By on July 24, 2018

It was rumored that Toyota would eventually bring some hardware from its Gazoo Racing sub-brand into the U.S. through Toyota Racing Development. Well, the automaker appears to have finally done so, showcasing some of those parts in the 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition.

Before you ask, Toyota has not added any power with the TRD edition. Much like the limited-production Subaru BRZ tS, the recipe involves prepping the vehicle for the track with upgraded suspension components, brakes, and tires. There are also visual enhancements that give off a slight boy-racer vibe, though Toyota managed its makeover with more subtlety than Subaru, what with the BRZ tS’s large rear wing.

A hulking spoiler isn’t included in the 86 TRD package. Instead, Toyota Racing Development incorporated a body kit, custom exhaust, and some side decals to indicate that this is not the standard coupe. The interior also receives a small diameter, red and black-trimmed steering wheel with matching seats, belts, and Granlux “suede-like” dashboard covering.

However, the parts department didn’t stop with visual accouterments. The model gets most of what the BRZ tS received behind the wheels. Extra-large four-piston front, two-piston rear Brembo brakes (12.8/12.4-inch front/rear) lurk behind exclusive 18-inch alloys. Those oversized feet are also wrapped in 215/40R Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires. Toyota also threw in a set of Sachs dampers to improve stability.

More than an appearance package but less than a true high-performance variant, the 86 TRD Edition seems like a cool vehicle if you’re already into the Toyobaru twins. If you aren’t, then you’re probably asking why Toyota didn’t take that naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Boxer out to give it more than its standard 205 hp and 156 foot-pounds of torque — or slightly less with the automatic.

Frankly, we don’t know either. While the standard model is superb for having a laugh and hooliganism, the idea of selling a track-focused model with stickier tires but without a few extra ponies seems like another missed opportunity. Maybe they don’t want it stepping on the fast-approaching Supra’s toes, as it doesn’t seem to coming with a glut of horsepower, either.

Although, if you want something that’s extremely well-balanced and enjoyable to drive, then you could certainly do worse.

Sold exclusively in black, possibly because those fun tricolor decals could only work against a neutral color, the Toyota 86 TRD is to be limited to just 1,418 examples — with a starting price of $32,420. However, if you just want to have a good time and don’t need a future collectable, the base model begins at $26,455 and plays host to a fairly serious aftermarket. That model also gets a new “Neptune” paint scheme and and new interior options for 2019.

[Images: Toyota]

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17 Comments on “Future Collectable: 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition...”

  • avatar

    Wondering if there is an LS-swap kit for this, like with the Miata, since Toyota’s not about to offer more power.

  • avatar

    Still no turbo, still no sale.

  • avatar

    Why do they continue to miss the mark? While I like this variant very much, they improved on what was already good while ignoring what is bad – the power deficit.

    This kind of reminds me when GM was making C6 Corvettes. The auto press loved the power and handling but loathed the crap seats and cheesy dash. Instead of addressing these items, the “refresh” ignored these concerns and added more power instead.

    The power deficit in this car has been documented to death. Add another 60 horses already. Can’t they make an STi version?

    • 0 avatar

      Because this late in the game, they’d never recoup the investment on federalizing another engine? Because the “lack of power” is just a red herring as to why people don’t buy the Toyobaru (because the sub-$30k base 370Z should be flying out of dealers if that were the case)?

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Future collectible on what planet. A mediocre coupe that has limited sales appeal is not collectible in anyway. This is dull and bland as can be. While it may be more fun to drive than a Prius, it does not make it a standout product.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Future Collectable: 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition”

    I doubt it. One of these will turn up in 20 years as a Junkyard Find, and bloggers will poke fun at the 23% premium for mainly visual upgrades.

  • avatar

    The pricing on this is absolutely insane. The aftermarket would have you covered for a fraction of the markup with substantially more performance – just look at SCCA’s Spec Coupe shopping list.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who finds the Toyota performance brand name really unfortunate? I can’t see TRD without mentally inserting a U in the middle of it.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised the TRD badge is considered acceptable in the USA. Here in Britain, Citroen changed the name of its turbodiesel trim level in the late 1980s from TRD (on the Continent) to DTR for the UK market to avoid references to the word turd.

    So the car is this story could be literally described as Toyota polishing a turd.

  • avatar

    Still rather have a Miata, even more so with its power bump for 2019. Even if I was interested in this car, Black is a definite no go. I will never buy another black vehicle.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    It looks quite nice, but I really don’t want to deal with a dark color.

  • avatar

    I still say the issue is this thing costs to darn much. Yes it needs more power but if this was priced like a Civic Si or GTI they would have sold a heck of a lot more of them. For nearly 30k you need to bring more then 200hp. It not like they are losing money on that interior…

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    So basically they are now doing what I could’ve done in my driveway (screwing on unnecessary body parts), but left the only part that needs certification (engine) bone-stock?

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    This car, with a 6 cylinder should wear Supra badges. Flame on, but again, the MKII Supra fan is no less a purist than the MKIV fan and this car would basically be a modern MKII. The Frankenbimmer should wear Lexus SC badges and if they make it a retro gen 1 SC that looks the part, I’ll buy one.

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