2022/05/27

Katana ~ 2022 Toyota GR86


It's finally here!

Years without travel and being limited to home meals mean that I...ummm, kinda ended up with some cash to burn. I could've invested--but wooo boy am I glad I didn't considering everything has gone kinda bust lately. So I began the laborious task of purchasing the car that I want in 2021.

The car that I was after was the brand new 2022 Toyota GR86. It is the evolution of my beloved 2017 Subaru BRZ. This car is the performance bargain of our time. The people that hate them, probably haven't driven them and the people that love them...LOVE them. I'm living proof! I wasn't shopping to replace my BRZ...I wanted another one.

Maybe I should explain.

The Toyota GT 86, 86 GT, 86, GR 86, GR86, FT86, Scion FR-S, and Subaru BRZ are the same car. They come out of the same Subaru factory in Japan. Here's a cool video from the assembly line. It shares an assembly line with the Subaru XV/Crosstrek and Subaru Levorg. The new GR86 and BRZ are completely redesigned for 2022 and feature a great bump in torque and power.

I decided against the BRZ this time around since...well, I don't dig the styling of the front bumper. The GR86 has a coherent look from the front and back of the car. I set about trying to get one.

I started contacting my local Toyota dealer in October and was told to try back in a month. I tried in November--nada. After being completely ghosted in December I decided to try some other dealerships. Another local dealer brought me in for a meeting which went nowhere. I *finally* got a hit at a dealership that promised me the get me what I wanted. Now we're talking.

I went to the dealer and we went through everything I wanted and talked pricing. All good--let's fill out a credit app. All good--let's get this baby signed and ready to go. They presented me with a bill with a $3,000 markup and an additional $4,000 in *required* dealership snake oil. I basically told them to get fucked and left. The echo of "You won't find it cheaper anywhere else" followed me as I walked away...

Two days later it was New Years Eve and I found myself at another dealership, ordering my car for MSRP. Fuck that other dealership--seriously. Their parent company rhymes with "Dentsky". I wouldn't even rent a truck from them...

Then...the wait...

I get an update in early April that my car was out of production. Sweet.

I get another update at the beginning of May that my car is in the Country. Yes.

...and then "It's here!".

The day that I scheduled to pick up my new car...my Tomica calendar had a very fitting car featured...


I had never seen a GR86 in person until I took delivery. First impression? It was beautiful. Very red and familiar, but oh so different. There was a grand total of NINE miles on the odometer. 




I did the deal and left with my new ride!

-----

Now that I've spent some time with the car...how about some Pros and Cons?

PRO:

It's *noticeably* quicker. Subaru and Toyota have rated the car at 228HP. That has to be underestimated. Some owners have taken theirs to the Dyno and have gotten some pretty great readings in stock form that are closer to 250HP at the crank. I believe it!

Everything is just a little bit better than the predecessor.

It's still the performance bargain of our generation. Nothing comes close all around. Everything it's been compared with is far different either in price or on paper. The closest thing is an MX-5/Miata and even that is more expensive and not a coupe.

I enjoy the brand new tech inside the car and the newly legal adaptive headlights. Turn the steering wheel and the headlights turn with them! It's a trick that's been around forever, but one that is newly(ish) legalized in the US.

CON:

The inconsistent badging. The prototype looks like this...

...and the final version looks like this...

So strange. The prototype badging is also etched into the keyfob leather, floormats, etc. We just get the generic 86 numbering on the back. Oh well.

The lack of a spare tire is...disappointing. I can easily add one in as other markets still get spares, so there is a mount point under the truck's liner.

My biggest gripe by FAR has to be the wheels. I sprung for the top trim level which comes with 18" black wheels. Sounds good on paper, but the designer of the wheels has to be losing their damn mind after Toyota decided to paint them black (they're gunmetal grey for the top trim BRZ). 

The spokes of the wheel are designed to resemble the tip of a katana. I've heard this in several reviews and really took notice when I took delivery of the car. Look for yourself...

You see it?


What if I share this helpful photo from a forum (sorry, didn't catch the name of the creator) where the wheels were painted silver in Gran Turismo 7...



That is INFINITELY better. This something I must must must correct on my car. All of those clever details are lost on stupid trendy black wheels.

That's really it...three little complaints about the car itself. We can go on about scarcity and awful dealers and how Toyota sells their cars (no such thing as an order--the dealer has to find the car you want). Nobody cares about that. 

This is an awesome car. I have both my 2017 Subaru BRZ and 2022 Toyota GR86 to cruise around. Some would think they're two sides of the same coin, but I like to think they're just my way of supporting the cars I wish more carmakers would attempt. Small, lightweight, quick, rear-wheel drive cars with manual transmissions available. I put my money where my mouth is and bought two of them brand new. 

The future isn't so bleak for fun cars. Here's to five more years of BRZ and many more in the GR86...

Happy Motoring!

-CC


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