July 3, 2022

The Toyota GT86 isn’t a brand new automotive however we needed to revisit it with a recent tackle the little sports activities automotive. This time Toyota has loaned us a frivolously modified model to whet the urge for food.

Let’s begin with the apparent. It’s one other automotive with a livery on, I’m rapidly turning into widespread with my neighbours, not to mention the native constabulary. What’s this GT86 all about? In complete there are three GT86s all that includes race liveries and have been initially constructed to take alongside to the Le Mans 24 hours again in 2018 and have been impressed by Toyota’s most thrilling performances within the endurance race. This automotive, the Zent liveried automotive, harks again to the Toyota TSO20, higher generally known as the GT-One, which competed in 1998 and 1999.

I had the selection of three, the Casio automotive, Zent, or the Denso automotive, which options the newest race livery. For me, Zent is essentially the most iconic and primarily due to my love for Gran Turismo and the way I might obsess over the space-aged GT-One.

Sadly, this automotive hasn’t simply adopted comparable ranges of efficiency… As a substitute, we’ve nonetheless bought that 2.0-litre boxer engine from Subaru and it nonetheless solely produces across the 200bhp mark. However there’s extra to this automotive than meets the attention.

Beneath, issues have been modified ever-so-slightly, however add as much as make noticeable variations. First up, the exhaust. Out of favour is the usual backbox, in place is a stainless-steel system from Milltek, which provides in a harder, extra aggressive tone low-down within the vary however produces a touch of rasp on the prime so as to add in a way of unique nature about it. The chilly begin helps it sound meatier than it truly is, and trundling about city, inside, at the least, is quiet but purposeful once you need it to be. Arguably, one of the best soundtrack comes from within the automotive when going by means of the gears. It’s loud sufficient to be dominant within the cabin, however not so loud that you just get p***ed off on any size of journey, which is beneficial!


Toyota GT86

The addition of the massive wing is because of the Aero again that was provided on the GT86. Whereas it seems aftermarket, you could possibly genuinely order that from manufacturing facility, though that’s now not true, sadly. You’ll additionally discover the wheels, they’re by Rota and assist the automotive by providing a measurement up in tyres, which means you may ditch these Prius-sized tyres for some respectable rubber that may help grip. Don’t fear, although, it’s nonetheless far too straightforward to sling sideways.

Final up, the trip top. None of us like arch hole and even on a low-slung sports activities automotive just like the GT86, it nonetheless exists in buckets. This advantages from some VMAXX decreasing springs to create a flusher end.

Toyota GT86

So, what do all these additions imply? Time to search out out.


Flip traction management off, choose first, raise the clutch and hit the throttle, easy. The GT86 is a back-to-basics sports activities automotive, so let’s deal with it like one. With the rear scattering away off the road, the automotive finally settles as you notch it into second. It’s stunning that with wider-than-standard rear tyres and simply 200bhp that they spin up in any respect, however that’s the very nature of this automotive, it’s virtually constructed into its DNA that it simply desires to have enjoyable.

Toyota GT86

Hunt for the redline and with the change of exhaust the automotive sounds extra prepared to take action. In normal type, you get this odd buzzing noise from the engine that simply sounds such as you’re strangling it. It doesn’t have that higher-pitched word you affiliate from holding onto gears. These with inventory GT86s, get out and purchase an aftermarket exhaust, thank me later.


The subsequent factor you’ll discover is the beautiful gear change. Good excessive positioned lever which shifts with a pleasant quick, however assured throw. It feels heavy however reassuring, you received’t miss a shift right here. That strikes me on to my favorite facet of the GT86, the seating place. To place it bluntly, it’s sensible. You sit good and low however with sufficient visibility to keep up confidence when driving.

Toyota GT86

The steering wheel has attain and rake adjustment which means you may get your self positioned fantastically. This looks like a correct sports activities automotive, whereas many different vehicles on this class fall in need of that facet. However that’s additionally its downfall. From the second you get in you’re anticipating a snarling efficiency machine, as an alternative you get a tepid sports activities automotive that’s crying out for extra energy.

The chassis feels as if it may well cope with the addition of pressured induction, though we’d be inclined to work on the rear finish being twitchy… Even with wider tyres the traction management gentle flashes greater than a web page 3 mannequin. In flip, swap the system off and do it your self, you’ll be a lot happier. Particularly as that front-end grips so effectively and entices you to be beneficiant with the throttle.

We’d be taking a look at including swapping out the suspension for a coilover that encompasses street and observe driving. Whereas the decreasing springs did an amazing job of decreasing the trip top, it additionally did a superb job of creating the trip crashy. One thing with revised damping settings to swimsuit the decrease springs can be preferrred as you could possibly offset the crashy nature with compression.

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By way of practicality, you is perhaps considering that is horrible. In reality, it’s not. Whilst you wouldn’t wish to be a rear passenger for any longer than two minutes, the entrance two seats are snug and the cabin is pretty spacious. The boot is massive sufficient in your weekly store or your week-long vacation and financial system smart you’ll be capable of hover above 30mpg with out a lot hassle.

You additionally get an honest infotainment system, cruise management and the common security programs discovered throughout the Toyota vary. Better of all? As we examined this in mid-October when temperatures have been dropping, the heated seats have been firmly within the on place. So, whilst you’re sending it sideways within the snow or rain, you are able to do so with a heat arse. Completely satisfied days.


I like this GT86. Whereas it undoubtedly might do with some additional oomph, the overall traits of the automotive have enjoyable on the coronary heart, and that’s what a sports activities automotive on this class must be. The additions of the Milltek exhaust and decreasing springs have livened that automotive as much as create extra of an occasion. The soundtrack has been considerably improved whereas not impairing day-to-day usability.

Tech specs:

Efficiency: 197bhp @ 7000rpm, 151lb ft @ 6400rpm-6600rpm
0-62mph: 7.6 seconds
High Velocity: 140mph
Engine: 2.0-litre Boxer engine, six-speed guide, Restricted-slip differential
Chassis: 8.5x18inch alloys, McPherson Strut (entrance) Double Wishbone (rear)