A brighter handling star
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.