Performance, ride and handling

Lurking under the 86’s low, wide bonnet is a 2-litre Subaru-sourced boxer unit dubbed the FA. With the aid of Toyota’s D-4S direct injection system, the flat-four unit musters 200bhp at 7,000rpm. While this might not sound plenty or even sufficient in a modern performance car, you’d have to bear in mind that the 86 weighs in at a relatively lightweight 1,253kg. 

While the motor seems like it has enough power on paper for a lightweight sports coupe, its lack of forced aspiration means the motor is a tad short on the torque front. the 86 unit offers only a paltry torque peak of 205Nm at a rather high and narrow rev band of between 6,400 and 6,600rpm, making the boxer motor lack tractability and flexibility at low to mid-range speeds. The flat-four needs to be revved all the way to its 7,500rpm redline to fully exploit its performance. Thankfully though, the engine is a willing and smooth revver, a trait it shares with Subaru’s other flat-four motors. Toyota has tried to induce a sporty noise for the engine by manipulating the airbox for a sporty induction noise. The overall soundtrack is sporty enough but some will find the noise somehow manages to become a tiring drone to the ears after a long drive.

Bolted onto the engine is either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. While the auto saps the engine’s power and is hardly apt for a sporty coupe like the 86, the manual transmission is more driver oriented and rewarding for the keen and enthusiast driver. The 86’ssix-speed manual transmission feels wonderfully natural and tactile to operate. Gearshift quality is not exactly Honda Type R accurate but the shifts are snappy enough and both the progressive clutch and gearshift action feel totally in sync in their operation. Thanks to its more efficient nature, the manual also offers more straight line speed. The manual transmission 86 will sprint from rest to 100km/h is a much more convincing 7.6 seconds, a full six-tenths quicker than the auto can muster. Wqhen it comes the top speed, the manual’s 226km/h comfortably surpasses the auto’s significantly slower 210km/h.

With an emphasis on its weight being placed low, close to the ground, a lightweight, rigid body and rear-wheel drive fun, the 86 has the right ingredients for a dynamic and agile sports car. The 2+2 coupe has the lowest centre of gravity of almost any vehicle, with half the 86’s mass sitting below knee height. 

The 86 is wonderfully agile and quick to swap directions while the steering feels direct and is accurate, pin sharp and responsive to the driver’s inputs, making it wonderfully enjoyable and rewarding to drive enthusiastically with. Body control is superb – the 86 hardly suffers from any unwanted body movements. To further aid its cornering prowess, the GS is equipped with a standard Limited Slip Differential (LSD).

A car with such dynamic qualities usually suffers from compromises in comfort and overall usability. It is no difference in the 86’s case – the ride can be bumpy and busy for most, resulting in a tiring and draining car to drive over long periods. When compared to past Japanese performance models like early generation WRX STIs or Evos though, the 86 rides reasonably pliant enough.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1998cc
Engine Type Flat 4
Power 200bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque 205Nm @ 6400rpm
Power to Weight 200000 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 226 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Manual
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Coupe
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4,240 x 1,775 x 1,285) mm
Wheelbase 2,570 mm
Turning Circle 5.4 metres
Kerb Weight 1,257 kg
Boot Capacity 391 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs

Engine

Engine Capacity 1998cc
Engine Type Flat 4
Power 200bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque 205Nm @ 6400rpm
Power to Weight 200000 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 226 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Manual
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Coupe
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4,240 x 1,775 x 1,285) mm
Wheelbase 2,570 mm
Turning Circle 5.4 metres
Kerb Weight 1,275 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs