We’re not sure anyone who’s driven the Toyota GT86 has gotten out of it and thought, “hmm, that needs to handle better.” But the engineers at Toyota seem to be perfectionists, because they’ve introduced quite a few different upgrades to the chassis and steering of the refreshed (and re-named) 86.
As PistonHeads reports, in the most recent running of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Toyota’s factory-backed Gazoo Racing fielded multiple 86s for testing purposes. The drivers in the race were none other than the engineers themselves. What better way to test a car’s potential than a full 24 hours of racing? Suffice it to say, the guys at Toyota got a lot of insight from the ‘Ring.
We already know about the slight power bump (about 5 more horsepower) and new looks the car is getting, but that’s not what this car’s about. The real news is in the chassis and suspension updates—the kind of fiddly little stuff that shows just how obsessive these engineers are. For 2017, Toyota’s added spot welds to the rear pillars, revised the damper valve structure, and retuned the steering for even better feedback.
In Europe, the GT86 (that’s what it’s called there) will have optional Sachs dampers for even more response, but we’re not sure whether they’ll be available in the U.S. A new steering wheel has been added, and Toyota claims it’s the smallest-diameter one it’s ever fitted to a car, at just 14.25 inches.
The dashboard has gone through a slight revamp as well. The tachometer now shows redline at the top of the circle, so it’s easier to see when you’re flat-out on track and don’t want to take your eyes too far off the racing line. Toyota has also added a TFT multi-function display on the right side of the dash, which can display oil temps, volt meters, a stopwatch, power curves, and even G-force.
It seems now the only thing that could make the GT86 better is a turbo. Please Toyota, we’ve been waiting forever!