was jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru and solely manufactured by Subaru.

Last year Toyota updated its 86. It now has a stiffer bodyshell, upgraded suspension which now makes it even more agile and assists with more precise handling and road holding.

The aerodynamics has also been upgraded which gives the 86 anew sleeker look.

It also now has a few more driving modes which in my opinion should have been available in the original 86. The engine remains unchanged and is still good for 147kW/205Nm

The front of the vehicle has been changed quite a bit, the nose is lower, grille is a bit wider and also has a distinctive lower lip on the front bumper.


Toyota GT86 – Front Quarter
Toyota GT86 – Front Quarter
Toyota GT86 – Side View
Toyota GT86 – Sporty Alloys

Toyota has moved with the times and added new bi-LED headlights and daytime running lights as well, it really looks quite a bit more modern.

There are new tail-light clusters, now also with LED indicators, frame a deeper black rear moulding and diffuser section, while a wing-type spoiler with vertical end plates replaces the previous boot-lid spoiler.

On the inside the steering wheel gets satellite controls for the audio system and the new 10.7cm multifunction display. In addition to the usual trip data, this can now also display more performance driving-focused details such as a G-force monitor, power and torque curves, a stopwatch and lap times in sequence.

Toyota GT86 – Interior

The best upgrade must undoubtedly be the addition of Track mode to the driving modes. It really gives you the opportunity to push the car a bit harder but it does not totally switch of all the driving aid, it just allows you to push harder before the electronics kick in.

New black interior looks great, while the fabric trim on the standard model has been upgraded for better lateral support, and the High models get a revised trim in mixed leather and alcantara synthetic suede.

The McPherson strut front suspension gets new springs that can flex as well as compress, as well as revised axis load geometry to reduce the difference in steering force between left and right.

The double-wishbone rear suspension also gets lighter springs and a stiffer anti-roll bar for better turn-in, while the Showa shock absorbers get new, low-friction sliding bushes and reducing damping rates all round.

I would also recommend to go and drive the Mazda MX5, after all the Mazda MX5 started this whole Japanese budget sport car revolution. The Mazda might not have the same power output but it is just as fun to drive, in dare a say it feels a bit better quality wise.

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Murray Kroucamp

Murray Kroucamp Has a passion for cars and the wonderful world of motoring journalism. Background includes: Regulatory liaison; Customer Experience Executive Complaints Management; Data analyst. Founded the Mazda 2 Owners page on Facebook in 2008. Founded Murray’s Car Reviews (South Africa) on Facebook in 2015 which has around 800 active members. Also started writing car reviews on Linkedin in 2017. Working on turning the hobby into a profession.

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