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Toyota GR86 Review

July 7, 2021


Everyone is talking about it right now, and everyone wants to know what their neighbors and car buddies think about it too. You guessed it. We’re discussing the all-new, Toyota GR86—GR, not GT. We’ll get to that later. 


Toyota GR86 Japan-spec

Photo from Toyota | New GR 86 (Japan-spec, Prototype)

First, let me get to the questions I know you’re asking yourself right now out of the way: Why don’t I see a little turbski under the hood? Are the vents actually functional? What does “GR’ denote? And finally, Is the new Toyota GR86 worth it? 

Buckle up because the new Toyota GR86 might surprise you. While it may not put significantly more power down as everyone expected, the Toyota GR86 was designed very purposefully, which we can all respect. Maybe Toyota knows a thing or two...

Here’s a look at the new Toyota GR86. 


Is the Toyota GR86 Worth It?

- Overview of the New Toyota GR86

- What Does GR Stand For In Toyota "GR86"?

- Quick History of the Toyota 86 Platform

- Toyota GR86 Engine | Why The New Toyota 86 Is Still Naturally Aspirated

- Final Thoughts 




Overview of The New Toyota GR86

First, let’s get into the juicy details of the 2022 GR86.

Toyota is releasing two trim levels of the new GR86 including the base model and the Premium. 




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

The new GR86 is powered by a new FA24 2.4L NA boxer engine pumping out 228 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque sent through rear tires. 

Compared to the previous generation of the 86, the new GR86 is bumped up in engine displacement from 2.0L to 2.4L, which equates to an extra 24 HP and 28 lb-ft of torque to the pavement.


Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

The Premium trim level comes standard limited-slip diff (LSD), 6-speed manual transmission option, Toyota’s D-4S dual injection technology (dual and port injection), FUNCTIONAL aerodynamics with improved air management, and some mildly aggressive exterior styling details. 




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 


What Is Dual Fuel Injection? | Direct and Port Injection

Toyota's D-4S dual injection technology uses both direct and port injection.

Traditional combustion engines use only direct injection (DI) or only port injection (PI) but using both can essentially cancel out the downsides of each injection method individually. 


Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

So, direct injection works by squirting fuel directly into the combustion chamber, hence the "direct". The downsides to this method are carbon build-up on your valves and are more expensive to produce, but DI engines are generally more efficient. 

On the other hand, port injection works by squirting fuel into the intake manifold. The downside to this method is wacky AFR readings sometimes. But, fuel injectors are easy to replace and the fuel injected into the intake will actually "clean" your valves eliminating the issue of carbon build-up. 

Combining these methods can eliminate the downsides of each method.

Back to the new, HOT GR86...




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

Looking at the GR86 straight on, you’ll notice the large, solid grill with the GR badge and some nice verticle body lines up the hood.

The previous generation had more of a nose-style bumper, while the GR86 is more modern and simple. 

The GR86 features an all-new headlight design that flows up the fender that meets the functional air vents.

These vents push cool air through the front wheelhouse that reduces air disturbance which equals better cornering. Toyota has also added some minor aerodynamic details on the rear fenders to aid in this. 



Photo From Toyota 

Its side skirts run smoothly across the base of the 86 and blend into the rear fenders where it eventually meets the signature duckbill spoiler (standard on the Premium) that you’ll probably recognize from the MK5 Supra. 

Looking at the wheel and tire setup, the Premium trim level rocks some relatively lightweight, forged 18-inch wheels wrapped in none other than the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S, the pinnacle of premium performance tires.

The brakes are also bumped up in size, but you won’t see any Brembo stickers. 




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

Since it is the 21st century and the world of modern automotive technology has outdone itself, Toyota included some safety features like a pre-collision system with rear automatic braking and lane departure alert with sway warning.

They also included some upgraded tech like the 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay

That way, you can easily bump to some good tunes on the way to your track event or car show. 


Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

Now that you have a good overview of what the new GR86 looks and feels like, what does all of this translate to?

Many enthusiasts seem to be disappointed that it doesn’t put more power down and the lack of more aggressive styling, but Toyota has made sure to call everyone out for this and explain why they designed the new 86 the way they did.

Believe it or not, they might know a thing or two. 




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

The GR86 was purposefully designed for a FUN driving experience on the track. Not necessarily to be the fastest car down the strip.

That’s why we don’t see a staggered setup, fat Brembos, or a little turbo under the hood.

Don’t get me wrong, It would have been awesome to see the 86 with a turbocharged engine, but...we'll cover this in a moment. 



Photo From Toyota 




What Does GR Stand For In Toyota "GR86"?

"GR" is Toyota's official Gazoo Racing badge. This a fairly prestigious badge that Toyota cars can earn based on the approval of Toyota's actual Gazoo Racing team. 

Aside from the new GR86, the new Toyota Yaris also has the GR badge—the GR Yaris—which is pretty badass. 




Toyota GR Yaris

Photo From Toyota 

Gazoo Racing is Toyota's dedicated motorsports team and represents their performance division

For the new GR86 specifically, the GR badge was earned after extensive design and engineering work from the Gazoo Racing team themselves—"track-tested and pro-driver approved".


Toyota GR badge

Photo From Toyota 




Quick History of the Toyota 86 Platform

The Toyota GT86, GT not GR, was first released to the world back in 1965, believe it or not.

However, it wasn’t really the 86 because it was known as the Toyota Sports 800




Toyota Sports 800

Photo from Toyota Global

The Toyota Sports 800 was followed by my personal dream car, the Toyota 2000GT powered by a 2.0L straight-six mounted to a 5-speed manual transmission. 

Oof, this is such an iconic car and really set off the world of modern Japanese sports cars. 

Both of these classics formulated what we know as the Toyota 86 (GT86).


Toyota 2000GT

Photo from Toyota UK Magazine

The 86 also drew inspiration from Toyota Corolla AE86, specifically for its FMR chassis design which is how it achieves a 53/47 weight ratio and a low center of gravity.

This is especially important if you want to scoot scoot around those corners your mom yelled at you for taking too quickly last week. 


Toyota AE86

Photo from Motor Biscuit

The Toyota 86 began production in 2012 but has now evolved into its 2nd generation, the GR86. 

Besides the AE86, the Toyota 86 is also known as the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S. They're all basically the same car, but with some minor mechanical and cosmetics differences. 




Toyota 86




 Toyota GR86 Engine | Why The New Toyota 86 Is Still Naturally Aspirated?

Here's the spicy question everyone's asking.

Why didn't Toyota make the new GR86 turbocharged?

Let's go over the numbies first. The new GR86 is bumped up in power AND torque...


1st Gen Toyota 86:

Horsepower: 197–204 HP @ 7,000 rpm

Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm

Compression Ratio: 12:1

0-60 Time: 7.6 secs




2022 Toyota GR86:

Horsepower: 228 HP @ 7,000 rpm 

Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm

Compression Ratio: 13:1

0-60 Time: 6.1 secs


Toyota 86

Photo From Toyota 

Looking at these power figures, you'll notice that the 2022 GR86 is faster, but not by a significant amount.

However, the biggest thing that Toyota has accomplished here is giving drivers that extra torque earlier in the RPM range rather than at the top around 6.4K RPMs. 

It's also not a secret that the previous generation's torque dip was, well, disappointing. Toyota fixed that almost entirely with this new 2.4L NA boxer. 


Toyota 86

Photo From Toyota 

All of this means that you, the driver, are going to have a much better steering and throttle response due to the better torque, slightly more power, and the weight ratio of the car in general.

I know everyone wants a turbo because they make cool turbo noises and it's cool to say that your car is turbocharged, but let's not forget about the all motor cars too—no turbo lag, less expensive, generally better throttle response, and they can be just as fun.

That's exactly what Toyota wanted for the new GR86, so that's what they did. 




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 



Final Thoughts

Toyota has consistently brought new, badass sports cars to the market for enthusiasts like us. And the Toyota GR86 IS an enthusiast's car. 

It's lightweight, makes good, naturally-aspirated power and torque, looks pretty sick, has all the creature comforts you need and probably don't need, and comes at a price tag that makes sense for the platform. 




Toyota GR86

Photo From Toyota 

I'm happy to see yet another sports coupe in the market that's currently dominated by SUVs. Plus, Toyota has always had a huge presence in the motorsports world which they've fully taken advantage of with the GR86 and that's pretty sick too.

What do you think of the new Toyota GR86? Is it worth it? Let us know in the comments below! 




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