When the updated Subaru BRZ first made its appearance, it provided a glimpse into what was in store for the entry-level two-door that has served as the visual representation of the Japanese firm’s partnership with Toyota. The big question we were left with was what the Toyota 86 would look like. Leaked patent images from the porous Chinese patent office only shared one side of the story, and we wanted to see what the new 86 looked like in the flesh. After a brief wait, Toyota has provided the answer with the 2022 GR 86.
A New Identity and Enhanced Exterior Styling Sharpen Focus
Like the last generation 86, the newly renamed GR 86 (GR stands for Gazoo Racing) is a near duplicate of its Subaru cousin, the BRZ. This time around, Toyota designers made some tweaks to help the Toyota be more of a fraternal twin to its platform sibling. A key change is a bigger front grille piece based on the grille seen in the GR Yaris. We’re not entirely sure about whether there is a resemblance, but we do like how the headlights stand out just enough to help them be distinct from the BRZ’s eyes.
The rear styling, in contrast, is a virtual clone of the BRZ’s, but that’s not a bad thing with the GR 86’s rear still embracing a more polished look that still retains its high levels of aggression, thanks in part to the taillights and the dual exhaust tips. This new suit of clothes will play a long-term role for the GR 86, with the car now having some of the aesthetic trademarks that are also present on the GR Supra, GR Yaris, and even the soon-to-be-launched GR Super Sport.
Cabin Boasts Family Traits, New GR Trimmings
The cabin follows the same cliches that we have seen in other partnership-created vehicles like this, with the core design and construction elements being lifted from the Subaru. At first glance, the GR 86’s cabin is a carbon copy of the BRZ’s, with the 86 even coming equipped with Subaru’s novel EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. However, Toyota designers did try to add some distinction in some of the finer details, with the Toyota getting a steering wheel-mounted GR badge and some minor color changes to the seat trim and other fabric pieces.
The eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system will please many Toyota buyers, and it even comes bundled with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. A digital instrument cluster also comes along for the ride, but if we had our way, we would actually stick with the base analog units to help the GR 86 truly excel in its role as a simple no-nonsense sports coupe.
Bigger Engine brings More Power, Still Naturally Aspirated
Performance for the 2022 Toyota GR 86 still follows the Toyota approach to performance, with the 2022 86 being motivated by a naturally aspirated engine. However, Toyota engineers have shoehorned a bigger 2.4 liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder under the hood. The new engine helps the car produce 232 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
While these figures are limited to the JDM version for now (we get to wait a bit longer to see U.S. power numbers, Toyota did reveal that the beefier engine helped shave 1.1 seconds off the 0 to 62 time with the 2022 model now achieving the feat in 6.3 seconds, Toyota claims that the engine is more responsive than the anemic 2.0-liter engine and it also benefits from other tweaks designed to make it more usable in everyday driving.
Like the BRZ, the GR 86 has benefitted from numerous structural and weight-saving enhancements including a 50 percent boost in torsional rigidity, a higher infusion of aluminum components, and other changes aimed at improving the overall center of gravity. A six-speed manual transmission is the standard transmission offering. Still, an equally geared automatic will be available for those that prefer to let the computer do the shifting for them.
When Can I Buy A 2022 GR 86?
As far as that particular question goes we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that if you are a reader in Japan, the 2022 Toyota GR 86 will go on sale there this fall. The bad news is that we don’t have any idea when the model will arrive here in the U.S., with Toyota representatives choosing to make us wait a bit longer regarding final details surrounding exact availability and pricing.
Either way, we look forward to seeing if the 2022 GR 86 can follow in the tire tracks of its successful predecessor with more than 200,000 copies (in both Subaru and Toyota guises) finding homes globally.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.