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NEW TOYOTA GR 86
Toyota’s entry-level sports car has been given an upgrade for 2021, with a new name, new engine and more performance.
Now called GR 86 rather than GT86 – the firm’s sporting models are built by its Gazoo Racing division, so these cars get the GR moniker – it has again been built in collaboration with Subaru.
The GR 86 retains the same front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout that served the previous model well, but the engine is now a 2.4-litre unit making 232bhp and 249Nm of torque (up from 197bhp and 205Nm).
It’s a “boxer” four-cylinder design from Subaru, and remains a naturally aspirated unit, resisting the temptation of switching to turbochargers for the extra performance.
Toyota reckons it will be the lightest four-seater sports car in its class, with weight-saving initiatives including the use of aluminium for the roof and body panels.
The GR 86 has almost identical proportions to the old model. There are large climate control dials, leather on the gear stick gaiter and steering wheel, and a small touchscreen infotainment system.
The Toyota GR 86 will go on sale in Japan in the autumn, so it’s likely it will go on sale in the UK before the end of the year. Expect a price increase on the old model, but it’s likely Toyota will want to keep the starting cost below £30,000.
NEW FORD ‘SMART MIRROR’ GIVES VAN DRIVERS BETTER REAR VISIBILITY
One of the trickiest aspects of driving a van is seeing out the back, with the cargo area blocking the view. However, Ford has come up with a solution, called Smart Mirror. It uses a camera mounted in the back doors, which provides a feed to the rear-view mirror and gives the driver a perfect view of what’s behind them.
The camera automatically adjusts its brightness to the conditions to provide a clear image whatever the weather or time of day, and Ford says it gives a field of view that’s double what a conventional mirror provides.
Ford reckons the system will be most useful for multi-drop delivery drivers, where they will regularly be parking on urban streets with pedestrians and cyclists to watch out for. The mirror is a £675 upgrade and is available on Ford Transit and Transit Custom vans that have windowless rear doors, built from 2014 and 2012 respectively. Any Ford dealer can order and fit the system, too.
NISSAN LEAF GETS PRICE REDUCTION
Nissan has reduced prices across the Nissan Leaf range to make it eligible for the government’s plug-in car grant. The price cap was reduced from £50,000 to £35,000, while the discount has been reduced from £3000 to £2500.
The Leaf, above, is the latest car to see a price drop, which applies to the 40kWh and 62kWh models.
This means that the entry level Leaf Acenta now starts at £25,995 after the grant, which is a reduction of £1350. The rest of the 40kWh range has seen a price reduction of almost £700, with the top-spec model starting at £29,995.
The biggest reductions can be found on the 62kWh model, with savings of more than £5000. The N-Connecta now starts at £30,445 and the Tekna starts at £32,445.
Nissan has launched a new PCP finance offer on 62kWh N-Connecta versions. It comes with zero per cent APR and requires a £4718 deposit. It has a 10,000-mile annual limit and is across 37 months at £299.