2016 Toyota 86 Blackline Edition Road Test and Review.
Toyota’s much loved 86 has been given some special treatment to celebrate the announcement of the new Toyota 86 Racing Series.
Modelled on similar overseas formulas, the series is set to compete at five V8 Supercars rounds including Sandown and Bathurst, and kicks off in May with $125,000 prize pool.
It’s designed to be a grassroots series that encourages driver development, and in the scheme of things, is relatively affordable at $80,000 for a race ready car and all the equipment.
Drivers need to have a current CAMS license, expressions of interest are still open to teams, although time is fast running out.
The road going car that celebrates the racing series is the Toyota 86 Blackline Edition, and is limited to just 450 examples. Priced from $37,990 for the 250 available manuals, and $40,490 for the 200 automatic variants before on road costs, it’s a $2000 premium over the standard Toyota 86 GTS.
Sporting a distinctive body kit sourced from Toyota‘s motorsport partner TRD, the Blackline gets a front spoiler, side skirts, three-piece rear spoiler, rear lower bumper and some look at me black stripes on the roof and bonnet, which is how the Blackline gets its name.
Available only in white it’s a good looking unit with gloss black 17 inch alloys, auto-levelling HID headlamps, front foglamps, LED daytime running lamps and keyless smart entry as standard equipment.
Inside there’s splashes of red everywhere. Red on the leather-accented seats with Alcantara inserts, red on the steering wheel, gearshift knob, handbrake lever and door grips…and it actually looks pretty good.
There’s some cool scuff plates with stainless-steel inserts, and some racy looking aluminium pedals.
All the usual standard equipment from the garden variety 86’s is there; seven air-bags, reverse camera, cruise control, stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes and a multi-information display.
There’s a fiddly 6.1-inch touch screen that displays satellite navigation and audio controls which can prove to be a challenge to operate at times due to the tiny buttons.
The low slung Toyota 86 Blackline can be a challenge to get into and out of, and there’s not a lot of space in the back, but the 86 is all about the drive, and once you get motoring you’ll forgive any shortcomings in the space department.
The Toyota 86 is a lesson in brilliant engineering.
The rear wheel drive Toyota 86 is powered by a Subaru sourced 2.0 litre naturally aspirated flat four cylinder, power is modest at 147kW and 205Nm.
It’s far from a ball of fire, but with the redline at 7500rpm, the little Toyota loves to rev and it sounds fantastic. It’s an engine that loves to be worked, and it gets considerably angrier when the revs rise above 4000rpm.
The Toyota 86 will hit 100km/h in a respectable 7.6 seconds.
The manual gearchange has a rifle bolt like action and is an absolute joy thanks to its very mechanical feel. The steering in the 86 is about as good as it gets, responsive and delivering truckloads of feedback.
The suspension tune is firm but far from bone shattering. There’s virtually no body roll and the 86 excels in changing direction at speed. The rear wheel drive gives the 86 a go-kart like feel, and it’s a car you drive as much with your backside as you do with your hands.
It’s back to basics motoring which proves that a satisfying drive experience is not always about power. The Toyota 86 is addictive, engaging and brilliant fun to live with. The Blackline Edition just adds to the appeal.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Toyota 86 Blackline Edition
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol developing 147kW and 205Nm
Transmission: Six-Speed manual or six-Speed Automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: from $37,990 manual and $40,490 auto