Toyota GR 86 buyers offered Subaru BRZ test drives in Japan
31 October 2021 - autocar
New sports coupé hits its home market at less than £20,000, and buyers can also try its Subaru sibling
The long-awaited Toyota GR 86 has launched in its Japanese home market, and prospective customers are being offered back-to-back test drives with its near-identical Subaru BRZ sibling.
As with the previous-generation BRZ and Toyota GT86, the new sports coupés have been developed in tandem by the Japanese manufacturers and share their engine, overall design, cabin layout and fundamental elements of their chassis. But Toyota maintains that it has "focused on delivering the unique driving feel of a GR [Gazoo Racing] vehicle" and wants buyers to see the difference.
With orders now open at Toyota dealerships in Japan, the firm has invited fans to a dedicated event at the Fuji Speedway to compare the characteristics of the two cars. A range of activities are planned to highlight the disparities between the cars, before in-store presentations begin in December.
Subaru isn't bringing the BRZ to Europe, so GR 86 buyers in the UK won't be afforded the same opportunity to compare the two cars back to back.
Toyota has also confirmed details of the GR 86's trim and pricing structure in its home market. Prices start at 2,799,000 yen (£17,895) for the entry-level RC with a six-speed manual gearbox, climbing to 3,036,000 yen (£19,410) for the mid-rung SZ and 3,349,000 yen (£21,415) for the range-topping RZ.
A six-speed automatic gearbox is available on the SZ and RZ for a small premium.
Prices in the UK are likely to be slightly higher, given that the GT86 started from around £22,000.
The partnership between Toyota and Subaru also extends to electric cars; Toyota will soon launch the bZ4X SUV as its debut mainstream EV and Subaru will follow shortly after with the closely related Solterra.