Toyota GR86 Gets the Seal of Approval From Pro Formula Drift Driver

There is no shortage of critical acclaim for the Toyota GR86 sports car. The most recent iteration of Toyota’s collaboration with Subaru sees a redesign of the styling and a bump up in both engine displacement and power. What’s not to love about a rear-wheel drive sports car with over 200 horsepower? If you aren’t convinced, perhaps a professional Formula Drift driver can clarify.

Is the Toyota GR86 fast?

Red 2022 Toyota GR86 sports car driving along a track, toward the camera
2022 Toyota GR86 | Toyota

The GR86’s zero to 60 mile per hour sprint in around 5.4 seconds is respectable. However, it isn’t exactly considered fast in this day and age. That being said, the GR86 is not built for straight-line speed. In a recent Hypebeast video, Formula Drift professional driver Jhonnattan Castro breaks down why it’s so great.

Castro is a professional driver from the Dominican Republic that competes in Formula Drift. Before competing in Formula Drift, Castro won the Dominican Republic Drift championship four times. When competing, he’s behind the wheel of a Toyota GT86 with an 850 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. So, he’s certainly no stranger to handling and performance when it comes to vehicles.

“This car is meant (for) whoever likes to tune a car and take it to the track. Or, you can drive it stock. It’s great already. If someone wants to customize a car for the driving perspective, this is the car. You can do whatever you want. Your personality is going will show,” says Castro.

Throughout the video, Castro aggressively drives a red Toyota GR86. Rowing through gears and ripping the handbrake, he drifts his way around what appears to be Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, California.

“It’s a driver’s car. You have to go hard with the car, and the car will translate it back to you. This is a rocket ship…It was impressive how nimble the car was,” Castro continues.

How much horsepower does a 2022 Toyota GR86 have?

Jhonnattan Castro driving his 2022 Toyota GR86 on track, driifting Willow Springs raceway
Castro drifting his GR86 | Hypebeast

The Toyota GR86 Had Its Name Changed Because Google Didn’t Like It

Toyota advertises the GR86 with 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque coming from its 2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder engine. However, some GR86 owners have put their cars on a dyno and found that their numbers were actually quite a bit higher than advertised. Furthermore, as Castro explains, this is a driver’s car. It’s less about how much horsepower it has and more about how one uses it.

The Toyota GR86 is a fierce competitor in stock class racing when in the right hands. Its suspension upgrades over the outgoing GT86, as well as the additional power, make it a new step up from the already iconic car.

“Great job to Toyota. This is a great car. You’re going to be able to tune it to do whatever you want with this. It’s a great platform. It’s awesome,” says Castro.

Generally speaking, when a professional driver compliments a car in completely stock format, you know you’ve got a winner. It certainly wasn’t a secret that the GR86 is a fantastic sports car with the potential to be used in just about any competitive automotive discipline. It’s just pretty cool to see the confirmation coming from a championship-winning driver.