The new Toyota 86 won’t hit Australian showrooms until the second half of 2022 – giving the already-priced gen-two Subaru BRZ twin at least six months to capitalise on its tardy arrival.
Toyota announced today a plan to show off the new iteration 86, which takes on GR (Gazoo Racing) branding, in pre-production form at Bathurst’s Great Race Festival on December 3-5.
But you won’t be able to grab the keys and hit the road or circuit for a while beyond that, with Toyota announcing a planned introduction to Australia in the second part of next year.
Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley called Mount Panorama “the perfect backdrop to unveil the car for the first time in Australia”.
“Bathurst is the spiritual home of Australian motorsport and as the third model in our growing GR brand performance car lineup, the GR86 is right at home on the racetrack,” Mr Hanley said.
“Far more than simply an evolution of the 86, the new GR86 takes the lessons from our motorsport activities and uses them to deliver a thrilling and exciting drive experience – whether that’s competing on the track or enjoying a weekend away.
“With the GAZOO Racing DNA built in, the GR86 is a car for drivers who enjoy the journey as much as the destination,” he added.
While the GR86 moves the dial, enthusiasts keen on a cheap rear-drive coupe should be aware that the near-identical second-generation Subaru BRZ will go on sale at the start of 2022, and has already received local pricing and specs.
That said, Subaru’s first allocation comprises just 500 units, on account of ubiquitous stock shortages across all segments and brands.
In fairness, the BRZ’s global premiere in November 2020 was a few months before the Toyota GR86’s delayed reveal, which took place in April this year. So the timing discrepancy has at least remained consistent…
Toyota Australia’s launch timing of between July and December 2022 means local buyers will have waited somewhere around 18 months between world premiere to local deliveries.
It’s not clear what tactics Toyota Australia will use in regards to the GR86’s local pricing, and whether it might follow in the wheel tracks of the GR Yaris – which Toyota heavily discounted for early buyers to build hype, to huge success.
Gone is the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine, replaced with a 2.4-litre unit. It’s still unencumbered by turbochargers, and is still horizontally-opposed in fine Subaru tradition.
Claimed outputs are 173kW of power and 250Nm of torque, and the 0-100km/h time has been reduced to 6.3 seconds. Outputs are up 21kW and 38Nm on its predecessor, and Toyota says it has addressed the torque dip that plagued the first-generation car.
Under the skin, Toyota says torsional rigidity has been boosted by 50 per cent, and the centre of gravity has been lowered thanks largely to the aluminium roof and front quarter panels.
Inside, the GR 86 shares its bones with the Subaru BRZ. There’s a more prominent screen in the dashboard and a new instrument binnacle, along with new switches from the Subaru parts bin.