A brighter han­dling star

Bayside and Northern Suburbs Star - - MOTORING SCENE - Iain Curry

I S there a more pop­u­lar new car to mod­ify right now than the Toy­ota 86? The rear-drive, good value and su­perb han­dling lit­tle sports coupe is a hugely pop­u­lar choice for younger buy­ers, mean­ing it goes hand in hand with cus­tomis­ing. Satur­day night city streets are awash with low­ered 86s on larger af­ter­mar­ket wheels, many have been re-sprayed or wrapped in a dif­fer­ent colour and a few have been treated to a good dose of performance tun­ing. Toy­ota is keen to get in on the act it­self, hence the in­tro­duc­tion of a lim­ited edi­tion 86 model with a run of just 60 to be pro­duced. All are based on the top-grade GTS vari­ant, and all come with a man­ual gear­box. While it has en­hanced wheels, brakes, sus­pen­sion and sub­tle style boosts, you performance lovers will be left dis­ap­pointed as the 2.0-litre four-cylinder of­fer­ing 152kW and 212Nm has been left un­touched. Fin­ished in un­miss­able So­lar Orange paint it cer­tainly has hefty vis­ual im­pact, but con­fus­ingly Toy­ota hasn’t given this lim­ited edi­tion a de­cent name own­ers can brag about. Un­like its colour the name is rather dull. Toy­ota’s just call­ing it the 86 lim­ited edi­tion. I’ll shout as loudly as the next en­thu­si­ast that the 86’s tal­ented chas­sis could han­dle (a lot) more power, but the un­der­body im­prove­ments here will make th­ese 60 orange 86s far more race track suit­able out of the box. A brake up­grade in par­tic­u­lar is a com­mon mod­i­fi­ca­tion for the track and hill climb rac­ing Toy­ota 86s I’ve en­coun­tered, and Toy­ota does the hard work for you here by adding Brembo 326mm ro­tors and four-pis­ton calipers for the fronts and 316mm ro­tors with two-pis­ton calipers at the rear. Sachs dampers should en­hance the 86’s re­spon­sive­ness and sta­bil­ity un­der heavy cor­ner­ing too, while the rest of your lim­ited edi­tion up­grades are purely aes­thetic. The 60 cars fea­ture a metal­lic black fin­ish for the rear spoiler and door-mir­ror hous­ings, while there are ex­clu­sive 10-spoke 17-inch al­loy wheels fin­ished in an­thracite colour. There’s con­trast orange stitch­ing for the Al­can­tara-per­fo­rated front sports seats, steer­ing wheel, gear shift, park brake and door trim. Even the dash­board 86 logo is em­bossed with orange stitch­work. At $41,490 th­ese 60 lim­ited edi­tions cost $4550 more than the GTS man­ual gear­box cars, once pre­mium paint cost is added. Is it worth it? For the sum of their parts, those who’d reg­u­larly take their 86 to the track will find good value in the brake and sus­pen­sion en­hance­ments, and we can’t for­get that a lim­ited edi­tion of a cult car like the 86 will be of huge at­trac­tion to col­lec­tors one day.

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