With Subaru having already unveiled its next-gen BRZ sports car, a model developed jointly with Toyota, it was only a matter of time before the Japanese automaker presented the updated version of its own model, the 86. And as per recent tradition – thank you pandemic - the introductions were made entirely online.
Obviously, without surprise, we meet a model that is aesthetically very similar to the BRZ, but sporting a front end that should help folks tell the two apart. While the headlights are the same, the front grille is different and the hooks that can be seen on each side are more purposeful on the Toyota, as they are with other of the brand’s models
Seen from the side or from the rear, though, the future 2022 Toyota 86 is almost identical to Subaru’s new BRZ. Roughly speaking, only the design of the wheels and the logos found her and there truly differentiate the models.
Inside, we see essentially the same environment as in the BRZ. With the 86, a three-spoke steering wheel awaits, as does a digital dashboard, while the centre console houses a touchscreen and a handful of dials and buttons.
Where Toyota really wanted to create space between the close cousins was in regards to handling. In fact, the automaker says it tuned the chassis so that the 86 would offer a genuinely distinctive driving sensation. And in so doing, it says the relationship between the teams that developed each car was one of a friendly rivalry. Of course, you'd have to drive both to find out for sure, but let's just say that our curiosity has been piqued.
Power for the next 86 comes from a 2.4L flat-four engine, a unit borrowed from the Subaru toolbox that's rated at 232 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Once again, it's a naturally aspirated engine. It sends its power to the rear wheels via the work of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The car only weighs about 2,800 lb, so the power-to-weight ratio remains attractive. According to Toyota, it takes 6.3 seconds to reach 100 km/h, in comparison with 7.4 seconds with the outgoing model.
Of course, we'll have more information when the 86 is ready to hit the road, which in North America will happen sometime in 2022. It's scheduled to make its debut this fall in Japan.