Automobile

Toyota touts GR 86’s sleeker design, higher power

TOKYO – Toyota has pulled the wraps on its next-generation 86 coupe, giving the redesigned sporty car a boost in power to answer customers clamoring for more oomph.

Toyota also rechristened the nameplate, in the Japan market at least, as the GR 86, in a nod to the brand’s Gazoo Racing tuner sub-line. The overhauled GR 86 launches in Japan this autumn.

The entry-level driver’s car was jointly developed by Toyota Motor Corp. and Subaru Corp., with Subaru providing the engine and manufacturing and Toyota doing the design.  Subaru said it had a bigger hand in this redesign, helping envision the new front fender lines and other tweaks.

The first generation went on sale in 2012, with Subaru calling its version the BRZ. Subaru unveiled the second-generation BRZ last fall, saying it will go on sale as a 2022 model year.

Toyota presented the redesigned GR 86 in an online event Monday that also featured the overhauled BRZ under the banner “Let’s make ever-better cars together!”

More power

The GR 86 and updated BRZ will get a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine, up from the 2.0-liter four-banger in the outgoing model. The upgrade cuts the car’s 0-60 mph time to 6.3 seconds, from 7.4 seconds, according to Toyota. When Subaru previewed its version last fall, it said the car would deliver 228 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. The rear-wheel drive GR 86 and BRZ will be available in either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.

The added power helps counter complaints that the first generation 86/BRZ, while a great tuner car perfectly suited for gearhead enhancements, was underpowered for its target group.

The dimensions of the GR 86/BRZ are nearly the same as the outgoing version, allowing the car to keep its sleek profile, low center of gravity and planted hip point. The new version is just a tad longer and lower, and has a slightly longer wheelbase. But the overall width is the same.

Torsional rigidity has been increased by 50 percent to improve agility and enable better steering stability, Toyota said. Aluminum roof panels and fenders help keep the weight down.

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