Waku-Doki spirit increased tenfold for the Hachi-Roku coupe

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Zapping Autonews 5 electric city cars to choose from for 2022

What’s left of the relatively affordable fun car market today? Ford Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20 N, Volkswagen Polo GTI or possibly Yaris GR? Yes, but as efficient as they are, they remain modified city cars that don’t attract attention, except for those who know.

For a little more seduction at first glance, the Mazda MX-5 is a sensible choice, even if its small size makes it useless on a daily basis. Renault Megane RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI are already larger, but only modified compact models, such as the German Mercedes AMG A35, Audi RS3 or BMW M240i, whose prices can still turn into brakes.

Of course, the Alpine A110 is a model that fills almost all the boxes of the pleasure, singular and performance model. You still have to be able to easily afford over 60,000 euros and its livability isn’t flawless. So at just over 30,000 euros (again, not to mention the fine), the Toyota GR86 is showing genuine interest.

Another duck victory

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Toyota GR86Credit Photo – Autonews

Its design is the first entity.

With a front end reminiscent of the Jaguar F-Type, it gains fluidity compared to the GT86. Here, the brand’s sports division unveils a “G”-patterned radiator grille that pays homage to Gazoo Racing. The gills and side skirts are more imposing, as are the more muscular rear fenders.

At the rear, there’s obvious Supra inspiration, with a duckbill integrated into the tailgate and fitting into it like a glove, not that optional spoiler offered by the GT86 anymore. Needless to say, the two large exhaust pipes in particular are enough to conclude the sharper sporting claims of the coupe, which has fulfilled its first contract to not leave anyone indifferent when crossing cities.

There’s no need to “pimp” it either, the configurator doesn’t provide that anyway, as Toyota makes it very simple by only offering metallic paint options (including the new and very successful Ignition Red of our version trial). Automatic transmission.

What I’m going to say is

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Toyota GR86Credit Photo – Autonews

The passenger compartment evolves towards simplicity with a flatter instrument cluster, not only too warm but also recognizable. Heating controls are less bulky and accentuated by new, much more modern triggers. The steering wheel has been upgraded with a better feel and a small GR logo has been added. Opinions will likely be divided on the opposite bloc. In the GR86 coupé, engine speed is accentuated by a large block with pins and white backgrounds typical of sports cars for decades. From now on we find a 100% digital handset that, in the same way as the touchscreen (slightly higher than before), also greatly modernizes the cabinet, although the latter is responsive and not an exemplary resolution. For navigation you will also have to rely solely on Apple Carplay or Android Auto sync.

In terms of width, the coupe offers more than an MX-5 or an Alpine, it won’t serve as a seat in the rear (there’s no room for feet), but an Isofix anchor. , additional luggage compartment or circuit tire storage, for example by folding the backrests. It’s room to add to the 226-liter trunk that makes the GR86 a well thought-out road trip coupe.

Still no turbo but increased displacement

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Toyota GR86Credit Photo – Autonews

The biggest criticism of the GT86 was a certain lack of engine, which did not honor the qualities of the chassis. The integration of supercharging has been frequently cited by the press as a potential solution. In the end, Toyota remained in the Subaru atmospheric boxer block with the alternative solution to increase engine capacity from 2.0 to 2.4. On the road its power was reached from 3,700 rpm, not 6,400 rpm, enough to develop the maximum torque from 200 to 234 hp, and above all from 205 to 250 Nm. And that changes everything. In addition to the 0 to 100 km/h exercise reduced from 7.6 seconds to 6.3 seconds, the GR86 coupe is much less idle, especially at low revs. Its ancestor also suffered from “torque DIP”, a drop in torque mid-curve that didn’t disappear entirely on the GR86, but was greatly reduced by a more linear curve throughout the rev. Not kicking the hips abruptly would potentially bring a turbo, but a certain softness in acceleration, which will help seek (or break through) sticking limits.

A boxer engine that is relatively discreet at low revs and becomes very noticeable in the cabin once at revs, it’s a bit too much, although a lot of soundproofing works almost everywhere in the car. Artificial amplification via a dedicated speaker (placed in the middle of the instrument panel) even adds another layer. The sound doesn’t get thicker or harsher, it just sounds louder. Alright.

More rigorous pleasure

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Toyota GR86Credit Photo – Autonews

At the time of the GT86, Toyota had chosen the Prius’s (!) pneumatic assembly to voluntarily limit sticking in sporty driving, thus triggering drifts more easily. It’s not silly, but it’s not always very reassuring on a daily basis, especially in the rain, with a cut that’s always waiting to slip off without warning. From now on, it is a Michelin Pilot Sport 4 mount (185/40 on 18-inch wheels) that equips the GR86 coupe by default and guarantees better grip in almost all conditions. So you have to push a little harder to play with it. That’s why Toyota hardened everything it could, from the driveline to the chassis. So much so that the torsional stiffness increased by 50%, that’s all! With a transition of about fifteen kilograms (1,264 kg in total), the weight was reduced and the center of gravity was slightly lowered and retracted.

When embarking on the first lap of the Monteblanco circuit (about an hour’s drive west of Seville), there are two other parameters to keep in mind. Our test model with a 6-speed manual gearbox is not equipped with the “automatic bump” function, as in the Yaris GR, for example. Toyota has indeed always wanted the “86” as a pure sports car, so you’ll have to make the heel-toes yourself. Clutch management is also a bit old-fashioned these days. No nice drive modes were displayed on the digital meter or central display, but still this VSC button was renamed Track on the GR86, which reduces traction control and ESP for greater tolerance to slip (another button disables systems completely allows you to quit).

The first heavy braking, initiated at just under 200 km/h on the pit flat, feels excellent on the pedal, both hard and durable all the way to the steering point. Next, the first pin emphasizes a sharp and precise directional strength to easily target its apex. It’s time to prod the GR86 with a deliberately exaggerated throttle to get the rear axle responsive. Track mode then allows the coupe to drift and releases the steering counter up to 180° before regaining control via the electronics. That’s good enough for most of us and somewhat reminiscent of the Alpine A110’s Track mode spelling. How fun without fear, even if the rear axle of the Japanese takes off more violently than the French. The long left below highlights the good support of the Torsen limited-slip rear differential taken from the GT86. After a right bend on a slope, the short straight to a downhill chican indicates the possibility of triggering a drift in braking as well as in karting. Therefore, all driving styles should be there. Next comes the scariest turn in the circuit: a mini-hard with compression at the entrance, and then a completely blind exit that goes full throttle after a while. This is the only time the GR86 coupe’s relatively limited power is a blessing, because after a few track days like this, you’ll quickly want more under the right pedal.

But back in Seville, it doesn’t take an avalanche of power to appreciate the road ahead. On HU-4103, we head north of La Palma Del Condado and towards Berrocal. The asphalt strip in this hilly area is wide, ideal with tens of kilometers in the heart of Andalusia and stabilized shoulders with safety rails at key points. Better still, there is no cat, just a few cows and horses perched high up. We enjoy playing with only 3rd and 4th gears on this road, which offers views as far as the eye can see in the national protected area De La Pata Del Caballo. There’s now enough torque to let it do the job and then cleanly wind the curves to maintain the desired momentum. The GR86 is indeed more reassuring where its ancestors have been dragged exaggeratedly several times. The damping comfort is also quite satisfactory, with only slight discomfort in the transitions of the speed bumps. less bad.

Pleasant driving, driving style is only disturbed by this engine noise, which lacks character in the low and mid range and then is definitely too loud. We rest our eardrums by immobilizing the mug on a bridge that crosses the Rio Tinto, the acid river colored by the copper extracted from the mine next door. An ecological disaster for sure, but it has an extraterrestrial beauty.

Penalty of polluting emissions

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Toyota GR86Credit Photo – Autonews

Go back to the world.

Yes, the Toyota GR86 coupé is affordable, with a gross price of 33,900 euros (with manual transmission). Unfortunately, with 200 g/km of CO2 emissions, our country penalizes this with 16,950 Euros, exactly half of the starting price. So out of a total of 50,850 euros, there is “only” 10,000 euros left to touch an Alpine A110 (without options), resulting in a fine of only 1,172 euros.

It is possible to get a Mazda MX-5 RF with full options for around 10,000 euros less, this time with a penalty of only 1,555 euros. It is therefore a GR86 coupé positioned between these two references of small pleasure and individual models in terms of price.

Hachi-Roku still has better livability for him, a strong argument when embarking on a road trip. It’s also much more appealing and reassuring than its predecessor, making it a total toy when it comes to exploring an area whose paths are adrenaline-pumping. Waku-Doki!

In short

Is the Alpine A110 too expensive? There is an alternative: the Toyota GR86 Coupe. A rare occurrence among GPs who focus on the basics: bursts of excitement and adrenaline. This is the spirit of Waku-Doku, amplified through this new generation, which pushes all the cursors of the old GT Hachi-Roku a little higher with the Japanese “8” and “6”. More aesthetic, stronger, more rigorous without sterilization, all while maintaining a certain versatility in damping and livability. A model that ticks many boxes and makes a logical place on the list of those looking for an “affordable” daily enjoyment machine. We tested the Toyota GR86 coupe first on the track and then on one of the most beautiful roads in Europe. It’s time to launch Google Maps, we tell you exactly where to find it.

Florian Duchiron