Future Collectable: 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition
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.
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