We Britons love a bargain. So it should come as little surprise that Toyota’s £30,000 GR86 coupe – dubbed its new ‘affordable sports car’ – has sold out within 90 minutes of going on sale in the UK.
The entire UK allocation of vehicles sold out within an hour and a half of order books opening last Wednesday, the Japanese brand confirmed.
Petrol heads have been eager to get their hands on the eagerly anticipated model, which looks set to be one of the last in a dying breed of sub-£30k sports cars as manufacturers continue their transition away from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles.
The GR86 has been developed by Toyota’s racing division, features a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre flat-four petrol engine producing 232bhp and can accelerate to 62mph in just 6.3 seconds.
Sold out in 90 minutes: Toyota’s new GR86 sports car (pictured) went on sale in the UK last week. It sold out in the same amount of time as a football match
Toyota says customers who missed out on placing an order last week have been given the opportunity to join a waiting list for any cancellations.
However, this is unlikely given the unprecedented demand and likelihood of the cars quickly being offered on the used market at marked-up prices, with some of those fortunate enough to secure one of the UK allocation tempted to flip their GR86 for a healthy profit on the £29,995 price paid.
Places on the waiting list are linked to the time at which they signed to join the order list exclusively online, so the ‘first come, first served’ principle is maintained – meaning those putting their name down today will probably have zero chance of getting their hands on a set of keys.
The manufacturer says the overwhelming response to the GR86 ‘reflects the hugely enthusiastic reception given to early prototypes by the UK’s automotive media and customers’ desire not to miss out on what will be a comparatively rare car’.
It’s not clear how many were available for British customers to order.
The limited availability of the two-plus-two coupe is also a massive driving factor for its rapid sell out.
The production run for Europe is limited to just two years and, as Toyota made clear from the outset, ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’.
The GR86 coupe’s £29,995 asking price has seen it dubbed the new ‘affordable sports car’. The UK allocation of models were bought out within an hour and a half of order books opening
Toyota says customers who missed out on placing an order last week have been given the opportunity to join a waiting list for any cancellations
However, this is unlikely given the unprecedented demand and likelihood of the cars quickly being offered on the used market with some customers flipping their GR86 for a profit
Mark Roden, Toyota GB’s operations director, said: ‘The phenomenal response to GR86 is a sign of how it is fulfilling its role as a thoroughbred sports car that’s affordable as well as thrilling to drive.
‘Our Gazoo Racing-engineered models – GR Supra and GR Yaris – have generated an exceptional buzz with their competition-tuned performance and handling, helping raise expectations of what GR86 will deliver.’
Fans of the Japanese brand who might be miffed at missing out of the GR86 will have another opportunity to own a GR coupe soon, with a manual version of the GR Supra set to be made available to order this year.
However, priced from around £50,000, it won’t have the same ‘affordable’ tag as its smaller sister model.
The GR86 replaces the outgoing GT86, which first launched in 2013. The looks have been updated with a new headlight and daytime running light arrangement and wide front bumper intake
Toyota GR86 – what are you getting for £30,000?
The new GR86 will complete the trio of exciting motors, and it will be the cheapest with a starting price of £29,995, which undercuts both the £31,170 GR Yaris and £47,505 GR Supra.
While £30,000 is certainly no small amount of money, in a sports car context it’s a steal.
Will it fit in my garage? Toyota GR86
On sale: SOLD OUT
Price: from £29,995
Doors: 2 Seats: 4
Height: 1,310mm inc. antenna/ 1,280mm (without antenna)
Kerb weight: 1,270kg
Engine: 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol
Drivetrain: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
0-62mph: 6.3 seconds
Suspension: Front MacPherson strut, Rear Double wishbone
Brakes: Ventilated discs
It undercuts the most basic Porsche 718 Cayman by £16,500 – and has two additional seats.
Toyota says the new GR86 will inherit the ‘essential fun-to-drive characteristics’ of the GT86 it replaces, which was launched in 2013 and went on to amass more than 200,000 worldwide sales.
It is expected to be the lightest four-seater coupe in its class, thanks to weight-saving initiatives such as using aluminium for the roof and body panels.
Like the GT86 it has superseded, it will share its chassis with the new Subaru BRZ as well as the same engine: a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated flat-four ‘boxer’ unit.
While images and performance figures for the European market has yet to be released, Japanese versions will produce 232bhp and 250Nm of torque (some 35bhp and 45Nm more than the GT86), with the naturally-aspirated engine revving to 7,400rpm.
It will come as standard across all markets with a six-speed manual gearbox – which was one of the standout features of the GT86 – or the option of upgrading to an auto transmission.
Both send power only to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential.
From a standing start, it is claimed to be capable of hitting 62mph in 6.3 seconds, which shaves 1.1 seconds off the sprint time of the model it replaces.
Toyota says the chassis is very much based on the one underpinning the GT86 but with more strengthening panels and stronger bonding techniques to improve the body shell’s stiffness, thus sharpening up the handling.
At the back, the chunky rear bumper incorporates a new diffuser and twin exhaust outlets
The new GR86 uses a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated flat-four ‘boxer’ unit that produces 232bhp and 250Nm of torque (some 35bhp and 45Nm more than the GT86), with the naturally-aspirated engine revving to 7,400rpm
That means the dimensions are almost identical to the predecessor but rigidity is improved 50 per cent.
The kerb weight is unchanged from the previous model at 1,270kg.
While mechanically there are a lot of similarities, on the face of things the GR86 looks quite different to its GT86 counterpart.
Gazoo Racing, which has a background in everything from the World Rally Championship to World Endurance series, has tweaked the styling, including a refreshed headlight and daytime running light arrangement up front and a chunkier bumper at the rear that also houses a diffuser and a pair of exhaust outlets.
Out goes the relatively poor infotainment system in the GT86 and in its place is a new eight-inch touchscreen, which compliments a completely digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel
A six-speed manual gearbox will be available as standard. This was one of the best features of the GT86
Like the outgoing GT86, the Toyota GR86 will be mechanically the same as a sister Subaru BRZ model
Like the GT86, it’s a two-plus-two sports car, though with limited legroom in the back that won’t be suitable for adults for long journeys.
Out goes the relatively poor infotainment system in the GT86 and in its place is a new eight-inch touchscreen, which compliments a completely digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.