CarAdvice took out the new 2016 Toyota 86 Blackline Edition for a spin and had an in-depth look at what is on offer. Only 450 cars, of which 200 automatics and 250 manuals are being manufactured and they are being released in celebration of the local division’s new Toyota 86 Racing Series, which launches at Winton Raceway on May 20.
There’s reasonably good initial bite though, which again, means drivers can finely adjust the amount of weight over the front and rear wheels. And really, it’s the Toyota 86’s finite adjustability that makes it so good. That, and its high levels of communication.
A key player here is the 86’s smartly weighted and terrifically responsive steering. Not too light and not overly heavy, the Toyota’s well balanced steering proves that weight doesn’t necessarily mean accuracy – a point many other manufacturers should take heed of.
Apart from being great for lining up and hitting apexes, steering this immediate is also pretty bloody handy when needing to quickly steer around debris on the road or even avoid stray wildlife.
Feeling light and nimble through corners, the 1275kg rear-drive Toyota is chuckable and fun, but also precise. And while the standard 215mm-wide 45-profile Michelin Primacy HP tyres don’t provide as much grip as you may want – and the suspension does have some roll – the 86 remains a great car to learn about driving and vehicle dynamics in.
It’s a car that teaches you about good lines and committing to corners, about rhythm and weight transition, and about correct gear selection and braking markers.
The question is, if the standard car offers you all of these crucial elements, which it does, then is the Blackline Edition, which at its core is identical, worth its extra $2000 over the GTS and $8000 over the base GT?