The covers are finally off of the 2022 Toyota GR 86. Despite some initial delays, Toyota finally revealed what its most affordable sports car looks like and what it offers. However, as before, the Toyota GR 86 shares a lot with the Subaru BRZ. But just how different—or rather, how similar—are they?
The last-gen Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 were fairly identical
First, a bit of history.
The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are the result of a collaboration between the two Japanese automakers to build an affordable rear-wheel-drive sports car. Collaborating helped keep costs down and streamlined the design process, which kept sticker prices low, Road & Track explains. And as a result, the coupes shared many mechanical components, from their chassis to their powertrains. However, there were a few subtle differences.
Initially, Toyota’s version launched as the 2013 Scion FR-S. And, like the Subaru BRZ, it had a 2.0-liter flat-four engine with 200 hp and 151 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports. But compared to the BRZ, the FR-S’s suspension set-up made it more “tail-happy,” DrivingLine reports. Plus, the BRZ had a slightly better interior and more standard features. That did make it more expensive, though. However, by 2016 the two cars were essentially the same, Autoblog reports.
Following Scion’s dissolution, the FR-S was renamed in 2017 as the Toyota 86, Car and Driver explains. Toyota also updated the coupe’s interior and retuned the suspension and anti-roll bars. Plus, models with the six-speed manual got a slight output boost from 200 hp and 151 lb-ft to 205 hp and 156 lb-ft, Autotrader reports. However, the Subaru BRZ got these same updates for 2017, too, Car and Driver reports.
By 2020, then, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 were pretty much identical. In addition to having identical outputs, they also offered the same features, albeit packaged differently, Autotrader reports. However, while the BRZ is a bit more neutral out-of-the-box, the 86 has an optional TRD Handling Package, Mechanic Base reports.
For 2022, the Toyota GR 86 separates itself slightly more from the Subaru BRZ
The Toyota 86 gets a new look and interior for 2022, along with a new name: GR 86. But initially, it seems like, under the skin, it’s basically identical to the 2022 Subaru BRZ. However, as before, although the coupes share a lot, they’re subtly different, The Drive reports.
Both the 2022 Toyota GR 86 and Subaru BRZ have the same 2.4-liter flat-four engine and six-speed transmission. And, naturally, both have more power than the previous-gen models. But while the 2022 BRZ has 228 hp, the GR 86 has 232 hp, R&T reports; both have 184 lb-ft. However, the US-market Toyota GR 86 may have the same rating as the BRZ, Car and Driver reports.
Although the Toyota GR 86 and Subaru BRZ share a chassis, the former is 15 pounds lighter overall, The Drive reports. And Toyota claims its car handles differently than the BRZ, Car and Driver reports. With neither car available in dealerships as of this writing, verifying that claim will have to wait.
Styling-wise, the 2022 Toyota GR 86 is distinct from but similar to the Subaru BRZ, Autoblog reports. However, in terms of functionality, both cars are seemingly identical minus the branding differences, The Drive reports. For example, both the GR 86 and BRZ have the same 7” center touchscreen and ADAS features suite, Roadshow reports. The biggest difference is the upholstery, Motor1 reports.
Which should you buy?
As of this writing, Toyota hasn’t released pricing details for the 2022 GR 86. Neither has Subaru for the 2022 BRZ. However, both cars will likely start around $30k, MotorTrend reports.
Without driving the cars, it’s difficult to say which is the one to get. So, for now, choosing between them is mostly down to their designs.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that Subaru already released a catalog of accessories and STI performance parts for the 2022 BRZ, Autoblog reports. The catalog includes BBS wheels, spoilers, vortex generators, under-hood chassis bracing, and “a performance muffler system,” Roadshow reports. It’s unknown, though, which parts will be available in the US. And it’s all but guaranteed Toyota will offer equivalent TRD parts for the GR 86, too.
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