A Specialer Special Edition: Toyota 86 to Add GT Variant for 2018
The Toyota 86 and its Subaru BRZ twin don’t get a lot of respect in a world where Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge offer horsepower levels nearing infinity, but we’ll probably miss them when they’re gone. Rear-drive two-doors on the low end of the price scale are a very rare breed these days.
After last year’s Special Edition 86, Toyota’s uncharacteristically youthful sporting model undergoes further changes for 2018, this time offering up a GT variant that sounds fearful, but is actually anything but.
That’s because in this application, “GT” doesn’t mean the addition of more grunt. It’s all about creature comforts. According to a dealer order guide seen by Cars Direct, we now know the 2018 Toyota 86 GT maintains the status quo with respect to its powertrain, while adding features found on its slightly more upscale twin.
A good number of features also carry over from 2017’s Special Edition.
Moving up from a stock 86 to the GT brings heated leather seats and steering wheel, as well as a leather-wrapped parking brake handle and audio controls that migrate to the wheel. Dual-zone climate control, pushbutton start with proximity key, an anti-theft system, and a 4.2-inch performance specs display rounds out the new tech. Outside, new LED foglights and some sort of front-end aero enhancement sets the GT apart from its lesser sibling. There’s also some minor color accents to choose from.
Pricing for the 2018 86 GT starts at $29,280 after delivery, with an extra $720 needed to move from a six-speed manual to a six-speed automatic transmission. Doing so, of course, drops the 86’s output from 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque to 200 hp and 151 lb-ft. (Toyota hasn’t released 2018 pricing, but a base 2017 model starts at $27,150 after delivery.)
While the new GT variant might tempt buyers who would otherwise have chosen a BRZ Limited, its lack of extra power isn’t likely to see sports car aficionados suddenly talking about (and considering) the 86. The model’s U.S. sales have fallen each year since 2013, its first full year on the market. November’s sales, which amounted to 456 units in the U.S., fell 11.1 percent, year-over-year. Over the first 11 months of 2017, Toyota 86 sales are down 6.9 percent.
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