By Steve & Tamami Laser
It was a different world eight years ago when we picked up a new 2013 Scion FR-S for a week-long test drive (shown below, in our favorite photo spot). We liked the car’s fun-to-drive character, sporty styling, rear-wheel-drive performance, and attractive price tag.
Since then, the Scion brand transitioned to Toyota, and the FR-S became the Toyota 86 (a name already used in other markets, along with GT86). Toyota says that more than 200,000 units of the 86 have been sold worldwide. It’s time to shift gears again, with the pending introduction of the new Toyota GR 86.
2022 Toyota GR 86 Preview
The new GR 86 joins the GR Supra and GR Yaris as the third model in the expanding GR series. A flagship exotic sports car, expected to be called GR Super Sport, is also in the works.
As an international company focused on accelerating Toyota’s global motorsports program, Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) is committed to helping Toyota make ever-better cars.
Like the original 86, the new GR 86 is a joint-development project with Subaru Corp., and will be built at Subaru’s Gunma plant in Japan, alongside the new Subaru BRZ®.
TGR says that while the two models share the same vehicle base, both automakers sought to give each car a distinct driving feel. TGR aimed to develop a car that would provide “happiness to 86 fans,” and realize an evolution in the 86’s driving sensations.
In addition to a more powerful Boxer engine, improved handling, new styling and a new interior, the latest Toyota coupe adopts the new GR 86 model name.
We really like the new GR 86 exterior design, with its bolder appearance, 2+2 silhouette, air outlets behind the front fenders, side sills, rear spoiler, and GR-specific “functional matrix” grille.
Under the hood is a new, naturally aspirated 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine with Toyota D-4S® injection. Models in Japan are initially rated at 235 PS (173 kW) at 7,000 rpm and 250 N-m of torque at 3,700 rpm, teamed with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
Contributing to improved handling and steering response is a 50 percent increase in torsional stiffness. Aluminum roof panels and fenders help to reduce weight and offset the increased heft of the larger engine and structural enhancements.
Inside, the GR 86 features a horizontal-style instrument panel, low meter hood, and 7-inch display screen mounted in the center stack. TGR says that GR 86 models equipped with the auto trans will include Subaru’s EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology.
The new GR 86 is expected to launch in Japan this autumn, with sales to follow in Europe. Toyota says that product plans for the GR 86 in North America will be announced at a later date.
Note: Japan-spec GR 86 prototype models are shown in this story. Features, specifications, and launch timing for future production models is subject to change without notice
News sources and photos courtesy of Toyota Gazoo Racing Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA
Story (intro and commentary) © 2021 CarNichiWa.com
Scion FR-S photo © 2013 CarNichiWa.com