More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86

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Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 16 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86

The new Toyota GR 86 is the third independent model from the Toyota Gazoo Racing brand. The trio benefits from its commitment to top international motor sport, which has brought the manufacturer several world championship titles in recent years. The new coupé enables a broader audience to enter the Gazoo Racing portfolio and thus access to a sporty driving experience. The GR 86 is a further development of the Toyota GT86 and retains its classic configuration of front engine and rear-wheel drive. The engine is still a lively four-cylinder boxer engine, the displacement of which has been increased to 2,4 liters for more torque and power. Technical adjustments to the engine and transmission ensure uniform, powerful acceleration across the entire engine speed range.

the Toyota GR 86

In order to improve responsiveness and handling, the engineers have concentrated on weight reduction and a further lowering of the vehicle's center of gravity. Through the use of aluminum and other light and at the same time stable materials as well as the strategic reinforcement of the vehicle frame, the rigidity has been increased all round. The suspension was also adjusted, while the designers were supported in the development of new aerodynamic features by their colleagues in motorsport. The new GR 86 was first presented in April 2021 and will be introduced in Europe in spring 2022. The official European premiere will take place on December 2nd, 2021.

Driving fun - the "Waku-Doki-Auto"

The new GR 86 presents itself as an "analog car for the digital age", which was developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. For everyone who concentrates on pure driving pleasure with joy, enthusiasm and passion - a quality that is expressed in the Japanese phrase “waku doki”. The GR 86 is not just a sports car for purists and experienced drivers: its advantages can be discovered both in everyday life on the road and on the racetrack.

As the new entry to the Gazoo Racing brand, the GR 86 remains true to the qualities with which the GT86 aroused new fans and enthusiasm for the car culture of Toyota by participating in competitions and inspired tuners and accessory specialists. For drivers who want to customize their model, there will be original Toyota Gazoo Racing accessories.

2,4 liter boxer engine

As with the GT86, the boxer engine with opposing cylinders is a key feature of the new GR 86. The 16-valve four-cylinder with two overhead camshafts is an important factor in the vehicle's low center of gravity. The same cylinder block is used as in the predecessor, but the displacement has been increased from 1.998 to 2.387 cm³. This was achieved by increasing the bore diameter from 86 to 94 millimeters. With an unchanged compression ratio of 12,5: 1, the output increases by around 17 percent from 147 kW / 200 PS to 172 kW / 234 PS. As a result, the new GR 86 accelerates from zero to 6,3 km / h in 100 seconds (6,9 seconds with automatic transmission) - more than a second faster than its predecessor. The top speed is 226 km / h with manual transmission and 216 km / h with automatic transmission.

The torque has also been increased, with the engine tuned so that the maximum 250 Nm is available earlier - already at 3.700 rpm compared to 205 Nm at 6.400 to 6.600 rpm in the GT86. This contributes to an even, powerful acceleration up to the high speed range. The torque output is identical for the versions with manual and automatic transmission.

Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 19 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86

In order to reduce the weight of the engine and at the same time to offer a performance that corresponds to the increased power of the engine, numerous detailed changes have been made to the engine components. These include thinner cylinder liners, optimizing the water jacket and switching from aluminum to a resin material for the rocker arm cover, which at the same time reduces vibrations. The connecting rods have been reinforced and the shape of the connecting rod bearing and the combustion chamber have been optimized. The combined intake manifold and direct injection D-4S has been retuned and now reacts more quickly to movements of the accelerator pedal. The direct injection has a cooling effect in the cylinders and thus allows a high compression ratio; the manifold injection works with light and medium engine loads and improves efficiency.

Changes to the intake manifold diameter and length have also improved the airflow to the engine, which contributes to more linear torque delivery and acceleration. The air inlet has been redesigned to optimize airflow. Further advantages result from the redesigned fuel pump, which ensures an even flow when cornering, and from a smaller high-speed water pump, which is designed for fast journeys and has a higher flow rate.

A new water-cooled oil cooler has been added, and the now thicker radiator structure has air ducts to increase the amount of cooling air drawn in. The new 5,6 liter center pipe of the exhaust system generates an appealing "rumble" when accelerating and is supplemented by an Active Sound Control System that transmits the sound of the engine into the interior. In order to reduce unwanted noise and vibrations from the unit, the GR 86 has new liquid-filled engine mounts made of aluminum and a revised, more rigid oil pan structure with a new cross-rib shape.


Both the six-speed manual transmission and the automatic transmission of the GR 86 have been redesigned to take account of the increased power and torque of the engine. The manual transmission benefits from a new carbon-fiber synchronization system that makes shifting into fourth gear easier. A new oil with low viscosity and new bearings ensure that the shifting process remains smooth even with higher engine power.

In order to fully exploit the performance potential, the driver can switch to track mode or switch off the electronic stability control. The redesigned gear lever offers a short stroke and lies comfortably in the hand. The automatic version is equipped with paddle shifters with which the driver can manually shift through the gears. In Sport mode, the transmission automatically selects the optimal gear depending on the accelerator and brake pedal position and the driving behavior of the car. Additional clutch disks and a new high-performance torque converter have been introduced to take full advantage of the engine's higher output.

CHASSIS AND HANDLING - Lightweight, highly rigid chassis

The excellent handling of the Toyota GT86 served as a model for the development of the new GR 86. The chassis and suspension were redesigned in order to adapt the handling properties and responsiveness to the additional engine power. Light and high-strength materials provide additional rigidity while reducing weight. Additional reinforcements have been added in key areas. At the front of the vehicle, diagonal cross members were installed at the connection points between the suspension and the vehicle frame, which improve the load transfer from the front tires and reduce lateral deformation. High-strength brackets were installed to connect the frame and suspension, and the bonnet has a new, diagonal inner frame that replaces the previous honeycomb design. These measures made it possible to increase the lateral stiffness of the front body by 60 percent.

At the rear, a continuous ring structure connects the upper and lower chassis. As at the front, new connecting elements between the frame and suspension ensure better handling when cornering quickly. Since the interior trim is now connected to the vehicle platform, a continuous frame structure was created. The overall torsional rigidity of the body has increased by 50 percent. The focus on weight reduction and lowering the vehicle's center of gravity is reflected in the use of strong and lightweight materials in key areas. High-strength and hot-formed steels as well as aluminum help control the rolling and pitching movements. The use of structural adhesives throughout the underbody ensures a solid, coherent structure of the vehicle frame.

Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 4 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86

The roof lining, front fenders and bonnet of the GR 86 are made of aluminum. Further weight savings were achieved through new front seats and the redesign of the silencer and cardan shaft. Thanks to these measures, the GR 86 has an almost ideal weight ratio of 53:47 between the front and rear axles and is one of the lightest four-seater sports cars with the lowest center of gravity on the market. The total weight of the GR 86 and GT86 is almost identical, although the new model is equipped with additional safety and collision protection functions.


The GR 86 takes over the chassis systems of its predecessor: an independent suspension on MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones on the rear axle. Responsiveness and handling stability have been further optimized. A Torsen limited-slip differential ensures reliable traction when cornering. The modified shock absorbers and springs give the vehicle a stable and reliable driving behavior. A tension spring and an aluminum motor bracket have been added to the front axle, and the steering gear suspension has been made more rigid. Since the 2,4 liter engine generates more torque, the rear suspension has been reinforced and the stabilizer has been connected directly to the frame.

Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 9 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86


The new electric power steering has a gear ratio of 13,5: 1 and requires only 2,5 revolutions of the three-spoke steering wheel from lock to lock - high maneuverability is guaranteed. The integrated motor mounted on the steering column is lighter and requires less space. Hard rubber bushings and a newly formed mounting washer increase the rigidity of the transmission mount.

Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 25 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86


At the front and rear, the GR 86 has ventilated disc brakes with a diameter of 294 and 290 millimeters, respectively. The brake control systems - ABS, brake assist, traction control, electronic stability control, hill start assist - are also part of the standard equipment, as is an emergency braking signal system.

Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 3 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86

DESIGN, Exterior and aerodynamics

The exterior design of the GR 86 is a further development of the taut, deeply pulled-down look of the GT86. It emphasizes the classic front-engine and rear-wheel drive arrangement and references some of the great Toyota sports cars of the past like the 2000GT and the Corolla AE86. The dimensions are roughly the same as those of the GT86, but the height has been reduced by ten millimeters (to 1.310 millimeters) and the wheelbase has been lengthened by five millimeters (to 2.575 millimeters). The lowering of the center of gravity is of central importance for the handling of the vehicle and the driving experience. This is accompanied by a lowering of the driver's seat by five millimeters.

As with the GR Supra, the LED headlights are arranged in an L-shape. The grille has a honeycomb pattern reserved for Gazoo Racing models. The front bumper has a new profile that is both functional and sporty and helps reduce air resistance. The side view is characterized by the powerful front fenders and the large rocker panels. The rear wheel arches are just as striking, while the driver's cab, which tapers towards the rear, underscores the broad stance and low center of gravity of the vehicle. The taillights with their characteristic three-dimensional design merge into a trim strip that extends over the entire width of the vehicle.

Toyota GR 86 Gazoo Racing 2022 Tuning 2 More power and less weight in the Toyota GR 86

The new aerodynamic features include a front apron and functional air intakes developed with Toyota Gazoo Racing's motorsport expertise. These continue behind the front wheel arches to control airflow and reduce turbulence around the tires. The curved, black painted exterior mirrors also improve aerodynamics. The lamellas attached to the rear wheel arches and the diffuser on the lower rear bumper also help to divert the airflow over and specifically from the body, which increases the stability of the vehicle. Depending on the model variant, the GR 86 is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels in 10-spoke design with Michelin Primary HP tires or with black 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

Interior and cargo space

When designing the interior of the GR 86, the focus was on the best possible usability of the vehicle systems. The horizontally arranged instrument panel enlarges the field of vision and helps to concentrate on the road. The elements around the driver can be intuitively recognized and operated. These include the air conditioning instrument panel in the center console with large, LED-illuminated rotary controls and switches, as well as the door armrests with integrated release handles. The center armrest has cup and bottle holders, two USB ports and an AUX socket.

The new sports seats have independent, supportive cushions that ensure a slim design and offer a secure hold. The color scheme of the interior also reflects the focus on driving - all in black with silver accents or in black with red upholstery details, decorative stitching, carpets and door panels. The rear seats can be folded down from the interior and trunk. With the rear seats folded down, the cargo space is large enough to carry four spare wheels. Ideal for those who drive directly to the racetrack with the GR 86.


The special status of the GR 86 as a sports car is underlined by details such as the Gazoo Racing lettering in the start sequence of the central 8-inch touchscreen and the 7-inch multi-information display. The multimedia system has faster computing power and offers DAB reception, Bluetooth and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. External end devices can be connected and charged via USB ports and an AUX socket. A new eCall function offers help in an emergency.

In the instrument cluster, to the left of the rev counter with a central speed display, there is a multi-information display that can be operated using buttons on the steering wheel. In Sport mode, the indicator is highlighted in red. In track mode, the display changes to a different view that was developed with the help of professional racing drivers from Toyota Gazoo Racing. In addition to the engine speed in a central bar, the gear engaged, the speed as well as the oil and cooling water temperature are displayed. The display informs the driver about the current vehicle status at any time and supports him when changing gears.

Don't worry, of course that was far from being the case when it came to auto / auto tuning. Our magazine still has tens of thousands other tuning reports in stock. Do you want to see them all? Then just click HERE and look around. Or are you particularly interested in everything to do with vehicles from Toyota in-house tuner Gazoo Motorsport? Then the following excerpt is sure to be just the thing.

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Photo credit: Toyota

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