buying Preview: 2022 Toyota GR86 Sports Car Looks Sharp

06:00  08 april  2021
06:00  08 april  2021 Source:   consumerreports.org

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Toyota has again partnered with Subaru to develop an entry-level sports car.

The automakers previously partnered on the Scion FR-S (now known as the Toyota 86) and Subaru BRZ, launched for 2012. Those low-slung four-cylinder coupes were nearly identical, with little beyond badges distinguishing them.

The rear-drive cars shined for agility, creating an entertaining driving experience rivaled only by the Mazda MX-5 Miata at that price point.

For 2022 the two companies have teamed up to create the second-generation sports coupes. The formula, and indeed the physical dimensions, remain the same as before. But this time each company pledges to have a more distinct personality to represent their brands.

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Subaru teased its BRZ in fall 2020, revealing a sports car that looks much like the current model, with the addition of a body kit.

Toyota took the wraps off its version, dubbed GR86 in reference to its Gazoo Racing performance group. And it looks just like the BRZ, aside from a unique grille shape.

Here's what we know thus far.

CR's Take

Given how enjoyable the current 86 is to drive, we have high hopes for the GR86. The increased engine displacement should bring some welcomed low-end grunt to both the BRZ and GR86.

With the current cars, there's scant difference in how they feel from behind the wheel. But for this next generation, Toyota says, “the two companies focused on imbuing their respective models with a distinct driving feel.”

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It has recent experience with doing just that. BMW and Toyota have a similar partnership for the Z4 roadster and Supra sports car. Both cars use a BMW engine and chassis, akin to the synergy between the BRZ and GR86.  

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The GR86 is technically a redesign. Its body is new though decidedly evolutionary. The height, width, length, and wheelbase are nearly identical to the outgoing model. The 2022 GR86 does have more exterior flair, with bolder fenders and neat headlamps.

The trailing edge of the front fenders has a dramatic scoop that flows into the rocker panel, under the doors. It makes the car look like it's been given the "Fast & Furious" treatment, with a tasteful body kit.

The front of the Toyota is distinguished from the Subaru with its own grille design, but the cars look identical from the rear.

Overall, the car looks more upscale, with an attention-grabbing design that suggests heightened performance.  

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The intimate cabin closely resembles that of the BRZ. The model shown in Japan features a 7-inch infotainment screen, although details about features were not released.

It looks strikingly similar to the current car, with three rotary controls under the central screen and togglelike switches below. The steering wheel again has three spokes, and there's a large, circular vent outlet near the windshield pillar.

The aluminum pedal covers are a nice touch, adding to the “tuned” appearance. Generous use of contrasting stitching, seat accents, and colorful door trim add to the sporty look.  

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What Drives It

The GR86 shares the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with the BRZ, marking a displacement increase from the 2.0-liter engine in the outgoing model. Power is expected to climb from 205 hp to 232 hp, without the use of a turbo. Peak torque arrives as a lower RPM, promising a more urgent feel, especially around town.

There will be a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, making it among the few cars available with a stick shift.  

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Safety and Driver Assistance Systems

Toyota said the automatic version of the GR 86 uses Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. Exact details on safety systems for the U.S. market will come closer to production. Toyota has been a leader in making key active safety systems standard, and we hope that continues with the GR86.

Subaru said the traction and electronic stability control systems on the BRZ can be fine-tuned and even turned off entirely for use as a track car. We expect that this nod to the enthusiast community will also apply to the GR86.  

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