Toyota unveiled the US-spec version of its at the company’s headquarters in Plano, Texas, earlier this week, announcing full specs and details of the second-gen sports car. But all of the imagery was focused on the higher-end GR 86 Premium trim level, so we were left guessing as to what the base car would look like. Luckily for us and for the enthusiasts reading this, Toyota had a base GR 86 parked out front of its HQ. Good news: It’s just as cool as the Premium.
There are a few apparent differences that visually set the GR 86 apart from the GR 86 Premium. Most noticeably the base car has 17-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Primacy HP all-season tires. These wheels look way better than the wheels offered onand even , and I’m a fan of the two-tone diamond-turned and black finish. The GR 86 Premium gets awesome matte black 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, a huge upgrade from what was available on the old car.
Every GR 86 has nice LED headlights and taillights as standard, but the Premium gets adaptive front lighting. The Premium also has a huge — and, in my opinion, rad — ducktail spoiler on the trunk lid, but the base car does without this. Otherwise, the two versions look identical from the outside, and that’s a good thing. I think the GR 86 looks incredible in person, with a squat stance, fantastic proportions and surfacing and some really interesting design details.
On the inside the base car isn’t much different than to the Premium, either. It has the same well-bolstered bucket seats, which are here covered in a grippy cloth texture. The Premium’s seats are trimmed in leather and Alcantara and look and feel awesome. You also get a leather-wrapped shifter, gear level and parking brake on every GR 86, and the door cards and other parts of the interior have some soft-touch materials and contrast stitching. The Premium’s only other interior upgrade is aluminum pedals.
Also standard on every GR 86 is an 8-inch touchscreen and a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, both of which are big improvements over the old car. The GR 86 comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SiriusXM compatibility, but the Premium upgrades the 6-speaker sound system to an 8-speaker JBL unit. Every GR 86 with the optional automatic transmission also gets a host of safety features as standard, like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and high-beam assist.
Other than the wheels, the base GR 86 and the GR 86 Premium are mechanically identical. The 2022 86 is powered by a new (but still naturally aspirated) 2.4-liter inline-4. It’s got 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, big increases from the outgoing model, and a manual transmission is still standard. Toyota says the 86 will hit 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, nearly 1.5 seconds quicker than before. The GR 86 is on a new platform and has a host of chassis changes, and it only weighs about 24 pounds more than the old car.
We don’t yet know exactly how much the 2022 GR 86 will cost, but it should be just a little more expensive than the 2021 86’s $28,105 starting price. Expect the GR 86 Premium to be a few thousand dollars more. We’ll learn more about the 2022 GR 86’s pricing in the coming months before it goes on sale later this year.