Toyota GR86 Coupe

Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, front, action
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, front
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, side
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, rear
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, interior
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, display screen
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, boot
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, engine
Toyota GR86 Coupe, 2023, badge

YOU don't buy the low-slung Toyota GR86 for its roomy cabin, or for its hushed refinement - or, indeed, to relax in its luxurious cabin.

But, if you're in the market for sublime handling, immediacy of power and lightning responses from one of the best platform in the business, then this two-plus-two coupe could be right up your street.

Its predecessor, the GT86, won the hearts of enthusiasts between 2012 and 2021 for its old-school, rear drive road-holding supremacy and traditional layout. But power and punch weren't its greatest strengths.

The follow-up GR86 has retained all the strengths of its predecessor and built on them with a useful boost in power.

Instead of a 2.0-litre engine, there's a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre with another 35bhp and better torque characteristics although it weighs no more.

The result is instantly noticeable - serious clout without penalty to the pin-sharp cornering and brilliant handling.

For the many drivers who might never have driven a rear drive car, the way in which the rear end can be controlled via the throttle will be a revelation.

Dab the accelerator firmly exiting a bend and the tail can be kicked out, yet such is the control of GR86 that the wayward hindquarters can easily and quickly be brought back in line.

The four cylinder engine which thrives on revs, isn't exactly quiet and the low profile rubber transmits a fair share of road rumble into the compact cockpit.

But that's all part of the fun and the engine note remains sportily pleasing and smooth even as the red line approaches towards 7,000rpm.

It actually feels faster than it is - partly because of the razor-sharp responsiveness and the fact you're bum is only inches from the Tarmac.

Super positive steering and possibly the best manual gear change money can buy help add to the driving experience. The gearbox is a six-speeder with a quick throw action that reminds me of my days behind the wheel of Formula Ford single-seater.

The GR looks noticeably more coherently styled than the GT86 with smooth flowing lines and a squat, purposeful presence. One those cars that looks better in the metal than in photos.

It's a tad wider and lower, which benefits looks but makes getting in and out more difficult - especially if you're used to being behind the wheel of an upright SUV!

Space in the front is ample yet appropriately snug. The rear seats are best reserved for kiddies or just luggage.

Boot space is roomy enough for a coupe with a capacity of 226litres of luggage. Storage room in the cockpit is somewhat limited with narrow door pockets and a smallish glove box.

Despite the punchy performance - 62mph comes up in less than seven seconds - its thirst is modest. We averaged 31mpg, with a best of 38mpg when covering ground more gently.

FAST FACTS

Toyota GR86 Coupe

Price: £29,995

Mechanical: 2.4-litre, 4 cyl, 231bhp, petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6 sped manual gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 6.3sec

Combined MPG: 32.1

Insurance Group: 39

C02 emissions: 200g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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