By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
We know that the Toyota 86 is coming to America this fall to replace the Scion FR-S. While we’re waiting for it to arrive comes news from Japan (and Australia) today announcing the revamped 86 models for the Japanese market.
“Toyota Motor Corporation is engaged in the creation of ever-better cars so that as many people as possible can experience the joy of driving and so that the number of car fans will grow,” says the automaker. “Toyota believes that motorsports offers a crucial means of conveying the excitement of driving and, through Toyota Gazoo Racing, the company is focused on developing both personnel and cars.”
The 86 was originally developed as a unique rear-wheel-drive vehicle [along with its cousin, the Subaru BRZ], with intuitive handling that embodies the essence of driving enjoyment. Featuring a horizontally opposed (D-4S2) engine and a low center of gravity, Toyota says the 86 is “cherished by car-loving customers because it delivers the innate excitement cars have to offer.”
Toyota has advanced the driving enjoyment of the 86 by applying feedback from extensive racetrack experience, including tough endurance races like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
Driving characteristics are said to be improved with better engine breathing that releases more power and torque for manual transmission models along with across-the-board updates to suspension and body rigidity to promote improved handling.
For the revamp, engineers have revised engine components including the intake and exhaust manifolds for the 6-speed manual models, lifting maximum power and torque by 3.4 percent to 152kW (207ps) and 212Nm.
The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder horizontally opposed engine’s increased torque peak can be generated over a 200 rpm wider range of engine speeds, from 6,400 to 6,800 rpm. The torque curve has also been improved at low rpms.
All models deliver sharper steering response and improved ride comfort with additional spot welds for the rear pillars and reworked shock absorber valve structures.
New 17-inch alloy wheels contribute to a sporty side view with twisted spokes, machine-cut highlights and flat-metallic paint. The 86 logo has shifted to a stand-alone badge on the front fender.
At the rear, an available wing-type rear spoiler contributes to aerodynamic performance while the black section of the bumper has been widened to create a trapezoidal shape. Reshaped rear combination lamps now utilize LEDs.
“We overhauled everything, primarily as a result of technological feedback from the 86’s participation in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, and repeatedly tested the vehicle on roads all over the world,” said Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada, who is currently in charge of development on the 86. “The new 86 has been perfected to such an extent that, from the moment the steering wheel is gripped and the vehicle accelerates away, every driver will be able to recognize its evolution.”
Inside, the 86 is equipped with an even sportier steering wheel – its 362mm diameter makes it the smallest ever used in a Toyota. The cross-sectional shape is said to provide optimal grip and comfort.
Driver aids include an available 4.2-inch thin-film transistor display with a wide range of information including, in real-time, a G-force meter and power and torque curves.
The instrument panel and door trim can be specified with Grand Luxe, a high-quality suede-like material that limits glare. Perforated Alcantara® is used as the surface material for the seats on GT Limited models.
The 86 will continue to be built at Subaru’s Gunma Manufacturing Division plant in Japan. The lineup for Japan starts at ¥2,623,320 (about $25,800) for the base G model with a 6-speed manual gearbox, topping out at ¥3,250,800 (about $32,000) for the Limited with 6 Super ECT.
The new model is slated to go on sale in Japan on August 1st at Toyota, Toyopet, Toyota Corolla, and Netz dealers. An Australia launch is planned during the fourth quarter of this year.
Features, specifications and prices for Japanese market models are subject to change without notice by the automaker. (Prices include consumption tax but do not include recycling fees. Prices are different in Hokkaido and Okinawa.)
News sources: Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Australia Ltd., Toyota Gazoo Racing
Photos and videos courtesy: Toyota Motor and Toyota Gazoo Racing
Story © 2016 CarNichiWa.com