Heels & Horsepower Magazine

4 Awesome things we look forward to experiencing in the all-new Toyota GR 86

The all-new Toyota GR 86, which made its world debut today is the third model in the global GR portfolio, joining the widely acclaimed GR Supra and GR Yaris.

Before you get too excited, the first thing you ought to know is that the GR 86 is only set to launch locally in Q1 of 2022; so there’s no need to start reconfiguring your household budget – just yet. In fact, we don’t have the pricing of the new sports car but we’ll certainly share that critical tidbit as soon as we have it. Bar pricing, here’s what we do know and our top-4 reasons to be thrilled about.

  1. We can’t wait to plant our manicured feet on its (gas) pedal! Similar to its predecessor, we expect that the GR 86 will remain faithful to its revered fun-to-drive characteristics. Powered by a new, lightweight, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder engine, the incoming GR 86 will be propelled by a four-cylinder, 2.4-litre engine, producing 173kW and 250Nm. This is a step up from the 2.0-litre unit found in its predecessor.
  2. We can’t wait to turn heads in it! The GR 86 retains the dimensions of the GT86, meaning it will be drop dead sexy and impossible to miss. Apart from being incredibly good-looking, the GR 86 will maintain a low centre of gravity allowing for agile handling. Coupled with increased torsional rigidity (increased by approximately 50%) the GR 86 will deliver even sharper handling and steering. For drivers who have attended more than one advanced driving course, this means taking curves will be an adrenalin inducing experience.
  3. We can’t wait to get into ‘girl-racer’ mode! Thanks to the GT86’s proven motorsport track record – pun intended – the GR 86 will feature functional aerodynamic components, most notable being the front air ducts and side-rocker panels. These should aid the sports car to achieve expected best in-class handling and stability.
  4. We can’t wait to test its suitability to everyday driving! The GR 86 is expected to the the lightest four-seater coupe in its class, thanks to weight-saving initiatives such as the use of aluminum for the roof and body panels. We anticipate that this will result in lower fuel consumption figures. Of course the amount of pressure applied to the gas pedal might cancel that out, a trait which will be more about the driver than the design of the vehicle!

The Toyota GT86, which was launched in 2012, went on to find more than 200,000 homes globally. If Toyota has retained the authentic driver feel of their newest sports car, and have not saturated the all-new GR 86 with countless driver (aka nanny) aids, the GR 86 should do just as well if not better than its outdated sibling.


Toyota Yaris Named 2021 European Car Of The Year

The all-new Toyota Yaris has been named the 2021 European Car of Year.

Selected by a jury of 59 automotive journalists from across Europe, the fourth generation Yaris receives the award 21 years after the innovative first generation model was given the honour, in 2000. Since then, Yaris has been consistently recognised by the Car of Year judges, with each new generation of the car making the award’s shortlist.

This year the jury praised Yaris’s hybrid electric technology for its smooth driving, low emissions and accessible price point, illustrating why more than 80 per cent of European Yaris customers choose the hybrid powertrain. In the UK, Yaris is an all-hybrid model range.


Yaris was also recognised for its design, dynamic performance and class-leading safety. Furthermore, the jury particularly appreciated Toyota’s success in re-igniting passion for the hot hatch market across Europe with the launch of the GR Yaris.

While the fourth generation (European) Yaris is not currently available in South Africa, the exhilarating GR Yaris will join the local line-up in June this year. The GR-variant builds upon the core competencies of this award winning hatchback and offers a nostalgic throwback to the adrenaline-infused turbo AWD cars of the 90’s.

The 2021 European Car of the Year award comes just a few days after new Yaris became the best-selling car in Europe for the first time, a clear sign that customers agree with the jury’s opinion. Toyota has won the European Car of the Year award three times: the first generation Yaris in 2000; the second generation Prius in 2005; and now the fourth generation Yaris in 2021.