In Toyota’s latest spin on the purist’s sports coupe, the 2022 GR86 is a track-proven, precision driver’s car. New race-inspired features and interior upgrades have taken Toyota’s track-bred sports car to a new level of drivability and verve.
Fans of the 86 series know that the same engineers behind Toyota’s Gazoo Racing (GR) team cars are the masterminds behind the GR86. But they might not know exactly how Toyota leaned into its racing DNA to produce a sports car that’s precise, fast and fun. Here are five things every driver should know about the 2022 GR86.
Design Thinking Delivers the Smart and Stylish Choice
There is more to the sporty contours on the GR86 than good looks. Its alluring shape is designed with aerodynamics in mind. As with the aero-stabilizing front bumper and the MATRIX “G Mesh” grille, the stylish choices are smart ones too — designed to reduce drag. The functional-yet-sleek features extend to the exterior side vents, which contribute to controlled handling, and a rear duckbill spoiler on the premium model. These features optimize the GR86 for outstanding driving dynamics and functional style.
Design thinking extends to the interior too, where deep bucket front seats feel comfortable, look good and offer the driver lateral support while cornering.
A Modern Vehicle with Technology at Its Core
From the push-button start to the keyless entry system, which automatically unlocks the car, technology is integrated into nearly every interaction with the GR86.
As the driver takes the helm, they’re greeted with a 7-inch digital instrument panel, which provides a multi-information display that varies based on if the driver is in Normal, Sport, Snow or Track mode (the manual transmission offers track mode only). And as they ease into their trip, an 8-inch touchscreen entertainment system provides everything they need to connect a smartphone and enjoy their favorite music, podcasts or radio. Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and a Sirius XM® 3-month Platinum Plan trial is available in every model. And should the phone ring, Bluetooth® can kick in for a hands-free call experience.
On the Premium model, LED headlights even feature adaptive front lighting, which tracks the twists and turns of the road to help keep visibility where drivers need it. That means the tech not only helps those behind the wheel enjoy the drive, but it also helps them drive better.
Still a Superior Driving Experience, Only Better
It’s no secret that drivers flock to the GR86 for an unmatched driving experience at an affordable price. And because Toyota has enhanced multiple features that contribute to better performance, the 2022 model more than earns its Gazoo Racing title.
Whether drivers are maneuvering the track or heading out for a casual night on the town, the GR86 has increased rigidity for enhanced handling — allowing drivers to feel more responsiveness when cornering. No detail was too small for the GR team. Key changes include a new full-ring rear frame that ties the upper and lower chassis together; a combination of high-strength steel, hot-stamped steel, and aluminum that are strategically used throughout the frame to bring drivers a balance of roll and pitch for maximum control. And for additional reinforcement, structural adhesives and high-strength fasteners were used throughout the underbody to create a taut, connected frame.
And with a new 2.4L flat-four boxer engine, the GR86 delivers more horsepower and torque than before, delivering nearly 18 percent more horsepower and 11 percent more torque. Now with 228 horsepower, up from 205, and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, up from 156, it’s now tuned so peak torque arrives far earlier in the powerband at 3,700 RPM, versus 6,600 RPM on the prior generation model. Engine bore diameter size was increased by nearly 20%. Altogether, the changes improve zero-to-60 times from 7.0 to 6.1 seconds for the manual transmission and from 8.0 to 6.6 seconds for the paddle-shifted automatic.
Fun with Safety
The GR86 comes standard with vehicle stability, traction control and more. The automatic transmission comes equipped with features like adaptive cruise control, which is designed to help maintain a preset following distance, and lane departure alert, which is designed to alert when the car is drifting out of its lane, drivers can be sure the GR86 is working behind the scenes to help keep them safe.
The automatic transmission models also top it all off with a pre-collision system that includes pedestrian detection, which is designed to use an integrated camera and radar system to reduce the chances of colliding with things that might come in a driver’s way.
Iconic Yet Refreshed
Since Toyota announced its rebirth in 2021, the GR86 has been meant to capture the spirit of the original AE86 in a modern way. It’s gotten smarter since the ‘80s, with features like a redesigned manual gear box for smoother transmission control. And constructed with a weight-saving aluminum roof and front fenders, the GR86 retains its trademark lightweight personality.
But the 2022 GR86 brings the same feel that has made the line iconic for decades. It’s faster and sleeker, sure, but drivers will fall in love with the same responsiveness and handling that has had them swooning since Toyota introduced the series 35 years ago.
You can learn more about the 2022 Toyota GR86 here.
Originally published January 20, 2022