Cars.com photos by Brian Wong
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Look up and bottomward Toyota’s calendar and you’ll acquisition that there’s a absence of fun cars. There are applied cars, able cars, ancestors cars and alike a hydrogen car. But for a aggregation with such a continued history of motorsports success and with some legends in its stable, like the aboriginal hachi-roku (the Corolla AE86, hachi-roku agency “eight-six” in Japanese), Toyota is actually missing out on cars that abide to enhance the joy of driving.
Related: 2019 Toyota 86 Gets Achievement Copy (Sans Higher Performance)
The abandoned sports car in the automaker’s lineup, the Toyota 86, carries the banderole abandoned with its front-engine, rear-wheel-drive belvedere and affection for oversteer. And for 2019, Toyota has endeavored to accomplish the 86 a bit added agitative with the accession of the 86 TRD Appropriate Edition, which adds achievement parts, some altered administration flourishes and a bifold cat-back exhaust.
The appellation “special edition” gets tossed about a lot in the car kingdom, but I’m blessed to say that this is a appropriate copy car that is actually special, as alone 1,418 of them will be fabricated and sold.
2019 Toyota 86 TRD SE; Cars.com photos by Brian Wong
On the outside, the TRD SE carries altered 18-inch admixture wheels, a attenuate TRD anatomy kit with added advancing bumpers and ancillary skirts, and a abbreviate rear spoiler. It’s alone activity to appear in atramentous paint, which Toyota calls Raven, admitting there is some red, orange and chicken striping abaft anniversary fender that is akin by a clear on the dashboard. Inside, there are red accents, including the adverse bond and the bench belts.
Backing up the cosmetics, a bulk of changes enhance the car’s performance. Sachs shock absorbers, Brembo brakes and adhesive summer tires (Michelin Pilot Sport 4s) add added chaw to the car’s administration and endlessly power.
But what may be the best notable accession to the 86 TRD SE is that bifold cat-back exhaust, which cranks up not alone the aggregate of the bankrupt agenda but its acuteness as well. It sounds added and fuller. Pulling a symphony out of a four-cylinder boxer after any affected consecration is a challenge, but it’s one that Toyota met enthusiastically.
It’s not a amplitude to say that this alternative is the best-performing adaptation of the 86 that you can buy; the abeyance changes and the added anchor from the tires accomplish it alike added of a canyon-carving weapon. It toes the curve of the alley with attention and nary a misstep. Alike its tail-happy attributes gets convalescent a bit by the added grip; this is the 86 with the accomplished beam of them all.
Cars.com photos by Brian Wong
One catechism charcoal for us though: Is it account the added money? The 2019 86 TRD SE is priced at $33,340 (including a $920 destination charge), a $3,835 exceptional over the 86 GT, which is contrarily the best big-ticket trim akin and starts at $29,505.
One bend account exploring actuality is that if you are bound in on an 86 or a Subaru BRZ already, again yes, this is actually the adaptation that I would get. Between this and its Subaru counterpart, the BRZ tS, which gets abounding of the aforementioned upgrades — itself bound to 500 units — the two companies get the abstraction of the appropriate copy right. It looks different; it drives different; and, in the case of the 86, it alike sounds different.
The primary absolute aspect of this car is its handling, and that is added by the accession of the TRD SE. You can anchor later, backpack added acceleration into and out of a turn, and the abeyance changes add a blow of adherence at the absolute that inspires confidence. Again, some of the car’s tailing addiction is tamed, but this is adaptation is ultimately added advantageous to drive.
Related: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata First Drive: Added Ability Paves the Alley to Added Fun
Another bend to accede is beneath flattering. I don’t apperceive if you noticed, but I didn’t allocution about any upgrades to the powertrain and that’s because … well, there aren’t any. It’s still a 205-horsepower, 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder that makes 156 pounds-feet with a acceptable six-speed chiral absorbed to it. The alive activity is great, but the ability achievement is underwhelming accustomed its figures. The agent is bloodless from a stop and doesn’t accomplish ability until it gets aerial into the rev range, and anniversary ascendance is met with a all-important downshift to advance momentum.
Cars.com photos by Brian Wong
Admittedly, I am assault the aforementioned boom over and over here. This was the big botheration that I ran into with the BRZ tS — yeah, it’s better, but it’s still lacking. And this is affronted by the changes fabricated to one of the 86’s rivals for 2019, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which matches it in fun and administration but now gets an agent that lives up to those absolute promises.
The Miata got a few changes beneath the awning for this year, with the agent abacus 26 hp and 3 pounds-feet of torque. Perhaps best importantly, the agent additionally confused the redline up and accessible torque bottomward in the rev range, which makes it befuddled from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm — the absolute breadth in which it acclimated to attempt and the abode area the 86 actually bogs down.
That makes the Miata a blueprint, in a way, for the 86. The Mazda was able to add ability while befitting the added genitalia of the car appealing abundant constant, and that accession didn’t bewilder the Miata — it aloof fabricated it better. The admiration of the council is now akin by the admiration of the car’s advanced motion to the throttle.
And I anticipate the aforementioned affair would appear if the 86 (and the BRZ for that matter) got a agnate affectionate of bump. It would actually accomplish the car better, added drivable and aloof added all-around fun. I achievement Toyota and Subaru are demography notes.
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