The long-awaited new generation of the Toyota 86 is finally here. It keeps the basic recipe the same but evolves many aspects of the model. To better see what's new, here's a side-by-side comparison of the new machine and the old one.
The stylistic changes between the new 86 and the previous coupe are immediately obvious. Starting from the front end, there are new vertically oriented corner air intakes where the fog lights used to be. The grille has a more rectangular shape, and the revised headlights have a smoother shape.
There are a pair of subtle humps on the roof. Although, they are less pronounced than the previous model. The side mirrors have a sharper shape, rather than the more rectangular shape on the earlier vehicle.
There is a subtle reference to the Supra when viewing the new 86 from the side. The trunk has a small spoiler sculpted into the decklid. There are also new air intakes placed behind the front wheels, and the sill lines are much more pronounced, giving a more muscular look to the 86.
The now-outdated antenna on the roof disappears and is replaced by a fin that is the same color as the bodywork.
At The Back
The rear of the Toyota GR86 receives considerable changes and now, in terms of the design of the lights, it partly recalls the Yaris and C-HR. For the lower part, there are still a pair of circular exhausts. The triangular light is gone, and a rectangular one replaces it.
On The Inside
One of the weak points of the previous 86 was always the cabin, both in terms of materials - mostly hard plastics - and in terms of technology, with a small touch monitor to manage the dated infotainment system. For the new 86 it's a different story: there's a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment screen that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Underneath the infotainment screen, there are circular knobs for the HVAC system. The parking brake lever, which has survived an era of electronic controls, is placed within easy reach.
Naturally Aspirated Power
What made the first-gen 86 so special was the mechanical set-up: a naturally aspirated boxer engine at the front, rear-wheel drive, and manual gearbox. These aspects remain but are updated: the 2.0 with 200 horsepower goes away in favor of a 2.4-liter engine with 232 hp at 7,000 rpm and 184 pound-feet. The result is getting to 62 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds, which is 1.1 seconds quicker than before. There's no electrification or turbo. The only option is the type of transmission: a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.