The replacement for the GT 86, the GR 86 has a more powerful engine than its predecessor (2.4 litres over 2 litres). It also has a far stiffer chassis, making for a more responsive driving experience. Like the GT 86, the GR 86 has the quintessential hallmarks of a sports coupe – a long, diving bonnet, the front windscreen is raked, and the roof sweeps backwards to meet a dynamically angled rear windscreen. In addition, a range of attention-grabbing design features give the Toyota GR 86 a more muscular appearance than the GT 86, reflecting its improved performance and handling.
At the front end, several elements make the GR 86 look low and wide. Set into the fenders, the lights are angled and aggressive. The bonnet dives and the front end rests below the lights, making the GR 86 look primed for speed. Lines set into the bonnet accelerate all the way to the front end, emphasising how long and low it is. As well as this, the large central grille is positioned low on the front bumper and thrusts outwards from the side air intakes, making the GR 86 look like it is moving rapidly, even when standing still. To complete the front end, the side intakes are housed on the outermost edges of the front bumper, giving the GR 86 a confident stance.
To the side, a sharp crease emerges from the front wheel arch and accelerates rearwards over it, conjuring a touring car aesthetic. An eye-catching highlight forms above the crease, darting all the way to the front door. Together, they provide musculature over the front wheel area, reflecting the responsiveness of the GR 86.
Behind the front wheel is a large functional air vent, a reminder that the GR 86 has better performance than the GT 86 and is designed to be driven hard. The vent connects to a sill that punches outwards just beneath the door shut line, creating a strong highlight. Visually, this highlight lowers the centre of gravity of the GR 86, widening the car body, and making the vehicle look stable and athletic. The sill has a sharp crease that creates a shadow beneath it – this contrasts strongly with the highlight, forming a dramatic three-dimensional feature that is far more confident and brawny than the sill of the GT 86.
Around the rear wheels, a number of design elements work together, creating a vivid reminder that power is delivered through them. Firstly, the sill rises dramatically behind the door, generating a sense of explosive acceleration. This leads to a haunch that sweeps over the rear wheels. The GR 86’s haunch is far more defined than the GT 86’s, letting us know that the new model benefits from more power coming through the rear wheels.
The design of the rear again tells a story of a car with greatly increased capability. The spoiler is seamlessly integrated into the boot, emerging from just above the rear lights to accelerate rapidly upwards towards the centre of the car, creating a poised aesthetic. Beneath the edge of the spoiler is a downward-facing surface that reflects the road as the GR 86 speeds past, creating vibrant pools of reflection. As well as this, the boot bulges outwards forming strong shadows and a three-dimensional effect, providing the impression that the GR 86 is being pushed at great speed from the rear.
The rear lights too have a strong three-dimensional presence and their outmost edges define the sides of the rear end, giving the Toyota GR 86 design a commanding stance. Lower down, large twin exhausts are set within a prominent rear diffuser. The diffuser has beefed up ridges designed to accurately direct airflow coming from underneath the car, completing the story of a vehicle with improved power, handling and capability.