It might not be the quickest, nor the most powerful sports car on the market, but the Toyota 86 has been Australia’s best-selling sports car for the past three years. Toyota is set to refine the formula with its biggest update yet, which is due to go on sale here in the fourth quarter of this year.
Exterior changes include a new front grille, LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear bumper, rear wing, and LED taillights, the highlights will be beneath the sheetmetal.
For starters, power and torque from the 86’s 2-litre naturally-aspirated flat-four engine has been upped by 3.4 per cent, from 147kW and 205Nm to 152kW and 212Nm, for models equipped with the six-speed manual.
Besides having a bit more punch, Toyota says that the engine’s powerband has been tweaked with an improved torque curve at lower engine speeds and an increased torque peak range of 200rpm, from 6,400 to 6,800rpm.
As for handling, which has been the meat of the 86’s pie, Toyota says that the 86 facelift will deliver a sharper steering response, as well as an improved ride comfort thanks to additional spot welds on the rear pillars and reworked shock absorber valve structures.
Aspects of the 86’s new exterior, such as its lower front nose with nose fins, foglamp bezel fins, small canards beneath its front grille, and rear spoiler, are said to deliver aerodynamic benefit.
According to Toyota the improvements done on the 86 facelift were based on information that they gained from the racetrack.
While the interior looks relatively unchanged at a glance, engineers have tweaked its layout in small but significant ways. The steering wheel now measures in at 362mm in diameter, which is said to be the smallest such item used in a Toyota. Meanwhile the centre-positioned tachometer has been arranged so that 7,000rpm - the point where the engine generates its peak output - is located at the top of the dial, whereas its analogue fuel and temperature gauges have been replaced with a sleek 4.2-inch TFT display that can deliver information such as a real-time G-force meter.
According to Toyota the improvements done on the 86 facelift were based on information that they gained from the racetrack. This includes data obtained from Toyota’s class victories at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race.
At this stage Toyota Australia are unable to confirm pricing, or whether the 86 will continue to retain its impressive $29,990 starting price. Considering the success of the 86 in Australia - recording the third highest cumulative sales of the model in the world – that’s one aspect we’ll be watching closely.