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Toyota GR 86 2021: third Gazoo Racing product locked-in for Australia

John Law

Toyota Australia has promised the new GR 86 will come to Australian shores replete with a new engine and host of upgrades.

The 2021 Toyota GR 86 made its dynamic premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this month, and now Toyota Australia has confirmed the two-door sports car will come to Australia.

The exact Australian release date of the new GR 86 will be announced in the fourth quarter of this year, with vehicles likely to be in stock some time in 2022.

Toyota GR 86 2021_-4
The new GR 86 retains the front-engine rear-drive layout enthusiasts know and love.

Toyota’s new GR 86 will pick up where the old car left off as an affordable two-door sports car. Think dynamic poise somewhere near a Porsche Cayman for a third of the price.

When the new car arrives, it will officially join Toyota’s Gazoo Racing spin-off brand that currently comprises the GR Supra and GR Yaris.

Like the Mazda MX-5, the first-gen Toyota 86 made solid in-roads in its segment with over 20,000 units sold since its launch in 2012. The 86 went through a facelift and copped a power bump midway through its life and is now in very short supply, with only dealer stock available.

What can we expect from the new 86?

Toyota GR 86 2021_-2
A pair of new GR 86s took on the Goodwood hillclimb course earlier this month.

The new sports car shares a lot with the original. It sits on the same platform as before that’s exclusive to the 86 and BRZ twin, though the new car is slated to be stiffer and more responsive

Under the bonnet is where most of the changes are found – though there isn’t a turbocharger yet. Toyota (and Subaru) have fitted a larger 2.4-litre naturally aspirated flat-four engine sourced from the US-market Subaru Ascent. 

The engine has been tuned to get rid of the infamous torque dip, and boasts 173kW of power and 250Nm of torque. Naturally, those outputs are sent to the rear wheels where a limited-slip differential is standard fit. A six-speed manual will remain the default choice, but Toyota will continue to offer an automatic transmission as well.

Toyota GR 86 2021_-3
Toyota’s new affordable sports car promises to be faster and sharper than ever before.

We can also expect a fuller safety suite for the new GR 86 to bring the car up to the latest ANCAP safety standards. 

That said, the new car won’t sacrifice its light weight to accomplish this. Toyota has chones to use aluminium strategically including in the roof and fenders, while there’s a lighter exhaust system and seats. This strategy has kept weight gain to only 13kg, with the new car claiming a 1,270kg kerb weight.

Detailed pricing and specification of the new GR 86 will be confirmed along with the Australian release date in the fourth quarter of this year.