The Toyota GT86 has proved that Toyota hasn’t forgotten how to make fun cars. Its entertaining rear-wheel drive setup has partially filled the chasm left by the likes of the MR2, Celica and Supra and it’s doing a good job of attracting positive reviews from just about everywhere. It proved to be particularly good fun at the Toyota Drift School.
Now here comes the Toyota GT86 TRD to answer the complaints from those who said the styling of the GT86 was too tame. TRD, if you didn’t know, stands for Toyota Racing Development and is the Japanese firm’s in-house tuning division.
A set of 18-inch cast TF6 alloys, deeper front bumper, bigger side skirts, a rear spoiler and a quad-piped exhaust system with a rear diffuser serve to make the GT86 TRD look like its auditioning for a role in The Fast & The Furious 7. A ‘TRD’ branded radiator cap and fuel filler cover finish off the changes outside while on the inside you’ll find a new TRD gear shift lever.
But that’s it. The engine remains untouched and the chassis stays the same, so other than a bit of extra grip from those larger tyres you’re looking at nothing more than a body kit. A very expensive body kit at that as the GT86 TRD costs £31,495 for the manual and £32,995 for the auto. That makes the TRD £6,500 more expensive than the standard GT86.
The relative lack of performance is one of the biggest criticisms levelled at the GT86 and the TRD does nothing to address that. Acceleration and maximum speed remain the same at 7.7 seconds for 0-62mph and 140mph (8.4 seconds and 130mph for the automatic).
The only upside is that the TRD will be limited to just 250 examples, available in Pearl White and GT86 Black, so at least it there’ll be an element of exclusivity about the TRD.
Meanwhile, in Japan the mechanically-identical Suburu BRZ RA Racing has been treated to a diet, roll-cage and drop in price. It might not be any more powerful than a stock BRZ or the GT86 but it will be quicker. At the moment the BRZ RA Racing is only available to Japanese buyers so perhaps Subaru should be casting their eyes towards Europe?