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New models - Toyota - 86

Toyota’s track-honed 86 facelift checks in

Track day choice: While prices for Toyota’s popular 86 sportscar have risen by at least $300, it now features a new ‘track’ driving mode to wring extra performance from the rear-drive coupe in circuit situations.

More power in the manual, new track setting and styling updates for 2017 Toyota 86

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Toyota logo21 Nov 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

TOYOTA has brought its facelifted 86 sportscar to the Australian market with updated styling and increased performance, but also a $300-$800 price rise across the affordable rear-drive coupe range.

An entry-level GT manual wears the biggest price jump, rising $800 to $30,790 before on-road costs, while the automatic GT cops a $600 price premium to $33,090.

GTS versions now start at $36,490, an increase of $500 for the manual, and self-shifting GTS variants climb $300 to $38,790.

By comparison, Subaru’s BRZ twin starts at $32,990 and tops out at $36,490, while Mazda’s base 1.5-litre convertible MX-5 starts at $31,990 and goes up to $39,550 for the flagship 2.0-litre GT.

Power hungry customers may still be left wanting with the same 2.0-litre horizontally opposed direct-injection atmo four-cylinder engine, but six-speed manual versions gain an additional 5kW/7Nm increase in power and torque to 152kW/212Nm thanks to modified pistons, reworked intake and a larger exhaust system.

Toyota has also revised the final drive gear ratio from 4:1:1 to 4:3:1 for better acceleration and, although zero to 100km/h times were not revealed, the outgoing 86 will do the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.6 seconds.

Subaru’s manual BRZ utilises an identical 152kW/212Nm powertrain and can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.4s, while Mazda has not revealed acceleration times for its 96kW/150Nm 1.5-litre and 118kW/200Nm 2.0-litre MX-5s.

Automatic 86s still feed power through a torque-converting six-speed, but engine outputs remain unchanged at 147kW/205Nm.

Fuel consumption has increased slightly to 8.4 litres per 100kms for the manual and 7.1L/100kms for the auto, up from 7.8 and 7.1L/100kms respectively.

To further improve its sporty characteristics, Toyota has stiffened the rear end with additional spot welding, retuned the suspension for better handling and stability, and installed a thicker rear-stabiliser bar.

The Japanese car-making giant has also included a ‘track’ mode in the new sports coupe, developed from data gathered from racing during the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and, according to Toyota, the new mode “enables the driver to adjust the level of stability and traction control, including a ‘fully off’ option”.

On the surface, the facelifted 86 gains a larger front grille to emphasise its low and squat stance, while the rear bumper is restyled with a more pronounced rear diffuser and new aero-stabilising fins.

New look LED headlights, tail-lights and daytime running lights (DRLs) are standard across all versions and inside, the updated 86 is denoted by a smaller 362mm steering wheel and revised tacho design.

While entry-level GT cars retain the familiar 16-inch wheels, up-spec GTS versions gain new 17-inch wheels, as well as a wing-type rear spoiler, steering wheel-mounted controls, soft-touch materials and a 4.2-inch colour information display.

The new 86 also comes with hill-start assist as standard across the range and Toyota will even throw in metallic paint as a no-cost option.

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the changes to its popular 86 sportscar will appeal to younger customers who look for a car with sharp driving characteristics.

“These updates for the Toyota 86 are focused on improving the responsiveness, balance and handling of a car that is already rated in the same league as some legendary sports cars,” he said.

“It demonstrates the passion within Toyota for designing and engineering cars that look great and provide engaging driving dynamics – a passion that is attracting new, younger customers to the Toyota brand.” To date, Toyota has sold 17,817 86 sportscars since its introduction in mid-2012, with most customers opting for the higher grade GTS with three pedals (37.5 per cent) and automatic (29.7 per cent). Overall, 21.1 per cent of overall sales have been for the GT manual and 11.7 per cent for the GT automatic.

Sales of the 86 have slowed this year, with Toyota only selling 1801 to the end of October, a 30.7 per cent drop year on year, but is still ahead of the Subaru BRZ (236) and Mazda MX-5 (1387) over the same period.

2017 Toyota 86 pricing*
GT $30,790 (+$800)
GT (a) $33,090 (+$600)
GTS $36,490 (+$500)
GTS (a) $38,790 (+$300)
*Excludes on-road costs

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