The greatest trick the 86 performs is that it looks like such a simple, straightforward performance coupe, but possesses so much technical detail all at the same time.
And make no mistake; the 86 is all about the details.
From the conrod-inspired rings around the gear lever and air vents, to the 86mm tailpipes, and the small, aero-stabilising fin within the rear lights designed to create vortices which improve aero dynamic performance...
The 86’s greatest trick is that it looks like such a simple, straightforward performance coupe, but possesses so much technical detail all at the same time.
"...the 86 begins to reveal its greatness. A cohesive balance that is utterly addictive."
Peter Robinson, Wheels Magazine (Australia).
The 2.0L boxer engine's naturally balanced four horizontally opposed pistons and square, 86mm x 86mm bore and stroke lie at the heart of the 86 design.
The flat shape of the 16-valve Double Over-head Cam (DOHC) 2.0L engine means it sits low and towards the middle of the car, and helps with the vehicle's overall weight distribution.
Superb aerodynamics also help the vehicle achieve respectable fuel economy for a sports car of this pedigree (from 8.4L/100kms), which is on a par with many 2.0 litre sedans.
The boxer engine's low positioning allows for the vehicle's ultra low 459mm centre of gravity, with a driver's hip point only 400mm above the road's surface. This creates exceptional stability and the kind of instantly responsive, direct handling that competes with the world's leading sport's vehicles.
Track mode is a new feature on the 86 range.
The mode allows the driver to adjust the level of stability and traction control in the car, including a “fully off” option. Anyone with a decent bit of experience at the track knows this is a good thing as it increases the driver's range of control, enabling enjoyable sports driving.
Did you know the 86’s steering wheel is the smallest Toyota has ever made for a production car? It has a diameter of just 362mm, giving you a sportier set-up in the cabin.
There are also special thumb rests that optimise grip and contribute to the absolute precision of the 86’s steering system.
Oh, and here’s something else you might have already noticed; unlike other Toyota models, this steering wheel doesn’t have audio controls or Bluetooth buttons on it. The 86 provides for such an engaging drive, you simply won’t want the distractions – your mind can stay focused on the open road ahead.
There’s nothing fussy about the 86’s cockpit. It’s a stripped back, uncluttered place to be, where you’re left to concentrate on the exhilarating task at hand.
That’s not to say sports styling has been added at the expense of comfort. The 86’s fantastic bucket-style seats are supportive for those longer cruises out of town, and interior trim, surfaces and instruments all have a distinct quality feel about them.
All 86’s come with a host of safety features to encapsulate the driver and passengers, whilst ensuring maximum driver enjoyment.
The 86 has turned the notion that all small sports coupes are basically two-seaters on its head.
There are actually two completely usable rear seats in this performance car; the sports buckets support a child’s safety seat perfectly. They even feature ISO fixings, making getting car seats in and out that much easier.
After all, there’s no harm in getting the next generation of 86 fan keen, is there?
A low profile fender and High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights help signal an aggressively styled road presence.
The Toyota 86 drivetrain is a thing of beauty. Whether you choose the automatic or manual transmission, you'll enjoy a seamless transition of power from the vehicle's front boxer engine with D-4S direct injection technology, delivering 147kW @ 7,000rpm, and 205Nm of torque at 6,400rpm. At 5,000 revs the car's attitude changes and it's on.
Engineering and design elements from all three of the 86's forefathers — the Toyota 800, 2000GT and AE86 — contribute to the 86 as we know it today.
From the 1965 Toyota 800 the modern coupe takes the boxer engine and classic front engine/rear wheel drive layout.
There’s no denying a certain sensual style – especially around the shape of the belt line that runs through the middle of the 86 – was inspired by the legendary 2000GT of 1967.
As to the 86’s highly customisable character? That’s from the original AE86 of 1983; a car that has become a cult classic (and also the generational inspiration behind the 86’s name).
It’s easy to see that the 86 family as we know it today comes with a rich history of Toyota performance and design.