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2022 Toyota 86 GR: Australian launch timing confirmed for new Subaru BRZ twin - but how will the newly christened GR86's pricing compare?

The 86 has been renamed again, losing the space between ‘GR’ and ‘86’ to become GR86.

Nearly eight months after its reveal, Toyota Australia has given a clearer indication of when the second-generation 86 sports car will enter local showrooms.

The new 86 – or GR86 as it is now dubbed following Toyota’s recent removal of the space between ‘GR’ and ‘86’ – is currently scheduled to launch in the second half of next year.

As such, the GR86 will be beat to the punch by its twin, the second-generation Subaru BRZ, which is due to be released in Australia in early 2022.

The brand is still yet to confirm local pricing for the GR86, but expect it to be around the same range as the new BRZ, which starts from $38,990 plus on-road costs and reaches $43,990.

As reported, the similarities between the GR86 and BRZ run deep, just like with their first-generation models, although they are differentiated by their front fascias, with the former getting a squarer grille with a mesh insert as well as more upright side air intakes.

Despite the name change that sees it join Toyota’s emerging GR performance sub-brand, the GR86 is still on the same level as the BRZ when it comes to performance, with it also powered by a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated boxer four-cylinder petrol engine that has a 7400rpm redline.

With no turbocharger in sight, the Japanese version of the unit punches out 173kW of power at 7000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 3700rpm, making it 21kW/38Nm or 26kW/45Nm more potent than its smaller, 2.0-litre predecessor.

Why the difference? Well, the six-speed manual used to have greater outputs than the six-speed torque-converter automatic, but now both transmission options come with the same tune. And yes, drive is still sent to the rear wheels.

This combination helps the GR86 sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds, making it 1.1s quicker than the first-generation model, although it’s not yet clear which transmission option that claim pertains to.

What is for sure, though, is the six-speed torque-converter automatic will come with more advanced driver-assist systems, with the six-speed manual set to miss out on some of the active safety features.

While the GR86 and BRZ use the same platform as their forebears, it has been revised, with torsional rigidity improved by about 50 per cent, while the centre of gravity has been lowered via the fitment of an aluminium roof and fenders as well as a redesigned muffler.

The suspension set-up continues to consist of MacPherson-strut front and double-wishbone rear axles, while the brake discs are ventilated on all four corners, with them tucked behind 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/40 tyres.

For reference, the GR86 measures 4265mm long (with a 2575mm wheelbase), 1775mm wide and 1310mm tall, making it similar in size to what came before, with the six-speed manual version having a kerb weight of 1270kg.