Three really is the magic number for Toyota - because this new GR86 model will mean lease customers can now choose from a trio of models in the firm’s ‘Gazoo Racing’ line-up.
If you’re a fan of performance Toyotas, it’s been a mixed week in terms of announcements from the Japanese manufacturer.
Firstly, we found out that the upcoming GR Corolla - a sharp-suited 300 bhp hot hatch with a distinctive three-pronged exhaust system - will not be sold in the UK, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter. Boo. Hiss.
But just as that news was greeted with groans from petrolheads, Toyota instead revealed details of a new GR86, which will be accelerating onto UK roads and which also makes for a tempting leasing proposition indeed.
In case you need reminding, GR stands for ‘Gazoo Racing’, and represents Toyota’s performance and motorsport division.
And the GR86 is a more potent version of the existing GT86, a coupe that was first released back in 2012.
The existing GT86 uses a front-mounted ‘boxer’ four-cylinder engine to drive the rear wheels and has power of 197 bhp alongside 205 Nm of torque. Not bad at all.
The GR86 also has a boxer engine, but the capacity has increased from 2.0 to 2.4 litres, and the power has also risen to 231 bhp - with torque being boosted to 250 Nm.
As well as giving faster 0-62mph acceleration – 6.3 seconds with the manual box, 6.9 seconds for the auto – the GR86 also delivers ‘power more smoothly, with no drop-off in torque’, according to Toyota.
A spokesperson adds:
“It promises to deliver sharper handling and responsiveness, extra power, new styling and a more comprehensive equipment specification. As with its stablemates, it has been honed with engineering and design expertise drawn directly from Toyota Gazoo Racing’s world championship-winning motorsport activities.”
When it comes to the other GR models, the GR Supra sits at the top of the pile, priced from £47,505, while the GR Yaris costs from £31,170.
The new GR86, on the other hand, is priced from £29,995, making it the entry level model.
And the refreshing thing about the GR86 is that there’s just one model grade; the only thing you need to decide on is whether to go with the six-speed manual or the automatic transmission.
You get, as standard, 18 inch black alloys, an 8 inch infotainment touchscreen, a reversing camera with rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitor, LED adaptive headlights, heated front seats, cruise control, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, and auto-folding door mirrors.
Safety systems include Pre-Collision System with autonomous emergency braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam and Lane Keep Assist.
And because the chassis has a lower centre of gravity and improved, 50:50 front-rear weight balance, than the GT86, you can expect it to handle like a dream.
The sports-tuned suspension and limited-slip differential will secure an ‘even more rewarding dynamic performance’, says Toyota, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re correct here.
Further details are due to be announced soon.
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