New 2021 Toyota GR86 packs more power, less weight

Total revamp of Toyota’s affordable sports coupe shows modern styling, less weight and more power with a 235hp 2.4-litre non-turbo engine. Due in Singapore late 2021


Toyota’s totally revamped version of its 86 sports car, now named the GR86, has been revealed. The car is expected to debut in Singapore in the second half of 2021, as first reported in our New Cars of 2021 story.

The ‘GR’ in its name stands for ‘Gazoo Racing’, Toyota’s new name for its sporty cars following the brand’s other two existing performance models the GR Yaris and the GR Supra

Team blue, or red? GR86 (left) and Subaru BRZ (right)

The car should not come as a surprise to sports car fans, since Subaru announced the identical sister model, the BRZ, in late 2020.

Toyota opted for a cleaner design this time around as well, with modern aerodynamics playing a hand in shaping the car’s looks. The rear end’s jutting boot section is reminiscent of the GR Supra’s

The GR86 retains most of the engineering hardpoints of its predecessor, the 86 (or GT-86 in some markets, codenamed ZN6) which debuted in 2012, but is considered an all-new generation, this one codenamed ZC8.

It carries over the same platform, a two-door, four-seat lightweight coupe packing a boxer engine and rear-wheel drive. The dimensions are almost exactly the same, at 4,265mm long, 1,285mm tall, and 1,775mm wide, with a 2,575mm wheelbase, it’s only 15mm longer, and with a 5mm increase to wheelbase. 

As before, the car has a very low centre of gravity. At only 1,285mm tall, it’s not much higher than a Ferrari F8 Tributo (1,201mm), while its centre of gravity is only 46cm from the ground. The suspension layout is the same, with MacPherson front struts and double wishbone rears. 

However Toyota claims the car’s body torsional stiffness has been increased by ‘around 50 percent’. That’s been achieved by aluminium body panels in the fender and roof, and Toyota expects the GR86 to be the lightest four-door coupe around. With a 1,270kg kerb weight, the car is 39kg lighter than before in European manual spec. 

This is the original 2012 Toyota 86

In any case, our 2012 test drive of the original 86 showed a fun-to-drive coupe whose only drawback was a lack of power more than anything else. 

That’s also been addressed with a new Subaru-developed 2.4-litre boxer four-cylinder under the bonnet. Like the first 86, the GR86 will be produced in parallel with the Subaru BRZ. Abroad, a six-speed manual and six-speed auto are the transmission options.

The new engine has 235hp at a high 7,000rpm, with 250Nm of torque at 3,700rpm, which is more than the original’s 200hp (from a 2.0-litre non-turbo boxer), and likewise the new engine will also lack forced induction, in keeping with its ‘light pure driver’s car’ concept. 0-100km/h is made in 6.3 seconds, a big improvement over the first car’s 7.4 seconds. 

The interior looks largely similar to before, but now has a 7.0-inch TFT touchscreen, and a half-digitised driver instrument panel. Automatic models may get Subaru’s Eye-Sight safety tech. 

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong