Together with the new-generation Toyota GR86 highway automotive launched in 2022, there’s additionally a spanking new race automotive model that can fill the 34-car TGRA 86 Collection grid in 2024 – and we acquired to pattern it at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Similar to the highway automotive, the visible modifications between the present Toyota 86 racer and the all-new GR86 model are delicate at finest, apart from the actual fact the brand new automotive will get a bigger, extra highly effective 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder Boxer engine, similar to the road-going model.
To get to full race spec, the automobiles arrive from the manufacturing facility in highway automotive trim at Neal Bates Motorsport, the place they’re stripped out and the massive activity to create a aggressive circuit racer begins.
Despite the fact that Neal Bates admits each outdated and new variations of the Toyota race automotive are comparable, he informed us the brand new TGRA 86 has extra energy (up 10kW to 180kW).
“The brand new automotive has fairly a bit extra go, and there’s no traction management or choice to have it, so they’re fairly energetic and the additional punch and torque out of the corners is appreciable over the outdated automotive.”
I’m fairly certain Neal was attempting to scare the choose few media chosen to check the automotive with that bit about being further energetic and no traction management. And to some extent it labored, however for the actual fact we have been afforded only one lap within the pilot’s seat, pretty much as good as that was.
Nonetheless, the automotive appeared to have a great deal of grip and rock-solid stability, even on the restrict, as Zach Bates proved later within the day, this time with me driving shotgun.
Curiously, the six-speed handbook gearbox is totally unchanged from the usual unit within the highway automotive, though we’re informed the flywheel is lighter, which provides the clutch a barely totally different really feel as I found on my one-and-only lap of the total circuit.
Electrical energy steering is a part of the usual steering system from the road-going GR86, too, and it’s comfortably mild weighted.
So far as the construct goes, as soon as the automobiles are stripped there’s a full-size roll-cage put in and painted with the primary bars measuring 40mm, earlier than a set of headers are added to the ‘Management TGRA 86’ exhaust system. The GR86 racer additionally makes use of a Motec M150 energy administration system ECU, in addition to a C125 sprint (show) and information logger – each are sequence management models.
The entrance and rear suspension programs are impartial MacPherson struts utilizing MCA shock absorbers and is derived, whereas brakes are courtesy of AP Racing utilizing the identical 330mm x 28mm entrance slotted discs with four-piston calipers and 316mm x 20mm rear slotted discs with two-piston calipers because the earlier model.
Like nearly all elements on the brand new GR86 race automotive, the wheel and tyre package deal are management models, that includes Italian-made OZ Racing 18-inch x 8-inch on all corners, shod with Dunlop Direzza Z3 all-weather tyres. There aren’t any particular ‘moist’ tyres like many different racing sequence use – retains the prices down.
Not solely is the one-make 86 race sequence into its eighth yr as a help class for the top-billed V8 Supercars class, Toyota has additionally initiated a brand new second-tier Scholarship Collection in reply to unprecedented demand from new groups and drivers trying to line up on what was already a full grid.
The brand new sequence which has already kicked off as a part of three pre-qualifying rounds, makes use of the identical Toyota GR86 race automotive because the function sequence automobiles for what must be extra of a few of the closest wheel-to-wheel racing within the nation.
How a lot does the Toyota TGRA86 price?
The brand new TGRA 86 race automotive offered as a full turnkey package deal by Neal Bates Motorsport for $89,990 (no on-roads right here, of us).
It’s one of many most cost-effective (if not the most cost-effective) racing sequence in Australia.
What’s the Toyota TGRA86 like on the within?
It’s a good match for anybody not carrying a six pack, and I don’t imply the beverage type.
The complete roll cage stretches to all 4 corners with the primary bars measuring 44mm thick, so you actually should be versatile sufficient to contort your self or be a form changer in an effort to drop into the full-blown Racetech bucket.
And then you definately’ll must do all of it once more with the four-point racing harness. In any other case, it’s an excellent seat and completely mounted behind the three-spoke, Alcantara-wrapped Sabelt steering wheel.
A lot of the dashboard from the GR86 highway automotive stays, however there’s a small Motec driver’s show and information logger mounted in entrance of the usual instrument show.
The infotainment display has additionally been changed with a panel containing a number of key buttons and switches together with the grasp change, alarm, show mode and pit lane velocity limiter.
You’ve nonetheless acquired each instrument stalks, a leather-wrapped handbrake lever, HVAC dials, begin/cease button and commonplace gear shifter. There are door trims too, however they’re light-weight models.
And, that’s about it.
What’s below the bonnet of the Toyota TGRA86?
It’s a 2.4-litre four-cylinder Boxer engine out of the usual GR86 highway automotive, making 180kW of energy and 250Nm of torque despatched solely to the rear wheels via the usual six-speed handbook gearbox.
Whereas we don’t but know the ultimate weight of the GR86 Race Automobile, anticipate it to be considerably lower than the highway automotive, and due to this fact faster than its 0-100km/h dash time of 6.3 seconds. Definitely it felt method sooner proper from the get-go.
How does the Toyota TGRA86 drive?
The Racetech bucket seat doesn’t slide in any respect, so other than needing to stretch my legs out greater than I might usually want to succeed in the pedals, it was completely snug as soon as I prolonged the steering wheel attain nearer to me.
After that, it’s merely a matter of flicking the grasp change on, earlier than hitting the beginning button.
Successfully, it’s similar to driving the highway automotive – solely it’s so a lot better, with infinitely extra suggestions, directness and response to the pedals and steering wheel.
If solely Toyota did a ‘ClubSport’ version of the GR86 with a few of the trim eliminated to lighten it up for observe days, however with a half cage and a set of light-weight OZ wheels like these fitted on the race automotive. I reckon they’d promote like sizzling muffins, however I’d love to listen to your tackle the thought.
The very first thing you discover on firing up the four-pot motor is the additional rorty exhaust notice it makes.
Curiously, the GR86 racer solely will get a single exhaust tip as an alternative of the 2 fitted to the highway automotive. In line with Neal Bates, the automotive goes completely properly with simply the one, if not higher for my part.
It’s an ideal sound that makes the driving expertise a lot extra thrilling from the motive force’s perspective. It additionally appears to rev extra freely than the highway automotive, making mid-corner throttle changes a breeze and laying down the ability out of corners extra confidence inspiring.
Heel-and-toe shifts additionally really feel extra fluid and fewer notchy than the GR86 highway automotive, persistently too. Downshifting from fourth to second was all really easy – I can solely assume all of that is all the way down to the lighter flywheel and the additional poke of the engine all working in live performance to make the race automotive really feel decidedly sharper and significantly extra alive.
The Sabelt steering wheel seems to be and seems like an old-school Momo unit and is sheer pleasure within the fingers, whereas the steering weight itself is on the lighter aspect however very correct on the identical time. The automotive goes precisely the place you level it and could be positioned completely for smacking these apexes at SMP.
Curiously the brakes, whereas by no means massive by right this moment’s requirements, supply good pedal really feel and strong stopping energy.
Whereas outdated mate Neal Bates did an ideal job of placing some worry of the automotive’s newfound energy and liveliness into the journos, in impact the GR86 racer felt splendidly composed, responsive and fast via the corners. In no way sketchy – in actual fact, it’s one of many best race automobiles I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving.
And, that’s after solely one lap… a number of extra would have been good.
What do you get?
Toyota TGRA 86 race automotive highlights:
- Engine kind: 2.4L four-cylinder Boxer engine (commonplace OEM)
- Engine Designation: FA24
- Valve mechanism: 16-valve DOHC
- Gas system: Mixture of direct and port injection
- Displacement: 2388cc
- Bore x stroke (mm): 94.0 x 86.0
- Compression ratio: 12.5:1
- Exhaust: Management TGRA 86 Exhaust
- ECU: Motec M150 energy administration system and C125 show/logger (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Most Energy: 180kW
- Driveline kind: Rear-wheel drive
- Gearbox: 6-speed handbook (std OEM gearbox with lighter flywheel)
- Steering system: Electrical energy steering
- Entrance brakes: 330mm x 28mm slotted discs, four-piston AP Racing calipers (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Rear Brakes: 316mm x 20mm slotted discs, two-piston AP racing calipers (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Entrance suspension: Unbiased MacPherson struts with MCA shock absorbers and is derived (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Rear suspension: Unbiased MacPherson struts with MCA shock absorbers and is derived (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Wheels: OZ Racing 18-inch x 8-inch wheels (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Tyres: Dunlop Direzza Z3 (Management TGRA 86 merchandise)
- Roll cage: Management TGRA 86 roll cage
- Minimal dry weight: TBC
- Size: 4265mm
- Width: 1775mm
- Top: 1310mm
- Wheelbase: 2575mm
How a lot does the Toyota TGRA86 price to run?
Whereas we gained’t know the price of components and consumables till the 2024 TGRA 86 Racing Collection kicks off subsequent yr, nearly all of the elements are management objects that shall be used throughout each the primary area of 34 automobiles, in addition to the brand new Scholarship Collection.
So, economies of scale ought to maintain costs as little as attainable, if the worth of the automotive itself is something to go by.
CarExpert’s Tackle the Toyota TGRA86
Aside from the all-too-common problem of shoehorning myself into the racing bucket, the brand new GR86 race automotive is likely one of the best and most fulfilling full-blown race automobiles I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving.
Actually, you’ll heat to it far faster than you’d within the GR86 highway automotive – I’m not kidding. The extra energy and go feels so greater than the additional 6kW over the the road-going model on paper.
Each mechanical management is sharp and fantastically responsive, even when dialling up the smallest increments.
The throttle, steering, shift and the brakes all ship great suggestions, which makes this sequence racer such a simple automotive to drive shortly. If solely we acquired extra lap time.
Effectively executed Neal Bates and his staff, however how a couple of limited-edition light-weight ‘Clubsport’ model of the road-going GR86 for observe days and present ponies.
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MORE: Every part Toyota GR86