But it still doesn't give the Toyota 86 a long-overdue power upgrade, sadly.
While we wait for the all-new Toyota 86 to arrive, the Japanese automaker is going to keep churning out special edition versions of its popular sports car – and the 2019 model will be no different. According to order books uncovered by CarsDirect, Toyota will introduce a new TRD Special Edition version of the 86 for the 2019 model year, adding a raft of upgrades and a more aggressive look aimed at hardcore enthusiasts. Unlike other trims that will offer a six-speed automatic, the TRD SE 86 will only come with a six-speed manual transmission.
It will also feature Brembo brakes, SACHS dampers and a TRD exhaust. To complement the added performance, a TRD body kit will give the 86 a racier appearance combined with a three-piece spoiler, and 18-inch split-spoke wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires. A distinctive tricolor TRD graphic will also adorn the side of the car, but we’ll have to wait for the official announcement to see if it enhances the look of the 86. The special edition model will only be available in Raven black with a red & black interior. Red seatbelts, red contrast stitching, and a TRD logo stitched onto the passenger's side instrument panel round off the visual changes.
Unfortunately, the TRD Special Edition won’t silence critics who think the Toyota 86 could do with a power bump, because it still has the same Subaru-sourced 2.0-liter flat-4 engine as other models that produce 205 horsepower. All these extra goodies will also cost you a premium. Starting at $33,340 including the destination charge, the TRD Special Edition will be the most expensive model to date, costing $3,800 more than a 2018 86 GT model and $6,000 more than the base model. You’ll still be able to buy the base and GT trims for the 2019 model year, though. If you’re still waiting for the next-generation 86, don't hold your breath as it isn’t expected to arrive until 2021.
Just this week, Toyota also announced the Japan-only 86 GR Sport boasting a very similar set of upgrades including a front splitter, aerodynamic side skirts and 17-inch aluminum wheels, as well as GR badging. And just like the TRD, there are no power upgrades either. Unlike the TRD, however, it will be available in three colors, but there's a good chance this will be the US equivalent of the Japanese Toyota 86 GR Sport.