By on October 28, 2021

Toyota has announced pricing for the 2022 GR86, with the Hachiroku receiving an MSRP of $27,700 before destination. That’s $295 cheaper than the nearly identical Subaru BRZ. Though, when you’re effectively building a sports coupe that has a literal clone of itself on sale across the street, every tiny advantage suddenly becomes relevant.

While a couple of hundred bucks aren’t likely to sway someone holding any amount of brand loyalty, it could become the deciding factor for interested parties who see the Toyobaru Twins as otherwise identical. The problem is that they actually do have distinctive personalities, despite still being overwhelmingly similar at their core, and the price difference shrinks even more once you accounted for each manufacturer’s delivery fees. 

The two cars are the most similar in their base formats. For Toyota, that results in an MSRP of $27,700 plus 1,025 delivery fee. On the Subaru, it’s $27,995 plus a smaller $960 destination charge — making the GR86 $230 cheaper before you’re comparing financing options or any added equipment.

This also makes the GR86 a few dollars less expensive than the previous generation Hachiroku, which is equipped with a less powerful 2.0-liter and lacks a lot of the slick digital features of the new model. While not everyone is likely to be a fan of adding screens and connectivity features on a stripped-down sports coupe, they’re bound to appreciate the 2022 GR86’s larger 2.4-liter boxer engine (sourced from Subaru) that delivers nearly 18 percent more horsepower and 11 percent more torque.

But we’re comparing the Toyota 86 to the BRZ, which shares those hardware upgrades. That means both vehicles come with 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, though they’ve been tuned differently to cater to each brand’s tastes. The same is true for their transmission turning, power steering setup, and the amount of dampening each vehicle was given. This has resulted in claims that the GR86 is more easily tossed around a racetrack than the planted BRZ. Though most reviewers seem to feel that there’s really not much difference from behind the steering wheel.

Toyota has said in the past that it prioritized engine responsiveness while Subaru focused more on comfort and stability. But Subaru has remained adamant that the BRZ wasn’t designed to give Toyota a performance advantage for the sake of a softer ride. Engineers have even suggested that it should boast a slightly lower center of gravity and may yield better lap times on a highly technical course, citing some mild differences in hardware.

The Subaru is using aluminum front knuckles instead of the Toyota’s more standard steel to help reduce un-sprung weight. It likewise stiffened up the rear trailing link bushings whereas the 86 uses carryover hardware. The stabilizer bars, which both vehicles have at the front and year, are similarly unique. But Subaru’s are supposedly lighter as the rear unit is mounted to the BRZ’s body while the GR86 has its back bar affixed to the subframe.

This ultimately makes the BRZ a little more expensive to manufacture and was something Subaru hinted at ahead of launch. But manufacturer documents actually have the Toyota weighing a bit less, with the specific differences varying between markets and which spec sheet you’re currently looking at. At the end of the day, they’re both so close to 2,800 lbs that the size of your dinner could and what you’ve left in the trunk will be determining which one is heavier in the real world.

That just leaves the looks, which are entirely subjective. Save for the badging, you’d be hard-pressed to guess which one you’re sitting in. But the Subaru looks a little happier from the outside, while the similarly playful styling of the Toyota boasts a smidgen of menace thanks to a distinctive front clip and some unique headlamps.

Frankly, it’s not really enough for the money to make much of a difference and your driving abilities will undoubtedly be more relevant than whatever mechanical divergences there are between the two cars. It’s also likely that a lot of the people interested in the Toyobaru Twins will immediately end up modifying them to suit their tastes anyway. However, if you’re absolutely positive you’re going to keep them stock, the GR86 might be better suited to someone interested in the occasional bout of hooning. Meanwhile, the BRZ seems designed to behave predictably during track days and help drivers shave off those milliseconds.

Final verdict: Unless you’ve got something specific in mind that costs exactly $230, forget about the money and just go with whatever model speaks to you the loudest and happens to be available. Just don’t spoil it by optioning the $1,500 six-speed automatic.

[Images: Toyota; Subaru]

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