POWERED BY /  

2022 Toyota GR 86: Looks Better In Person And A Thumbs Up From Ken Gushi
BY Sam Du //
June 5, 2021
@duspeed
  • GR 86 comes with a 2.4-liter flat-four Boxer engine that produces 228hp and 184 lb-ft of torque – 23hp and 28 lb-ft more than the outgoing model.
  • GR 86 remains rear-wheel-drive with both six-speed automatic and six-speed manual options.
  • 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds with the manual car and 6.6 seconds in the auto, according to Toyota.

TOYOTA INVITES PIT+PADDOCK TO HQ CONFIDENTIAL

Last April, Toyota gave us a glimpse at what the new GR 86 would look like thanks to a successful livestream video that went viral. Of course, everyone and their mama had something to say, including no shortage of criticism about its resemblances with cars like the Lexus RC F, Jaguar F-Type, Porsche Panamera, Acura NSX, Nissan 400Z, and so on… Truth be told, though, not one of these people had actually seen the car in person, myself being one of them. We could talk shit all day, but we honestly can’t give our best opinion until examining one up close, which just so happened earlier this week… Approximately 80 automotive journalists were invited to a special event called “HQ Confidential” hosted by Toyota and Lexus at their headquarters in Plano, Texas. It was here where I was finally given the opportunity to see the 2022 GR 86 in the flesh, and let me just say, it was much better than I had thought. The icing on the cake was going for a ride at a nearby racetrack with Formula DRIFT Pro driver Ken Gushi and hearing his two cents about the car.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS BY KEN GUSHI

  1. According to Ken, the biggest improvement isn’t the style or bump in power but the improvements made in chassis stiffness. To him, this makes the car handle better, feel tighter and allows the steering to be more responsive.
  2. The second thing Ken mentioned to me was that the torque curve is greatly improved. Approaching turns where he’d typically have to downshift into second gear, he’s able to leave it in third and keep the throttle pinned. I should note, the 2.4-liter engine also has a different sound from the outgoing 2.0-liter. It’s still a four-banger, but it’s louder and has a tone that doesn’t sound as puny.
  3. Lastly, Ken approves of the new looks. I caught him taking multiple phone photos and videos of the red test car. We both could agree it’s a step up from the previous generation! Can only imagine what his next Formula DRIFT competition car will look like…

SAM’S OPINION

I’m a big Toyota fan, I own a GR Supra, and I’ve built my fair share of Toyota project cars in my past life at Super Street. My love for Toyota is apparent; however, my enthusiasm was missing when photos of the new GR 86 surfaced two months ago. I can remember a conversation I had with my good friend Young Tea of Auto Tuned, a specialist in the 86/BRZ world. We both felt Toyota had missed the mark with the absence of forced induction. It was as if we had already written the car off without even giving it a chance… So when Toyota pulled the covers off the GR 86 during their HQ Confidential event, I had to take a step back and really soak in and appreciate what was in front of me. I found myself exclaiming, “that looks a hell of a lot better in person!” The fiery red paint nicknamed “Track bRED” possessed some serious wow factor and highlighted the redesigned exterior of the coupe wonderfully. Say what you want about how Toyota ripped off Porsche, Jaguar, the RC F, the NSX, etc. However, whether intentional or not, all those design similarities could be thrown out the window because the new GR 86 looks damn good. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on how it drives until later this summer as there were only two prototype models at the event, and they weren’t letting anyone whose name wasn’t Ken Gushi drive them. I can promise you this, though… Just like in 2012, when the Scion FR-S was the star of the SEMA Show, get prepared for the Toyota GR 86 to be the hit of SEMA again.

SPECS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • GR 86 comes with a 2.4-liter flat-four Boxer engine that produces 228hp and 184 lb-ft of torque – 23hp and 28 lb-ft more than the outgoing model.
  • Peak torque hits at 3,700 rpm as opposed to the very high 6,600 rpm of its predecessor.
  • GR 86 remains rear-wheel-drive with both six-speed automatic and six-speed manual options.
  • 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds with the manual car and 6.6 seconds in the auto, according to Toyota.
  • Premium trim model will come with 18-inch forged wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
  • 50% more torsional rigidity than the outgoing model.
  • Air vents are indeed functional.
  • Pricing and release date is TBD, but rumors of a $27,000 and $30,000 MSRP are circulating. We can only speculate and wait until its official launch later this year…

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

RELATED ARTICLES

FOLLOW US!

Do you want to be informed whenever we publish a new article? Share your email address with us, and we'll deliver great original content straight to your inbox!

We respect your interest in Pit+Paddock, and we'll never share your email address with anyone.
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL ADDRESS