Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The 2022 Toyota GR 86 is Basically a Subaru BRZ


In the lead up to the launch of the Toyota GR 86, it was reported that Toyota President Akio Toyoda wasn’t too pleased that his company’s brand-new sportscar because it felt too much like a Subaru. It pissed him so much that he wanted to delay its launch by an entire year to give time for his engineers to dial in more differentiation.

Of course, we now know that all of this isn’t true as the all-new Toyota GR 86 made its global debut side-by-side with the Subaru BRZ. In fact, the joint press conference, “Sportscar Together” made no effort to differentiate the two sportscars, offering to show them side-by-side instead. After the high that’s the GR Yaris, this would have been akin to Toyota showing off its GR Supra beside the BMW Z4.


The bigger question though is: did Toyoda’s call to tweak the GR 86 to make it different really push through? It doesn’t look it, sadly. Despite the rumored delay, Toyota has announced that its sportscar will head to its Japanese showrooms by the third quarter (autumn) 2021, just a few months behind the Subaru BRZ’s second quarter (summer) release date.

Casting more doubts to Toyota’s promised uniqueness is a tip from our reader, Ron, who pointed out that the GR 86 makes the very same 235 horsepower as the Japanese market Subaru BRZ. True enough, checking Subaru Japan’s website confirms this to be true (the Subaru BRZ “special site” wasn’t up when we first published the GR 86 global launch story). Take note: aside from the Japan market, Toyota has yet to release official power figures for the GR 86 for global markets.


At this point, it’s looking like the GR 86 is nothing more than the Subaru BRZ with a slightly different wrapper. But there is one ray of hope, and it is found in this paragraph:
“TGR [Toyota Gazoo Racing]’s new GR 86 and Subaru's new BRZ were jointly developed. Yet, although the two vehicles share the same vehicle base, the two companies focused on imbuing their respective models with a distinct driving feel. While engaging in friendly rivalry with the BRZ development team, TGR sought to develop a vehicle that would provide happiness to 86 fans, and realize an evolution of the 86’s unique driving sensations. As a result, the new GR 86 is specially designed for sports performance, and provides direct and satisfying driving performance of the highest order.”
As the GR 86’s production debut nears, without a doubt, every car enthusiast out there is rooting for Toyota’s go-fast division, Gazoo Racing to “imbue” a distinct driving feel to its sportscar. But as the deadline nears, some of that enthusiasm may turn into skepticism. Still, anyone with premium unleaded gasoline running in their veins will take a tweaking of the steering, suspension bits, throttle response, and/or exhaust over slapping on a different head unit and calling it a day.

3 comments:

  1. I believe you can’t go wrong with either. At the end of the day, no matter what you choose to buy, you’re a winner!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I believe you can’t go wrong with either. At the end of the day, no matter what you choose to buy, you’re a winner!

    ReplyDelete
  3. To be more precise, the Japan-spec model GR 86 is said to have 235PS / 232hp(same with Japan-spec Subaru BRZ). I believe this is due to the fuel quality being offered in Japan - 100 RON premium gasoline. But like in the US, the 2022 BRZ is rated at 228hp.

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