Toyota Australia has updated their 86 coupe for the 2017 model year. As ever since its 2012 world debut, the small and sporty rear-wheel drive two-door co-developed with Subaru has received incremental updates as the years rolled on.
Speaking of which, the BRZ has also received a near-identical list of revisions to ready it for the next year. Toyota, on the other hand, have also revised prices on their version, now starting at at a shave under $31,000 and while that is more expensive that it was before, it represents a signifiant value boost over the similarly specified BRZ which is roughly $2,000 more.
In addition to the price advantage, and just like its Subaru twin, the shared naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre aluminium Boxer flat-four engine has received a modest power bump to a maximum 152kW and 212Nm of torque, with an emphasis toward improving low-end response.
You’d have to have chosen the six-speed manual transmission option to get a chance to appreciate the extra gusto, however, as versions fitted with the automatic transmission retains the older 147kW/205Nm output due to drivetrain loss.
In either option, though, the motor now breathes easier thanks to improvements to the car’s intake and exhaust systems, featuring a new aluminium intake manifold which increases airflow and reduces noise. Additionally, its cylinder block have been reinforced while pistons have been modified for increased durability.
On the handling front, a stiffer body structure thanks to additional spot welding and thicker key components contribute to a better balance while cornering while retuned springs, absorbers and a thicker rear stabiliser bar further improve dynamics.
There’s also a new selectable “Track” mode that allows the driver to dial in the desired levels of stability and traction control, or turn both systems off entirely.
Although less important to the average 86 buyer, Toyota has also introduced some welcome visual changes to the 2017 car, kicking off with a new nose and larger grille design that also aids in cooling and prevent drag-creating turbulence. There’s also a deeper rear bumper, aero-improving side fins, and reconfigured LED head, daytime running lights, and tail lights.
For the higher grade GTS, 2017 models will come with fixed wing spoiler and new 17-inch cast-alloy wheels. Inside, the top-spec car will also feature a 4.2-inch multi function display within the instrument cluster and a new soft-touch material on cabin trim.
"These updates for the Toyota 86 are focused on improving the responsiveness, balance and handling of a car that is already rated in the same league as some legendary sports cars,” said Tony Cramb, Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing.
"It demonstrates the passion within Toyota for designing and engineering cars that look great and provide engaging driving dynamics - a passion that is attracting new, younger customers to the Toyota brand," he said.