As a result of a joint effort between the two Japanese automaker giants, Subaru and Toyota, the 86 was born. The 86, or GT86 in other markets, is Toyota’s version of that collaborative feat, with the BRZ being the alternate Subaru version. Designed as a sports coupe, the 86 layout boasts a superb power-to-weight ratio, adding up to its famed high levels of agility on the road, more so on the track.
The Toyota 86 definitely made a lasting impression in the Philippines among our fellow Filipino car enthusiasts. The new 86 was tweaked aesthetically, featuring a wider grille, revamped bumper, new fog lamps, and redesigned taillights. It's also equipped with a capacitive touchscreen head unit with a smartphone mirror link via WiFi function. Under the hood, it is equipped with a Subaru-derived 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder 197-hp boxer engine and Toyota’s performance-oriented D4-S fuel injection system. The 86 comes with either 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Concepts upon concepts pervaded the public eye well before Toyota launched the 86. It started with the FT-HS then moved to the FT-86 concept. A second FT-86 concept came about, then a few performance-oriented variants surfaced. The model launched globally in 2012, with Toyota Motor Philippines bringing the model to market in June of the same year.
Platform, Chassis and Powertrain
Toyota and Subaru jointly developed the model, with Toyota naming it the 86, and Subaru going with the BRZ nameplate. The current 86 is built on a heavily-modified Subaru Impreza platform. This means that both models are essentially similar, with a few aesthetic changes made in the exterior and interior. MacPherson struts make up the front, while double wishbones are found in the rear while the wheels measure at 17 inches.
The 86 follows the classic front-engined rear-wheel-drive layout that allows for a balanced chassis. Power comes from a 2.0L D-4S engine that features two fuel injectors per cylinder where one injector shoots fuel directly into the combustion chamber, while the other is a port injector. The engine, dubbed the FA20, can produce 197 hp with 205 Nm of torque. The gearbox selection is either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Front Engine, Rear-Wheel Drive
2.0L 4U-GSE / FA20 4-Cylinder Boxer Gasoline
197 hp, 205 Nm of torque
6-Speed TL70 Manual
6-Speed A960E Automatic
The Toyota 86 is built around driving enjoyment. With a low center of gravity as well as a finely tuned chassis, the coupe is a nimble vehicle to toss into a corner with confidence. Power is enough to get your heart pounding through a twisty road or a stint on Philippine highways, it's adequate to have fun.
Technology in the Toyota 86 coupe includes a touchscreen infotainment unit that measures in at 7-inches and is capable of USB, AUX, and WiFi connectivity. The model also comes with hill start assist, cruise control, automatic climate control, and keyless entry. Drive-centric features include a G-force meter, lap timer, and power delivery chart nestled in the gauge cluster.
The exterior of the 2020 Toyota 86 features a large opening in the front with projector headlights and led turn signals and DRLs rounding out the array. The coupe is low to the ground and features a stance that is ready to pounce into action. The hood is long since the cabin is pushed all the way to the back, creating a fast-back appeal. The rear taillights are also an LED cluster, while a rear foglamp and reverse light can be found at the bottom of the rear diffuser. The model may have been in the country since 2012, but the facelift has made enough updates to keep it current and fresh.
The interior of the 86 features a 2+2 seating configuration, with two sport seats in the front and two rear seats in the rear. A black and red color scheme can be found all throughout the cabin. All occupants sit low to the ground making for a sport-oriented driving posture. The infotainment slot can house a unit that is up to 2-DINs in size, and the push start button is in the bottom left corner of the center console, near the shifter. The gauge cluster is a combination type array with an LCD screen complementing the analog gauges. The tachometer sits towards the center, just like any performance-oriented car, and the LCD screen is capable of displaying a lap timer, a G-force meter, or a power delivery chart.
Safety in the Toyota 86 is fully covered. A total of 7 airbags surround the occupants of the cabin. These include the front driver and passenger, the side, curtain, and knee airbags. ISOFIX anchors also come standard on the 86, and three-point seatbelts are available for all four passengers.
Pros & Cons
The Toyota 86 is undoubtedly a car to drive in. The model features great driving dynamics, that stood the test of time. Also, a high point is the looks of the 86. After all these years and a facelift, the coupe continues to look good. Compared to its rivals, it also features a bit more practicality thanks to the 2+2 seating configuration. It is also surprisingly fuel-efficient if you're not driving it at the limit all the time.
A caveat that the 86 has is its dated infotainment system that is finicky to use and lacking in terms of features. Other items such as a set of backup sensors were omitted from the spec sheet, as well as a reverse camera. The interior space is a bit limited for larger folk, and the design is quite dated. Drivers will have to get used to the blind spots of this car as well.
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