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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/18/19 10:12 a.m.
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Does this one really need any explanation? Nope, not really. The reintroduction of the Toyota Supra might be dominating the latest news cycle, but we’re spending the week with an old favorite, the Toyota 86 GT. It’s the updated take of the Scion FR-S and near twin to the Subaru BRZ.

What’s new for ’19? Not much. It’s still powered by a 205-horsepower version of Subaru’s flat-four and contains all the goodness that have made it an autocross and track staple since its introduction.

Wait, the press materials do show an update for the year, the TRD Special Edition. Details from Toyota: “86 TRD Special Edition is North America’s highest performance 86 version thanks to some essential new parts: SACHS dampers, 12.8-/12.4-in. front/rear Brembo brakes, and exclusive 18 x 7.5-in. alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires (sized 215/40R18 85Y all around).” It’s basically what we saw on the BRZ Performance Package.

Our car, though, wasn’t so equipped, although it did showcase something else that’s new: Neptune has been added to the available colors.

Our car also had the Premium Audio w/Navigation and the GT package, bumping the total to $30,800. Shed all of the options, and the 86 starts at $26,445. Looking to spend less? MSRP on the BRZ starts at $25,795.

Read the rest of the story

NickD
NickD UberDork
2/18/19 10:29 a.m.

I'm really not a fan of the updated bumper. It just looks at odds with the rest of the car for some reason

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
2/18/19 11:35 a.m.

if they had just added a turbo to those cars, it would have been the second coming to a lot of people

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
2/18/19 11:39 a.m.

Fangs?

Ironic in that a lack of fangs is what people dislike about this car.

I still like mine. Would not buy another because of the boxter engine. 

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
2/18/19 2:11 p.m.
NickD said:

I'm really not a fan of the updated bumper. It just looks at odds with the rest of the car for some reason

Neither am I.  The back end got 'Civic'd'  Designers take exceptional liberty during refreshes and often produce some serious bastard children designs. 

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
2/18/19 2:13 p.m.

Ah, the power issue...again.  If you want something with a big honkin engine that goes like hell in a straight line then purchase such a vehicle. Don't ruin the balance, weight or price point of this current product. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/18/19 2:21 p.m.

I have to say, the new special edition in BRG looks awesome:

Although appears to be JDM only right now. 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/18/19 3:00 p.m.

In reply to Coupefan :

For many, power isn't the issue, it's the way the power is delivered.  The "flat spot" at about 3,500 rpm is a real downer.....for me at least.  I wouldn't mind 200hp if it was delivered in a zingy-- rush to the redline sorta way.

Great cars--- with an uninspiring engine.  IMHO 

That BRG does look fantastic though! 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/18/19 3:49 p.m.

What sort of color is "Neptune," anyway? I would have expected it to be blue and not black.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/18/19 3:53 p.m.
Coupefan said:

Ah, the power issue...again.  If you want something with a big honkin engine that goes like hell in a straight line then purchase such a vehicle. Don't ruin the balance, weight or price point of this current product. 

I’d agree with you if not for the turbo in the Mustangs and Camaros that this car is priced against.

livinon2wheels
livinon2wheels New Reader
2/18/19 5:07 p.m.

Personally, if it had just a free revving cammed up 2.5 liter NA engine, that would fit in the car without extra heat or packaging problems, give a boatload more torque throughout the rpm range and make for a much more fun to drive package. 2.0 liters the way its set up just aint enough...but it is fuel efficient. The one I had would get high 30s on the highway which was pretty nice for road trips. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/18/19 7:28 p.m.

Derka, derka, derka, more power, derka, derka.

 

There, we got that out of the way.

Dave M
Dave M Reader
2/18/19 7:31 p.m.
nderwater said:
Coupefan said:

Ah, the power issue...again.  If you want something with a big honkin engine that goes like hell in a straight line then purchase such a vehicle. Don't ruin the balance, weight or price point of this current product. 

I’d agree with you if not for the turbo in the Mustangs and Camaros that this car is priced against.

Has anyone done an Ecotec swap? That would go, like, really fast.

MrChaos
MrChaos Dork
2/18/19 7:50 p.m.

In reply to Dave M :

LS swaps are the same $$ if not cheaper and have been done many many times.

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
2/18/19 7:51 p.m.
mad_machine said:

if they had just added a turbo to those cars, it would have been the second coming to a lot of people

Or at least offered it as a TRD option ala Scion TC (yes it was a supercharger.)

No offense to Toyota (I love that it exists) but we're headed the same way as the 370z. It's old production with a facelift. 

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
2/18/19 9:06 p.m.

Of course I'd love to have more power, but the reason to like the twins is the same reason to like the Miata.  I had an NA and it was great - small, fun, great tool to learn for the track and it was really affordable.  Granted the twins are not nearly as cheap, but it's got many of the same characteristics, with a fixed roof for better protection and more room to carry tires/tools.  For people who think the competitors are Camaro/Mustang I'm sorry but they're totally different cars with totally different goals in mind.  

It feels like the next step up with similar characteristics is a Cayman, and that's another league in terms of cost (both initial and maintenance).  Obviously significantly better performance as well... 

 

Captain Nemo
Captain Nemo New Reader
2/18/19 9:30 p.m.

I love these cars and have always been a fan of the flat four. A lot of potential imo. And they look great. Wish they got more press tho.

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
2/18/19 9:33 p.m.
Coupefan said

Neither am I.  The back end got 'Civic'd'  Designers take exceptional liberty during refreshes and often produce some serious bastard children designs. 

This. Some people think I’m crazy, but I think the first iteration of many models is often the best from a styling perspective. It is a cohesive whole, done by an individual (or team) with a vision (or at least a brief.) The facelifted version that comes later is often berkeleyed from the get-go because it can’t look the same as the old one, needs to look “newer” and “fresh,” regardless of how that newness meshes with the old original design...aaaand it can’t be too expensive (like new major stampings) so you are left with a older car with a new grille/bumpers/taillights, often done by someone with no connection to the original.

te72
te72 Reader
2/19/19 12:58 a.m.
Ian F said:

I have to say, the new special edition in BRG looks awesome:

Although appears to be JDM only right now. 

If I were gonna get one... it'd be this one. Looks great! Sadly, like so many cool things in the past, this one is a Japanese exclusive. Perhaps that'll change in the future.

 

I liked the FR-S I drove on a road trip. Had no trouble getting it to do whatever I wanted (apart from shutting off the traction control that's absolutely too complicated), was reasonably quick straight line if you know how to drive a car like that, and the handling was absolutely confidence inspiring.

 

For those that compare this to a modern pony car, yes, those have gotten quite good in the last couple generations. Only took them fifty years to figure out how to build a rear axle fit for a sports car, but that's a road we've been down before. My biggest gripe about the pony cars is still visibility, and the fact that a four cylinder car has no excuse for being over 3000 lbs...

te72
te72 Reader
2/19/19 1:00 a.m.
ae86andkp61 said:
Coupefan said

Neither am I.  The back end got 'Civic'd'  Designers take exceptional liberty during refreshes and often produce some serious bastard children designs. 

This. Some people think I’m crazy, but I think the first iteration of many models is often the best from a styling perspective.

Normally I'd agree with you, but after looking at your user name, I'm sure you'll agree that the later Mk2 and later Mk3 Supras both look better than the first versions of those cars. Having owned a few of each over the years, I can definitely say I'm more partial to the later cars of each generation...

 

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
2/19/19 1:08 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

Yup, agreed on the Supra, but the styling revisions were a bit beyond the typical facelift, FWIW.

 

The Lotus Esprit is another model that fared amazingly well through the facelifts. Exceptions to every rule I guess...

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
2/19/19 10:49 a.m.

Has anyone attempted to swap in the Subaru Flat-6 into one of these?

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
2/19/19 10:52 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

Has anyone attempted to swap in the Subaru Flat-6 into one of these?

No. If you own one you are satisfied with the power and you wouldn't want to add more to ruin the car's balance. 

devil

NickD
NickD UberDork
2/19/19 11:00 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

One of the Subaru tuning houses, Ali Ashfar if I recall, put the old SVX EZ33 3.3L flat six in one

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/19/19 11:12 a.m.

Reading the comments, it's pretty clear why Toyota is going to stop selling this sooner than later.

Everyone wants a car like this, until presented with what they want.  Then they want someone else to buy it, so they can get one used.

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