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The 86 is a series of grand tourer sports coupés jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru and solely manufactured by the latter. It features a boxer engine, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and 2+2 seating.
It is sold worldwide under three different brands with respective model names:
The name 86 (pronounced “eight-six” or Hachi-Roku (ハチロク) in Japanese, but more commonly pronounced as “eighty-six”) leverages the AE86 generation of rear-wheel drive sports coupes and hatchbacks sold as the Toyota Sprinter Trueno and Toyota Corolla Levin from 1983 to 1987. The 86 has been marketed as the spiritual successor to these cars, referencing a heritage tracing back to the 1967 Toyota 2000GT (a front-engined, rear-drive sports car with a 2.0 litre engine whose design cues adorn the 86) and the 1965 Toyota Sports 800, Toyota’s first sports car (which also had a boxer engine).
The 86’s engine, known by the Toyota code 4U-GSE and Subaru code FA20, is a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that uses Subaru’s horizontally opposed boxer engine layout that runs on 98 RON (premium unleaded) fuel. Toyota added their D-4S injection system which uses both direct and port injection. The engine has a 12.5:1 compression ratio and a bore and stroke of 86 mm (3.4 in) that results in 200 horsepower (149 kW; 203 PS) at 7,000 rpm and 151 lb·ft (205 N·m) of torque at 6,000 rpm. As part of the 86’s low-weight design, the car utilizes an aluminium hood, a solid roof, and a trunk as opposed to a hatchback. The boxer engine sits as far back and as low as possible in the engine bay for a weight distribution of 53% in front and 47% in the rear. The low-sitting engine provides a lower center of gravity, allowing the engine to sit lower than the Nissan GTR and just 0.6 inches higher than the Lexus LFA.
The 86, BRZ and FR-S are offered with two 6-speed transmissions built by Aisin, a manual gearbox and an automatic transmission which is modified from the Lexus IS 250. The automatic uses a traditional wet torque converter design, but its software has been engineered to mimic the response of a dual-clutch gearbox. The automatic transmission uses three different modes: Sport, Snow, and Normal. A torque sensing limited slip differential is standard on most models.
The vehicles are offered with 16 in (41 cm) steel and alloy wheels shod with Yokohama dB Decibel E70 tyres in 205/55 size or 17 in (43 cm) alloy wheels shod with Michelin Primacy HP tyres (as used on the Toyota Prius) in 215/45 size, depending on sales market. The limited editions Toyota Racing Development (TRD) GT86 models are instead offered with 18 in (46 cm) forged aluminium wheels, which are shod with either Yokohama Advan Sport tyres Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres in 225/40 size, also depending on market. All non-TRD cars feature ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear disc brakes on base models or, on higher models, also ventilated rear disc brakes with two piston-opposed calipers in the front and single caliper design in the rear. The TRD editions instead have an upgraded braking system comprising upsized TRD two-piece rotors and TRD six-pot 355mm front and four-pot 345mm rear calipers (compared to the GTS’ 294mm and 290mm calipers and GT’s 277mmm and 286mm, respectively). Suspension design comprises front MacPherson struts and double wishbones at the rear.
The 86 was designed around a front-mounted boxer engine, rear-wheel drive configuration, inspired by the AE86. The flat architecture of the boxer engine allows it to be mounted low, dropping the center of gravity down, resulting in sporty handling characteristics. The exterior design of the 86 was inspired by the Toyota 2000GT’s extremely low-to-the-ground profile and long, sleek hood. Its design cues translate onto the 86 in such areas as: upward trailing edge of the doors; the upward finish to the side-window line; the front and rear haunches; the circular taillights set in silver (singular instead of double as on the 2000GT).
The 86 “boxer” side badge appears on all Toyota and Scion versions of the car, but not the Subaru BRZ. Aside from badging, the main differences between the 86/GT86 and the BRZ are the front grilles and bumper bars. The rest, including the 17 inch alloy wheels, are shared.