The Toyota 86 is truly a pure & unique driver-focused sports car. But – it’s being sabotaged by it’s own price tag. And as someone who loves the car, that frustrates me. It’s not that the price is astronomical. It’s just a tad hard to swallow when you start adding up performance numbers & price tags with the competition. And as a result… a lot of us are making the more sound/logical choice, and thus missing out on a pretty great little car.
Metaphorically, the Toyota 86 is a flower that really needs to be in a larger pot so it can grow & flourish. And when I say ‘larger pot’, I mean about a $4,000 cheaper price tag – bottom line. Because the 86 costs dollar-for-dollar as much as a Mustang GT… but gives you substantially (like, over 100) less horsepower than even a Mustang Ecoboost. There becomes a right & wrong choice financially… no matter what your heart wants. Especially when companies like Ford can’t wait to negotiate, and Toyota tends to hold more to their prices. To me, it’s not entirely fair for Toyota to put all that decision-making stress on the enthusiast. Loosen the noose a little bit!
Because the 86 is without a doubt, a fun/nimble car to drive. I’ve never heard anybody who’s driven an 86, argue that it’s not fun. I have heard people argue that it’s not powerful enough for the price. And I used to disagree & defend the 86/FRS. But the more I drive the car, the more I’ve started to agree with them. I’m getting to a point where I still love the car wholeheartedly… but it’s hard to defend the low horsepower numbers in 2018, especially when considering the un-low price competitively. I know that the 86 is not a power-hungry type of sports car, but can we all just agree that it need a little more grunt? 200hp wouldn’t be unreasonable. 1st & 2nd gear feel noticeably anemic in the current 86. 3rd & 4th start develop a rhythm & hit a sweet spot.
The way it sits now, the 86 is an excellent & timeless car… and a bargain at $23,000. But at $27,000 the Toyota 86 needs 50-to-100 more horsepower (this car was stickered at 29). Yes – I understand that the 86 is a totally unique vehicle and doesn’t share parts with its ‘performance’ counterpart… like the STs share parts with the Focus/Fiesta, or the GTI shares parts with the Golf. That’s part of what makes the 86 so cool – it’s undiluted. But the fact remains: $23,000 as it sits… or $27,000 with another hundred horsepower. That’s just kind of how I feel about it. And trust me – I want the car in my garage! But at 27,000 I’d feel like I got a little bamboozled. Especially the 1st, 2nd, 50th time mom’s minivan totally raped me off the light. When you consider the Toyota 86’s price tag, AND it’s historically quick rate of depreciation… it’s just a difficult buy.
The 86 is a pure sports car with a diehard following. We’re gonna grow old with this chassis. I just think maybe, just maybe… Toyota is putting a little too much stock in that 86 pedigree… and offering a bit too little for a bit too much.
I do however, feel it – that there is an opportunity on the horizon for a Sports Car Renaissance – with cars like the Miata and the Toyota 86. I think that as the domestic/pony cars continue to absolutely explode in horsepower… they’re becoming insanely overqualified for the speed limits. And while on one hand that’s a lotta fun… on the other hand, that a lotta juice… it gets a little caged & constricting. And I think that there’s a real opportunity for the 200-250 horsepower true sports cars to come in here & save the purity/sport of driving! Haha – can you tell I’m conflicted or what?? I can’t walk away! But Toyota’s just gotta watch that price tag with the 86… or we’re gonna end up with no more 86!