Test Toyota GR86: – Young people do not know what they are missing out on

Many people now smoothly drop manual gears when taking the patch. Now you can get a driver’s license only for cars with automatic transmission. If you look at car sales, there are also marginal sales of cars with three pedals.

Strictly speaking, it is difficult to see the arguments for why they should need to do something as old-fashioned as push in a clucth, grab a gear lever and move it – release the clutch and accelerate.

The action itself can even be a bit difficult. Maybe you are standing on a hill and you are choking the engine – maybe the clutch is heavy or the gearbox itself is slow and imprecise. Lots of work for little use.

You who now practice practice driving may think that manual transmission is something your parents may have needed – but not you. Soon everyone will drive an electric car, no matter what.

To you I have the following appeal: Please – do not stop reading now. Because this is for you!


In an attempt to convince you that you have to take the time and effort required to learn to drive with manual transmission – I have simply taken the trip to Spain. Specifically Sevilla – and even more specifically to the Circuito Monteblanc race track.

This is where I have to test a brand new sports car – and it has a manual gearbox. The car you see in the pictures is called GR86.

If you hear some adults talk about “good old-fashioned driving pleasure”, it is often cars like this that they talk about: Rear-wheel drive, excess power, good driving characteristics, fun sound – and manual transmission.

Now you get this whole package – without the need for “old-fashioned”.

You can not have more fun with your pants on

Toyota still spends a lot of resources on making cars that are solely about driving pleasure. GR86 is perhaps the very best example of that.

Okidoki til waku doki

Not everyone is aware that Toyota is good at making cars that go fast. We are used to Yaris, Corolla, Camry and RAV4. Not exactly cars that make your blood boil.

But the fact is that Toyota is the reigning champions of the World Rally Championship (WRC), Dakar Rally and World Endurance Championship (WEC). I myself have been to Le Mans and seen them outclass Porsche, Aston Martin and all the others.

And in recent years, the experiences they have gained have dripped down on the cars that you and I can buy. First came GT86 – then came GR Supra. Eventually we also got the GR Yaris.

And now we have a new member. GT86 has been replaced – by GR86. GR stands for Gazoo Racing – the name Toyota uses in motorsport.

And now you will learn something new. Toyota has its own concept for driving pleasure: Waku Doki! Their GR cars should have an abundance of waku doki.

Okidoi, we say to that!

This has been long awaited by many

Good is not good enough

With the newcomer, Toyota has done some of what many have called for with its predecessor. It has gained more power. 200 horsepower has become 234. In addition, the weight has been reduced and the car has a completely new design and a fresher interior. Some might think that was enough. The driving characteristics were exceptional from before.

But that was not enough. CEO Akio Toyoda was clear:

– This should be a car that is only about driving pleasure. It should bring joy in everyday life.

And he clearly felt that there was still room for improvement. So the engineers were put to work. The chassis was adjusted and stiffened. The body was the same. The roof is made of aluminum to lower the center of gravity.

But how does it really work in practice. For that, we have come here to Circuito Monteblanc. And it is now that I must try to convey the completely unique feeling such a car – with manual transmission – can offer you.

Quite typical Toyota interior.  Mark the G-meter to the left of the tachometer.  The screen in the dashboard looks a bit retrofitted - but works fine.  Photo: Jayson Fong

Quite typical Toyota interior. Mark the G-meter to the left of the tachometer. The screen in the dashboard looks a bit retrofitted – but works fine. Photo: Jayson Fong

Get to drive on the race track – just before the world’s biggest car race


When I sit behind the wheel and let my hand rest on the gear lever, I already feel the adrenaline flowing through my body. But I’m a little excited, too. As I said: the GT86 is a great car. How should it surpass it?

Cluch in – the gear lever to the left and forward. Boys and girls in their teens, this is where you will find first gear (unless it has a so-called “dogleg” gearbox. Then first gear is to the right and down. More on that another time).

The feeling of moving the gear lever immediately gives a smile on the face. Just as precise and cash as I hoped. Almost so you just need to use your wrist.

Second gear – taste in place! More gas – new gear. Taste!

My God, I’ve missed this. I notice that it’s been too long since I’ve driven a sports car with three pedals. This is heavenly!

Here you can read that Toyota Supra also gets manual transmission

Self-breathing masterpiece

Now it should be said that it is not the gearbox alone that gives euphoric joy. The engine contributes its. The 2.4-liter that Toyota has received from Subaru is a gem. 235 horsepower does not sound like much. It’s not so much. But it’s more than before – and it’s enough to send you from a standstill to 100 km / h in less than 7 seconds. If you hit with the gears.

And when the speed reaches 4,500 rpm, it changes character. From growling to snarling – and it’s just absolutely beautiful. And it does not lose its breath until over 7,000 revolutions. It is a self-breathing masterpiece!

And to you young people who have grown up with an electric car, and do not understand a quack of self-breathing. This means that the engine is not assisted by a turbo or compressor. Why is it good? Because it gives a very linear distribution of forces. The result is that the 235 horsepower is easy to portion – and which in turn makes it easier to turn off the anti-spin system and operate (lying sideways in the turns, editor’s note).

Video: See how it went when we tested Supra on the LeMans track!

You can get the GR86 with automatic transmission, too.  But do you really want to swap some of what makes the car so insanely fun?  Photo: Jayson Fong

You can get the GR86 with automatic transmission, too. But do you really want to swap some of what makes the car so insanely fun? Photo: Jayson Fong

Value for your money

On the track we really get chased GR86 both through the turns and on the long side. But is clearly the best in the turns. And it’s just a matter of time: This car is a party!

And believe it or not: The raisin in the sausage itself is the manual gearbox.

It’s hard to describe in words on a screen. But you can take a look at the video at the top of the case, so maybe it will be easier to understand.

Toyota has done it again: Made a hysterically fun car, which should be achievable for most people.

The price will be around 600,000 kroner. We should not pretend that there is not a lot of money. But do you get more driving pleasure for the money elsewhere? Let me save you wasted time – because the answer is no. And here I am not open to debate.

And finally, dear young readers. If my attempt to convince you here is not enough – find a Toyota dealer, ask nicely if you can borrow a GR86 (it will come this summer). If those you talk to are skeptical, feel free to greet me. Say that it is about bringing the understanding of driving pleasure on to new generations.

See the full video test of the Toyota GR86 at the top of the article.

Toyota GR86

Engine and performance:

Engine: 2.4-liter petrol, boxer engine

Effect: 234 hk / 250 Nm

0-100 km/t: 6,3 sek.

Top speed: 226 km / h

Consumption (WLTP): Not clear

Dimensions, weight and volume:

Length x width x height: 4265 x 1775 x 1310 cm

Luggage compartment: 226 liters

Weight: 1,275 kg

Trailer weight: 0 kg

Rigging: 0 kg


Around 600,000 kroner

Video: This winter we got to play with the Toyota GR Yaris on the ice:

Read the test of the super fun Toyota GT86 here

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