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Toyota GT86 TRD officially launched

All show and no go?...

Toyota has officially launched the GT86 TRD in the UK, limited to just 250 units. Featuring a raft of styling changes and unfortunately not a lot else, this special run of GT86s appears to be a case of all show and no go.

One of the key features of the GT86 is the handling balance afforded by the low weight, skinny tyres and rear wheel drive chassis. With only 200 bhp it was never going to set the world on fire performance-wise, but Toyota made big claims about this being all about sweet handling and uncorrupted steering.

So this new TRD version confuses us somewhat, as all it seems to add is some styling bits and a set of bigger, gripper wheels without any more performance. Those wheels will just give more grip, meaning the handling balance won’t be as sweet. Very odd.

What the styling pack brings is a new lower front bumper extension with a splitter, new side skirts and a rear bumper featuring a diffuser and quad exit exhaust system. The new design of alloy wheels are 18-inch in size, wearing wider tyres. Inside there is a TRD branded gear stick.

Being based on the top spec GT86, the TRD model is very highly specified, with HID headlights, Limited Slip Differential, keyless entry, dual zone climate control, sports seats, cruise control and Toyota’s touchscreen satnav system.

This partly goes towards explaining the GT86 TRD’s high price tag, but far from justifies it. There were two key complaints with the GT86 at launch – lack of power and high price. This does nothing for the former, and increases the latter to the tune of £31,495 for the manual and £32,995 for the automatic.

They will undoubtedly sell, but for us the extra £4000 over the normal model would go on a Supercharger system and a set of nicer wheels.

Images courtesy of Toyota

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more