Despite near-universal cries for more power, the Toyota 86 has always been about balance and handling. That philosophy continues with the introduction of the 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition, which receives goodies to improve handling and braking but no significant power bump.
We had heard last year that Toyota would bring upgrades from its Gazoo Racing sub-brand to the U.S. under the TRD banner, which might explain why some of the items on the TRD Special Edition’s parts list sound familiar. The TRD model’s performance highlights include new Sachs dampers tuned for steering response and stability, Brembo brakes measuring 12.8 inches in the front and 12.4 inches in the rear, and new 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/40R-size Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires all around.
The model also gets a unique body kit, TRD exhaust with stainless steel tips, a smaller-diameter red and black steering wheel with red contrast stitching, red and black sport seats, red seat belts, and the TRD logo embroidered on the passenger-side dashboard. The TRD Special Edition will be offered exclusively in Raven black, a hue that’s contrasted by TRD’s heritage colors that appear as stripes along the sides.
Like all 86 coupes, the TRD packs a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four that produces 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. The special model can be had with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, though you’ll lose 5 hp and 5 lb-ft going with the automatic. The TRD gets the same 4.2-inch TFT display as the 86 GT, which can bring up performance instruments like a G-meter, stopwatch, coolant and oil temperature gauges, and graphs showing horsepower and torque curves.
Production of the TRD Special Edition will be limited to 1,418 units. The 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition starts at $33,340, including destination, and goes on sale in August.