Posts Tagged ‘86’

Toyota GT86 to Get Facelift in 2016

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 15th, 2015

2014 Toyota GT86

It was only a few days ago when we heard about Scion’s plans to upgrade to their FR-S sports coupe for the 2016 model year. Now, it sounds like the rest of the world outside of the US will also be enjoying a new version of Toyota’s budget-friendly compact coupe, but it may come in the middle of 2016 instead of later this year, but it’ll still be a 2016MY either way.

The Toyota GT86, along with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, was originally launched back in 2012. So, 2016 would be the perfect year for a mid-cycle refresh. According to Australian automotive blog, Motoring, a Toyota insider has said to “look to some major body panel redesign.” But not too major… “It won’t be too radical because the 86 is made on the same assembly line is the Subaru BRZ, so the restyling process must be carried out within set parameters,” the insider warranted.

Keep in mind, Subaru is the only one of the three brands that has yet to announce any mid-cycle changes to their version of the joint-venture sports coupe. We expect that they will eventually have a mid-cycle refresh of their own, but perhaps they will wait until the end of 2016 for the 2017MY so that Toyota’s coupes can have their time in the spotlight.

2014 Toyota GT86 rear

Either way, the 2016 Toyota GT86 will likely feature a revised, sportier front-end design. This will likely include a fresh new hood design, restyled headlights or DRLs, a larger grille and possibly new color options. The rear could get a new taillight arrangement and a resculpted bumper, along with a “more aesthetic yet aggressive rear diffuser,” according to Motoring’s source. In addition, they say the distance between the exhaust pipes will be extended to the rear corners in order to create a wider-feeling stance.

Under the hood, we’re told that, “Engineers have focused on friction reduction engineering and a more efficient intake manifold design that will boost power and torque by around 5%, while improving fuel efficiency by up to 7%.” A 5% increase over the current car’s 197 horsepower would put us at about 207 horsepower… Just enough of a boost to be noticeable. Meanwhile, the 86’s chassis may also see some improvements, such as the addition of custom Sachs dampers and a stiffer rear-end subframe, which should help that extra 10 horsepower feel a whole lot more fun to drive.

Either way, we’re expecting the refresh to come in April of 2016, since it was April 2012 when the Toyota 86 originally launched in Japan.


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 20th, 2014

2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited

After learning about Toyota’s decision to delay the Toyota Prius due to a bland design, it got us thinking about the design of Toyota’s current lineup, and which cars truly stand out for their aesthetic appeal. It didn’t take long for the highly acclaimed Toyota GT-86 to come to mind.

Now, if you were to search for the GT-86 in our Japanese car auction database, you’d have a hard time finding any results. That’s because what we in the States call the GT-86 is sold in Japan merely as the Toyota 86. After realizing that, it was easy to identify a solid 25 of Toyota’s sports cars up for auction in Japan, not one of them rated lower than a 4.

Today’s Japanese car auction find is a 2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited in excellent shape. The deep black paint job is crisp and nearly totally unmarred. The modern-looking 17” twin spoke alloys are in particularly good shape, and a lot can – and has – been said about the GT-86’s design.

2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited auction find

Compared to the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, the GT-86 has a slightly more rugged and linear design. Especially compared to the BRZ… The edgier 86 could be likened to a sharp knife cutting through the wind, while the BRZ is curvy and more closely resembles a raindrop falling from the sky. The nice thing about this black color-scheme is that the car’s A-pillar and roof line blend smoothly into the windshield, creating a pseudo-panoramic effect. And of course, because this is a GT Limited you’ll get the performance enhancing rear spoiler.

Inside, the Toyota 86 is a little less clean-cut. You can clearly tell that the cockpit was designed to evoke that of a race car. Again, you’ll notice a few extra features with the Limited model… Chief among them is the black/red leather and Alcantara seating (the normal 86 only has black fabric seating). The ‘red’ theme continues throughout the interior of the Limited model; the steering wheel, parking brake and shifter all get a red wrap to catch the eye. Also, you can’t see it in the image below, but there are aluminum pedals, a digital speedometer, and sleek silver accents throughout the dash.

2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited interior

In addition to the sporty interior design, you’ll also enjoy a surprising number of interior amenities. For example, automatic air conditioning, a built-in navigation/infotainment screen, push-button ignition, and a surprising amount of boot space for being such a small car (the rear seats fold down).

Of course, we have to at least mention the engine. The main reason Toyota partnered with Subaru in the first place was to take advantage of their mighty boxer engine manufacturing, and the workhorse in this Toyota 86 won’t disappoint. It’s a 2.0L water-cooled flat-four cylinder with Toyota’s D4-S direct-injection and an insanely high compression ratio of 12.5:1.

If you’d like to learn more about this stellar 2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited, simply continue reading below the auction sheet for a detailed translation of the specs.

2012 Toyota 86 GT Limited auction sheet

“Great 4.5, interior B, first registered 2012 (month of first registration not stated), GT Limited, six-speed manual gearbox, AAC, service book, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, leather, original TV, original navigation system, airbags, adjustable suspension, HKS muffler, SD navigation system with digital TV and DVD video playback, black and red half-leather seats, seat heaters, HID, rear spoiler, 14,470 km, several slight cigarette burn marks on seats, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map”


The Toyota FT-86 Convertible is Here… Almost

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 13th, 2013

The Toyota GT-86, otherwise known as the Scion FR-S or the Subaru BRZ, was easily one of the most successful Japanese cars from 2012. In its short time on the market, the youthful coupe has received nothing but praise for its highly responsive driving, luxurious interior design and fluid exterior styling. Jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru, the coupe has been an out of the park success.

But, ever since its inception – even before it made it to production – prospective drivers have begged for a convertible version of the GT-86. There are very few roadsters on the market, and even fewer well-liked ones. A drop-top GT-86 would contend primarily with the Mazda Miata as the only other respectable vehicle in its class.

Toyota 86 Covertible

In answer to the automotive community’s desperate pleas, last month Toyota previewed a Toyota FT-86 Open concept, top-down. In short, it looked amazing. A white color scheme with navy blue and gold accents made the car look clean and breathable, fitting to a convertible. And it should look good, since Toyota admits that the coupe was originally developed and designed with a possible convertible version in mind. Even still, the Japanese automaker insisted that the FT-86 Open was only shown to test the waters, and that much more work needed to be done before a production model would be possible.

To be fair, designing and engineering a convertible is very difficult. There are many more variables that go into the work of producing a convertible than a normal hard-top car. Trunk space is an issue. Rear seat space is an issue. Chassis rigidity is an issue. Safety is an issue. And of course, maintaining fluid exterior styling is the biggest issue of all. This is all amplified by the extremely high expectations that the public would have for the FT-86. So, original design intentions not withstanding, there’s a mountain of problems to address before a convertible GT-86/FR-S/BRZ can safely be brought to market.

Nonetheless, it appears that the FT-86 Open may be closer to production than we’d dared hope. Earlier this week, the folks over at Car & Driver scooped up some patent application images of the Toyota FT-86 Open concept with the top folded up. This is the first time we’ve seen the top up, and I have to say that it was definitely worth the wait. Just look at how smoothly the folding roof blends into the exterior lines that define the GT-86’s design. It looks very similar to the coupe, with exactly the right proportions. Flawless.

As far as how the FT-86 will perform, we still don’t know very much. Obviously, these are just patent images, so no one’s had the pleasure of driving one yet. Still, Toyota originally claimed that they’d compensate the loss of rigidity that comes naturally without a roof with a firmer chassis and suspension, so our expectations are high for how this FT-86 will drive.

Either way, for now I think we can all be happy just seeing this car in its full form for the first time. The Toyota FT-86 is looking stellar, and I personally can’t wait to see this car in the metal at a future auto show, hopefully later this year.

Thanks for reading!

Source: Car and Driver


Toyota FT-86 Open Concept Previewed for Geneva

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

As many of you know, the highly anticipated international Geneva Motor Show is set to take place next week. Already, we’ve previewed several new cars and concepts from some of the most popular Japanese brands, but we have one more for you today – The Toyota FT-86 Open concept.

Toyota FT86 Open Concept

Last night, a small photo set and accompanying video of the new Toyota FT-86 were leaked on the Internet. Today, Toyota UK hastily released the official media along with a press release just in time for Geneva. This is a similar approach they took with the Furia concept right before the Detroit Auto Show; they released an assortment of promotional material the week before to build anticipation, but not so much in advance that the anticipation wears off before the show.

So, with pictures, video and a press release, what do we know about the new Toyota FT-86 concept convertible?

Toyota FT-86 vs. Mazda Miata

Since its original unveil at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been one of the most popular convertibles on the market. And it doesn’t take an auto-enthusiast to see why – the Miata roadster is stylish, hip, sporty and fun, and available with a plethora of aesthetic and performance variations.

Toyota feels like their GT86 coupe has what it takes to compete with the little Mazda roadster, and that’s where the FT-86 concept comes in.

According to the press release, the FT-86 Open concept was “created to test the water for the possible introduction of a convertible version of [Toyota’s] globally acclaimed GT86 sports coupe.” You can bet that Toyota will be keeping a close tab on how both press and public react to the FT-86 at Geneva.

What’s The Difference Between the GT86 and the FT-86?

Truth be told, not that much. According to Toyota, “the concept has been designed to deliver the lively, highly engaging and accessible performance and dynamic abilities of the GT86 with the added appeal of top-down motoring.” Toyota is taking the classic “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” approach to the FT-86; they know they have a popular coupe and all they want to do is port it into a popular convertible.

Still, there are a few differences. For example, the FT-86 features larger wheels and a restyled interior. And of course, there is the folding soft top that you won’t find on the GT86 coupe, but that distinction is probably obvious.

If you’d like to get a better taste for what the Toyota FT-86 Open concept might bring to the table when/if produced, then take some time to browse through the photo set Toyota included with the press-kit.

Source: Autoblog


Subaru’s Plans for US Growth in 2013 and Beyond

Posted by Stephen On Friday, February 22nd, 2013

For the past five years, Subaru has maintained itself as a classic example of The Little Engine That Could. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” perfectly sums up Subaru’s mindset, but it’s not necessarily a bad mindset to have. As one of the smaller Japanese auto makers, Subaru sold just 50K more units in the US during 2012 (336K units) than Toyota sold Corollas. Unlike Toyota, however, Subaru has managed to maintain consistent growth for 5 consecutive years, even through the recession. Not many auto makers – Japanese or otherwise – can make that claim.

For 2013, Subaru is looking to continue pushing its US sales up 8% to 365K. But, now that the recession is receding and other automakers are getting back in the game, how will Subaru continue their growth?

Ward’s Auto had the same question, and they were kind enough to publish an interview with Ken Lin, Subaru’s US Director of Product Management. Apparently, Subaru still has several untapped resources, along with some new offerings, to continue their growth through 2013 and beyond.

First and foremost, Subaru knows that the Forester is a crucial part of their line-up. You don’t have to be a math-whiz to see that with 76K out of 336K units sold during 2012 being Foresters, it’s an important vehicle to get right. The new Forester should continue to be competitive, though, thanks to a completely revamped design for both the interior and the exterior, along with a new 250hp turbocharged engine option for performance oriented buyers. Mr. Lin even believes that surpassing their 2013 goal is possible “if the market is strong and the Forester launches strong”.

As for the rest of their lineup, that’s where things get a little more muddled.

The Subaru BRZ, which was jointly developed with Toyota, seems like the car with the most potential. Even though some sources claim that only one BRZ is manufactured for every nine Scion FR-S (Toyota 86) units, the BRZ is selling at a ratio of about 1:2.5 (Subaru’s sold 4,144 while Toyota/Scion sold 11,417). This is a testament to how well Subaru’s version has been received. Ken Lin comments that “the plan was for Toyota to outsell us… This wasn’t a car that we desperately needed. But it was a great engineering exercise”.

Lin also says that although there are no current plans for further joint-projects with Toyota, it’s not totally out of the picture.

As for the rest of Subaru’s lineup, Lin acknowledges that there are a couple holes that need to be filled. For example, the Tribeca is performing poorly. Sales have continued to dwindle, and the car may get the ax before too long. Lin speculates that the Forester is cannibalizing sales from the Tribeca. The solution, he says, may be to completely overhaul the vehicle and bring it back bigger and more luxurious in order to appeal to a completely different class of buyers.

Subaru also doesn’t have a single entry-level vehicle in their lineup. There’s nothing cheap and appealing to younger buyers. But Lin isn’t so sure that’s where they want to be. “We see a lot of brands that go down-market to the entry buyer, but we’re smaller and have to be very strategic on where we focus our resources. (Entry-level) cars themselves don’t cost that much less to build, but you have to charge thousands less to be competitive so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us at this point.”

Good thinking, Lin – He makes a sound argument.

All in all, I expect we will see Subaru hitting their sales goals in 2013. They’re definitely not the most popular Japanese car maker, but they know what they’re doing and they know where they need to go. Self-awareness is a powerful tool to have, and it sounds like Subaru has it in spades. I’ll definitely be most excited to see what Subaru does with the BRZ, but the new Forester looks pretty good too.

What do you think? Is Subaru moving in the right direction? Is their marketing strategy sound? Let us know in the comments below:


Tokyo Auto Salon – Beauty and Beast

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 12th, 2013

The Tokyo Auto Salon is where Japanese car tuners (and some manufacturers) show off eclectic modifications of regular street cars. This years subject of choice (or should we say “victim” vehicle) is the Toyota 86. And let’s just say that anyone who thinks that the Japanese are an unimaginative people really should, err, have their heads examined.

Prepared to be shocked at the Beauty (the Toyota 86-based x Style Cb) …

x Style Cb

… the Beast (butchered RX-7) …

RX-7

… and everything else in between. Check out the Autocar gallery here.


Subaru Adding Turbo Spice to BRZ Range?

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Exciting news! Subaru is working on a new engine for the BRZ – the sister car to Toyota’s 86. The report from Auto News should put a smile on the faces of everyone who loves the BRZ / 86, but longs for a bit more power. It also fits in well with Subaru’s heavy use of turbo chargers in cars like the Impreza.

>Subaru BRZ Turbo 2014 model

BRZ Turbo Engine Details

According to an unnamed source, this new engine will a blown version of the current naturally aspirated BRZ engine and not a completely new unit. It’s expected to have a twin-scroll turbo charger and a direct injection system providing 280 horse power and 250+ pound feet of torque. (Currently the BRZ produces 200 hp and 151 lb-feet respectively). Put that through the rear wheels, and the recipe is right for even more of the same fun recipe..

As far as “when”, well this is the big question. According to the report, Subaru will have all of this ready to go with their 2014 BRZ range. And what do you think they’ll call it? I mean, will it be a boring old “BRZ Turbo”? Or, could we finally be seeing the “BRZ STi” that everyone has been clamoring for since 2011 when the concept was unveiled?

Do We Need A Turbo BRZ?

There is a bigger question here, and that is whether a turbo model is even needed. Certainly, there were many people who thought the 200 hp of the current model BRZ would not be enough. But then you get to drive these cars (I am including the 86 here), and what you realize is that you can have a lot of fun at sensible speeds that won’t see you losing your license.

That’s not something you can say of many sports cars these days. The quest for ever-greater levels of power, higher top speeds and quicker drag times has lead to a race for ever bigger numbers. But do numbers really matter? Get a Nissan GT-R on a twisty back road and you can go fast, ludicrously fast, and yet barely ruffle the car’s feathers – or break a sweat as the driver. The BRZ / 86 might be lagging a long way behind the GT-R, but if you look at the driver, he’ll have a huge ear-to-ear grin.

So, for me, this is what this is all about. A pure driver’s car. Fun on four wheels. But throw in too much power, and you end up with just another sports car chasing figures rather that feeling. It’s going to be a delicate balance for Subaru. Is the extra power going to magnify the excitement, or undermine the whole premise of the car’s existence.

Subaru Plays It Coy

But will it even happen? A Subaru spokesman has denied this report altogether. Dominick Infante stated, “We have no plans to offer a turbo charged BRZ.” Rather than this newly designed engine going into the BRZ, it seems to be intended for the next WRX, according to Mr. Infante.

“No plans”? Maybe that’s just no plans… for now. Subaru are surely watching the media and consumer reaction. Nissan were “persuaded” to put the Juke-R into limited production. Perhaps the same will happen here.

If nothing else, Subaru have to figure out how to make their car a distinct alternative to the Toyota 86, and perhaps this is the way to do it.


Toyota 86s in Japan’s Car Auctions

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The Toyota 86 and it’s cousin, the Subaru BRZ, have been making headlines. At last — fun Japanese cars at sensible prices. Drivers’ cars that aren’t about numbers and Nurburgring lap times, but which exist with the sole aim of putting a smile on your face.

And despite the fact that they’ve only just gone on sale, they are already showing up in Japanese car auctions. These are virtually new vehicles with just delivery mileage, but which are available for quite a bit less than the new list price.

Here’s a great example. Looking appropriately sinister in black, this grade S (meaning virtually new) Toyota 86 has just 63 KM on the odometer. Fresh off the production line and already looking for a new owner. Any takers? (Seriously, if you want to have a go bidding and buying cars like this, click here. We handle the bidding, buying, transportation, documents and shipping).

Toyota 86 at auction in Japan - front

Toyota 86 at auction in Japan - rear

Toyota 86 at auction in Japan - inspection report

If you’re sitting on the fence about this one, see what Autocar had to say in their review: