First impressions: 6 things we learned about the 2022 Toyota GR86

First impressions: 6 things we learned about the 2022 Toyota GR86

Driving thrills at an affordable price and compact package — that’s the formula that made the old Toyota 86 successful about a decade ago, its rear-wheel drive chassis and boxer engine sliding and roaring into the car-loving hearts of many.


  • How much is the 2023 Toyota GR86?

    The Toyota GR86 retails for P2.328 million for the manual, and P2.499 for the automatic.
  • What powers the 2023 Toyota GR86?

    The Toyota GR86 is powered by a 2.4-liter flat-four engine that generates 237hp at 7,000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 3,700rpm. A six-speed auto and manual can be paired to the engine. The GR86 is rear-wheel drive.
  • Today, Toyota is once again following the orders of its president Akio Toyoda to make “no more boring cars” with the 86 successor, the GR86. The GR prefix is there because the carmaker’s performance division Gazoo Racing has developed the latest version of the sports coupe.

    With the GR86, GR sets to improve upon what made the predecessor such a hit, while adding some impressive tricks to the mix.

    And after reaching other markets with much fanfare, this exciting coupe is arriving here in the country. The 2022 Toyota GR86 will go on sale starting August 26, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) announced. Before it reaches showroom floors, though, TMP let us have a short go in the 2022 Toyota GR86.

    So, is the latest the greatest? Does it keep alive and improve the 86 formula? Let’s find out through the six interesting facts we learned about the GR86 during our drive with it.

    The 2022 Toyota GR86 is still (relatively) affordable

    You can have a sports car for the price of a family vehicle, so the old sales pitch for the old 86 went. Not only that, part of the 86 allure was that you can get driving thrills for more than half the price of an exotic German or Italian marque.

    TMP will bring in two variants of the GR86, the prices of which make the model an affordable sports car once again. The GR86 manual will retail for P2.328 million, the GR86 automatic for P2.499 million.

    2022 Toyota GR86

    To give you an idea how attainable the GR86 looks to be, the car’s prices put it on par with the LTD and GR-S variants of the Fortuner, Toyota’s strong-selling, seven-seat SUV.

    So what’s it gonna be? If you’re a family man looking for the next child- and grocery-hauler, we claim no responsibility in the chance you get involved in a domestic dispute.

    The 2022 Toyota GR86 is more powerful than before

    In place of the two-liter of old, the Toyota GR86 is now powered by a bigger 2.4-liter unit for, of course, more power. The additional power can be routed to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic. Toyota’s sports coupe has never been about headline power figures — that just isn’t the point — but perhaps, the carmaker is responding to criticisms about the old car’s lack of oomph.

    The GR86 engine now delivers 237hp and 250Nm of torque, with the torque reigning in lower down at 3,700rpm, in contrast to the two-liter’s 6,000rpm. But like in the previous generation two-liter, the 2.4-liter is co-developed with Subaru — every mention of the Toyota GR86 should always include “see also: Subaru BRZ” — so the mill's four cylinders are placed horizontally and as low in the engine as possible. The engine is naturally-aspirated, too. 

    Toyota GR86 Boxer Engine

    As far as the speed limits and traffic conditions in the streets of Clark, Pampanga, would allow, we felt the GR86’s engine improvements come together. As the revs rose, the torque coming in earlier was especially noticeable, and much appreciated. It was also accompanied by the Boxer engine’s noise that was more akin to a muted growl than a scintillating shriek, which is the usual for this kind of engine. The six-speed automatic of the GR86 we drove kicked down quick enough as the right foot briefly met the carpet.

    The 2022 Toyota GR86 is light and balanced

    There’s a reason why the old 86 was a favorite of tail-happy drivers. Apart from the rear wheel drive, the sports coupe’s light weight is split almost 50:50 across its front and rear axles to ensure maximum stability (or instability, depending on the driver’s mood) in the corners.

    For the Toyota GR86, it tips the scales at around 1,260 to 1,290 kilograms — on par with subcompact sedans and almost similar to the previous model — a curb weight that’s distributed 53% at the front and 47% at the rear.

    2022 Toyota GR86

    Rounding corners and the roundabouts at the test drive venue, the GR86 felt nimble and it hardly leaned. Toyota said the use of aluminum on the car’s roof, hood, and fenders shaved crucial weight. Meanwhile, we can credit the zero body roll to the GR86’s center of gravity that’s 1.6 millimeters lower than before. To help the GR86’s cornering (and drifting) prowess, Toyota Gazoo Racing has stiffened the car’s chassis.

    With all of these considered — and with the added power under the hood — the Toyota GR86 will likely make drivers channel their inner Takumi Fujiwara.

    The 2022 Toyota GR86 is more refined

    Although it was priced much like an everyday vehicle, those who wanted to experience the balanced handling and gruff engine of the first gen of Toyota's sports coupe on the daily grind, found the car a tad unrefined. NVH came at a premium of being a sports car, so it seemed.

    Toyota is keen on addressing this. To reduce noise and vibration levels in the cabin, Toyota claimed that the GR86 is fitted with sound-absorbing and insulating materials, such as a larger transmission tunnel insulator on the GR86 manual model). Hood and instrument panel insulators are also used, together with new sound insulation sheets in the floor mats adjacent to the center tunnel, which are also found in the manual model.

    2022 Toyota GR86

    Even in our short excursion, we felt all of this work. There was less road noise that permeated into the cabin.

    The Toyota GR86 is well-equipped

    Inside and out, the Toyota GR86 carries the accouterments expected in today’s cars.

    Exterior-wise, the GR86 wears LED headlights and even an LED light bar at the rear that runs across the car’s width. Distinguishing the two local GR86 variants are the 17-inch alloy wheels finished in two-tone for the manual cars, and 18-inch black alloys — which are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber — for the automatic cars. The slim, blade-like spokes of the 18-inch rims are inspired by a Japanese sword motif, the carmaker described.

    Toyota GR86 Cockpit

    Inside, complementing the low driving position and the tactile gear shifter are LED-illuminated dials. The eight-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is angled more towards the driver, who faces a seven-inch multi-information display. That multi-information display’s layout differs depending on the drive mode selected — another GR86 first.

    In Sport mode, the meter gains red highlights. When the driver switches to Track mode, a different display appears, designed with help from Toyota Gazoo Racing’s professional drivers. The read-out shows a central bar display of the engine rpm, plus the selected gear, speed and oil and water temperatures, allowing the driver to instantly recognise the car’s status and achieve better shift timing.

    For manual GR86 cars, their seats featuring thick bolsters are wrapped in fabric, while exclusive automatic GR86 models are leather perches.

    The 2022 Toyota GR86 is safer

    The Toyota GR86 should allow you to carry on driving like a pro — but not to the point that you show you’re experienced enough.

    Exclusive to the GR86 automatic are active safety features such as Pre-Collision Braking with Pre-Collision Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Sway Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, High Beam Assist, Lead Vehicle Start Alert, and Pre-Collision Throttle Management. Both the GR86 manual and auto get a rear parking camera.

    Toyota GR86 Profile Pic

    The Toyota GR86 is still as nimble and light as its predecessor, but is more civilized and powerful. If first impressions last, then this is a “GReat” sports coupe indeed.

    Photos from Roy Robles and Dylan Afuang

    Dylan Afuang

    Dylan Afuang

    Growing up in the 2000s, Dylan browsed through car magazines before reading proper books, and watched motoring TV shows as often as he did cartoons. So, talking about cars came natural to him. His dream car is the Honda S2000.

    Read Full Bio

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