Don’t worry: everything is different. However, one of the GR 86 is immediately familiar: sure, because the GR sports intervention pulls the body wrinkles out, strengthens the body and pumps the muscles – but the core remains: the free-breathing boxer sits with an appropriate center of gravity “lower and now transmits 235 hp and 250 Nm to the rear wheels via a stiffer cardan shaft and a limited-slip differential.
Yes, the GR is still a fun old-school car to drive: an affordable sports coupe (from €33,990) with jump seats. But you enter from the front left anyway: it sits sportily low rather than high like an SUV; Look at a small leather steering wheel with real buttons, hold the handbrake or hold the gearbox short. Well, there is a lot more plastic around, but also more leather and Alcantara than before. This goes well with the great analog character of the Japanese.
There has to be a bit of digitization
Adaptive headlights now cast LED light on the asphalt, and a fun 8-inch Japanese infotainment screen touchscreen with smartphone-compatible folklore app welcomes you from a dual DIN slot. As if the GR86 didn’t already provide enough entertainment.
You’re briefly looking for seat belts, the manually adjustable sport seats pull you tight with their firm cheeks. But even with the three-point harness, it fits racing gear, and is probably a little high. It has enough room for your head, at least if you are not taller than 1.90 or you wear a helmet regularly. But we only need him on the racetrack. Thus the outfit travels to Circuito Monte Blanco near Seville in a 276-liter trunk. Alternatively, the rear seat wall can be tossed with a flick of the wrist so a semi-slippery set of wheels can be placed there through the oversized fender. Exaggerated? wait.
And otherwise? GR fits you exactly as they measured you while you were sleeping; Shorten the shift lever to your arm’s length, trim the aluminum pedals to your shoe size, point the steering wheel straight toward you, and bring the digital speedometer now to the center of your field of view in such a way that you don’t. You don’t need a cinema mouse on its left and right. Where LCD screens definitely do offer something entertaining: lateral acceleration and torque gyros and performance graphs, they even hide here temporarily.
Best adjusting suction suction cup
Turn key No, stop, press the start button. The 2.4L engine punches itself awake without the roar of historic Old Town Seville. It does not matter, because inside the vacuum cleaner roar with inflating the box, but original. The young man complains in one of them that he would like it to be louder, but we are in 2022 and not in 1998. In addition, a person with one or two seats is an honest man. One that does not pretend to be more than the aerodynamic body promised.
Still a little furious, the metallic red Japanese rolls out of Seville on the multi track. The blue coolant light reminds you to exercise restraint, despite the 30-degree outside temperature. After all, it comes out right at the end of town. Moving down through the bone, the short alley from extra carbon-boosted fourth gear to third gear, or rather to second gear. Click. Click. Depress the accelerator pedal and depress it – until you find 250 Nm. Where are you now discovering strength noticeably faster. Instead of a pre-selector, it’s already there from 3700 rpm and spreads out over a plateau instead of falling again right away. Yes, the boxer can not be recognized already from the first meters.
Of course, because the GR forces bored the cylinders from 86 to 94 mm, they increased 399 cubic meters and increased the diameter and length of the manifold on the intake side. Throttle valves are also growing, as are intake valves with hollow valve stems including newly designed valve springs and three different spring rates. More details slippery tuning? Well, the engine block was also lighter with thinner cylinder liners and a swing-out cap made of synthetic resin instead of aluminum. In order to keep the speed stable, Gazoo Racing increased the diameter of the crankshaft magazines and reinforced the connecting rods along with matching connecting rod bearings.
Only 240 hp? Alleluia enough!
The GR engine, which has 35 hp and an additional 50 Nm, no longer feels as underpowered as its 200 hp predecessor. Still not so much in a world where small turbocharged engines like the GR Yaris set the tone? Yes, but the GR86 delivers over 6.3 seconds from zero to a hundred suggestions. Sure, the velocity needle rocks with the sharp accelerator pedal and the combination of the intake manifold and impulse direct injection, but don’t bother the digit scale up to seven to five. However, subjectively, the acquired speed feels much faster than an objective speedometer indicates. Even on the highway.
Automatic is (not) an option
Yes, on the highway, not every TDI will amaze you. In addition, at least in theory, the active track carrier and adaptive cruise control help even in traffic jams. However, only with the GR 86 with automatic. But we avoid it as Satan avoids holy water. After all, there’s really no reason to order the six-stage device for €2780 anymore. With 6.9 seconds, you need six-tenths to reach a hundred from the GR 86 with a six-speed manual gearbox including the new carbon synchronizer, despite the shorter gear ratio, and it only works 216 instead of 226 km / h. But the worst: The converter breaks one with slow conversions from the basics on the GR 86: the drive.
Yes, with the GR 86, you don’t take the dual motorway to the racetrack, but rather take the winding old country road right next to it. Yes, it has not even been renovated since the construction of the new highway. Because you didn’t cut the chassis in Japan for stiffness, but for drivability. Yes, it rolls almost comfortably over desolate asphalt, where the following applies: the faster the shocks, the less shocks strike the spinal cord. However it is not very soft on the racetrack.
Racetrack? he goes!
Don’t you believe? Well, the helmet at the time. Because they’re really serious about the trunk track wheel assembly in GR. What was already indicated on the country road catches your eye a little unprepared by long pressing on ‘track mode’: at the beginning of the short end of the Spanish province course, the boxer pushes as best he can. As it never comes close to the Vmax potential of 226 km/h to the end. You are late for that; Long after the most powerful sports car. Yes, you intuitively determine the correct braking points. Because steel discs with a minimum of 294 mm can be precisely dosed without sweating the 1.3 tons.
GR-azile curve artist
The bonsai racer slides topping with its sharp 13.5:1 electric drive, which only needs 2.5 turns of lock to lock. Thanks to the eye-catching fenders, you always know exactly how far the front wheels are from the curb. The two-person plus two-seater seat is perfectly balanced (53 to 47 percent rear) always remaining neutral. The front axle never slips off you. On the contrary: he always catches you. Of course, because instead of the energy-saving non-stick tires as in its predecessor, 215 Michelin Sport 4 tires were hung in the 18-inch light-alloy micro-spoke tires.
Plus, there’s a lot less movement in the body, which is now 50 percent stiffer with hardened steel and additional struts. The remarkable thing is that the GR86 is said to have only gained a touch heavier. Indeed: the coupe looks lighter than the data sheet promises at 1,275 kg. It cruises around tight corners with superb agility, but always has enough traction on the chainring to actively steer with the rear axle, which is locked by Torsen differentials.
The rear wheels still struggled for stability when accelerating out of turns. The drift angle is designed by the driver at all times: depending on whether you want to be fast or just enjoy driving on the sides. You’re quickly becoming a floating king, as if you’re synchronously drifting alongside Travis Pastrana in sister model BRZ on YouTube, which isn’t even available in this country.
And that’s where we finally come to, before we really start. Because the annual production of the GR86 for 2022 was sold out in two weeks. It could still be as few as 600 copies at one of the GR 75 dealers. By March 2024, more will be added. Then the new CO2 output stage turns off the vacuum’s tap. The general rule is: first come, first served … ie the black lines on the asphalt.
What a pleasure! Real, pure and light driving pleasure! And you never go over the limit, at least on a country road, not even the speed limit. The GR 86 is one of the last coupes that did just about everything better: it’s stronger, stiffer and nimble, and it won’t make more than 1,200 customers in Germany happy.