- Video Test Drive: See Why the 2020 Toyota 86 GT is a Blast to Drive on the Limit Around NCM Motorsports Park
Video Test Drive: See Why the 2020 Toyota 86 GT is a Blast to Drive on the Limit Around NCM Motorsports Park
This week, pro racer Andy Pilgrim finds out just what Toyota’s entry-level sports car can do around a racetrack.
If it's Tuesday, it's time for another new episode of Pro Racer's Take, straight from the NCM Motorsports Park road course in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Last week's season premiere showcased the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo; this week, we come back down the price ladder and put ace driver Andy Pilgrim behind the wheel of the 2020 Toyota 86 GT coupe.
The Toyota 86—formerly known as the Scion FR-S when it originally debuted for 2012 alongside its sibling, the Subaru BRZ—has been one of our favorite reasonably priced enthusiast cars for a long time. In an era when relatively affordable, rear-wheel-drive, manual-transmission sports cars have gone almost extinct, it scores at least a few points for merely existing at all. That said, both it and the BRZ at times anymore feel almost like forgotten cars, at least until you get behind the wheel again and remind yourself what it's all about.
Pure fun is the name of the game, along with a still-sharp exterior design. The 2020 Toyota 86 GT features Subaru's 2.0-liter boxer-four 4 engine which produces 205 horsepower and 156-lb-ft of torque, so it's certainly not a car that gets by on sheer grunt. But thanks to its light curb weight of roughly 2,800 pounds, and a precisely controlled chassis and suspension setup, the 86 impressed us.
Indeed, if the Toyota is short on power, it still qualifies as a true driver's car. Our test vehicle arrived with the optional handling package, which includes Sachs dampers, Brembo brakes, a TRD rear anti-roll bar, and TRD exhaust. The latter makes the flat-four engine sound rather strong to our ears, and along with the car's notchy six-speed manual gearbox, it adds to the overall experience. The 2020 Toyota 86 GT certainly isn't for everyone, but for a particular type of driver, it's a fantastic prescription for everyday automotive boredom.
So, take a look at how the 2020 Toyota 86 GT performed in Pilgrim's hands, and visit www.proracerstake.com for all previous episodes, onboard videos, and lap times—and be sure to come back every Tuesday for our latest Pro Racer's Take test session.