The Toyota 86 has been something of a Godsend for the brand. After many, many years without anything lustworthy, the little 86 has kept the petrolheads happy. For 2014, there have been some upgrades fitted to the little sports car, including a wicked bodykit. We spent a week with the 2014 Toyota 86 Limited Edition.
Since the Supra, Celica and MR2, there hasn't really been a two-door sportscar from Toyota in ages. Then the 86 came along and changed all of that. It ticked all the boxes of performance, looks and outright enjoyment, and while I didn't get to drive the first generation, I did spend a few quality days with its Subaru sibling, the BRZ.
At first glance, the 2014 Toyota 86 immediately polarised opinions. Its bodykit is loud, proud and screams 'Look at me!' Many stared in shock and disbelief as this winged warrior drove past. Personally I loved it. If you're wanting a toy that's hilariously eye-catching, then this limited edition kit is for you.
Power and engineThe engine remains unchanged for 2014. There's a 2.0-litre flat-four naturally aspirated motor (co-developed by Subaru) and it has 147 kW and 205 Nm on tap. The car isn't about 0-100 kph sprints, but if you're a robot racer you'll see the benchmark time come up in about eight seconds.
Straight-line performance isn't great and the 2014 Toyota 86 will struggle against drag specialists like the Volkswagen Polo GTI, with its ultra quick twin-clutch gearbox. It annoyed me, but at the end of the day put a hot hatch against the 86 on a mountain pass and you'll be having loads more fun in the winged warrior.
FeaturesDespite it being a tiny toy belonging in a badly-dubbed Japanese movie, it still comes fitted with numerous convenience features like USB/Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen infotainment, keyless entry, start button, daytime running lights, heated sports seats and climate control. Did I mention the interior has numerous splashes of red too? Safety comes from seven airbags as well as a form of traction control. If you want the back of the rear-wheel drive Toyota 86 to step out, then even more entertainment is just a push of a button away.
The DriveSomething this good looking has to be great to drive, yes? Yes! With rear-wheel drive, a rev happy engine and a six-speed manual gearbox, the 2014 Toyota 86 Limited Edition is a hands-on driving machine. Driving is no longer a commute from home to office when you're behind the wheel of one of these. Few cars are this involving.
Thanks to its exceptionally thin tyres, you can have some fun with the 86. Without too much effort, you can indulge in some oversteer that never feels out of control. Be warned, you'll need new rear tyres quite often if you decide that sideways driving should happen on a daily basis.
SummaryThe wing and bodykit may not be to everyone's taste, but the appeal and fun factor is undeniably cool. It loves to be driven hard and you don't need to take it to high speeds to enjoy yourself. The 2014 Toyota 86 brings smiles and happiness whether you're behind the wheel, in the passenger seat or just watching it drive past. Sure, it's not the fastest thing in a straight line, but it's untouchable for outright fun behind the wheel.
There are just 86 of these limited edition winged models being made available, excluding the red one you see here which is Toyota's marketing car. There's no shortage of normal versions, which offer the same thrill and engine for R329 700.
Second OpinionThe Toyota 86 is the perfect vehicle to enter the realm of rear-wheel drive. As a starter car to bigger things, it offers maximum thrills at minimum cost. The new trim and Limited Edition kit resembles a 'Tokyo Drift' car that might appeal to some. -Ashley Oldfield
2014 Toyota 86 Limited Edition quick specs
|Price||R376 100 (Range starts at R329 700)|
|Engine||Two-litre 4-cylinder petrol|
|0-100km/h||7.6 seconds (claimed)|
|Fuel economy||7.8 l/100 km (claimed)|
We dislike: . The wing could be considered too much for some. . Not the fastest thing in a straight line