The automaker also announced some cool Gazoo Racing upgrades.
Just a couple of months back, the Toyota GR 86 was finally revealed, but it came much later than the supposedly identical Subaru BRZ that premiered way back in November of last year. We ran a comparison story on the two cars, trying to pick them apart, but without having driven either at the time, it was tricky to tell how they differed. Fortunately, we now have some clarity on the changes made. Remember when every publication compared the new Supra to the "mechanically identical" BMW Z4, and yet the Supra came out on top in almost every metric? That's because Toyota tuned some things itself, and the same has happened again with the GR 86.
According to Toyota's chief engineer Yasunori Suezawa, the cars were never meant to be radically different: "Initially, we were trying to realize the driving taste for both GR 86 and BRZ, only by differentiating the specifications of the absorber setting and power steering setting." However, Toyota got carried away, and before it knew it, the GR 86 had gained unique front knuckles, stabilizers, bushings, springs, and even ECU software. Suezawa says that the approach of each company was ultimately slightly different, with Subaru focusing on comfort more and Toyota choosing to refine engine response. As a result, Suezawa says both cars have exceptional handling but also their own "unique taste in response and power."
Now, as for the Gazoo Racing parts, we knew that we'd be seeing something coming out of Toyota's skunkworks division soon, as the sub-brand gave the GR 86 a wild makeover just a couple of weeks back. Of course, the parts we'll get aren't quite as extreme (at least, not yet), and include a "GR 86 logoed rear bumper applique", as well as bronze 17-inch wheels, forged 18-inch wheels in black, gloss black fender vent inserts, vinyl decals for the sides of the car, and branded all-weather floor mats.
We're just toying with you - there are some really cools bits too, including a cat-back exhaust system with black chrome tips, a cold air intake with a performance air filter, a quick shifter, a unique shift knob, a strut brace and stabilizer bars, and upgraded brake pads. Pricing has not yet been announced, but all of these things are for the US market, so keep an eye out at your local dealer.