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The Toyota GT86 is finally in South Africa. If you're a bit confused, Toyota South Africa opted to name their compact rear-wheel drive sports car - the 86 - when it debuted in South Africa back in 2012.

Whereas it is known as the GT86 in many international markets, Toyota SA has finally decided to rename the car, and with it, incorporate a range of updates, whilst wilting the line-up down from 3 variants to a single high-spec variant. The sole model in the line-up is a manual equipped GT86, while power from its naturally aspirated 2.0-litre 4-cylinder boxer motor remains unchanged at 147kw and 205nm. It is mated to a 6-speed close ratio transmission sending power to a Limited Slip Differential equipped rear transaxle.

Much like the US-spec TRD variant, it gains new bigger Brembo brakes, and SACHS performance dampers, which are said to improve handling stability and responsiveness. The brake upgrade consists of high performance ventilated rotors measuring 326mm x 30mm at the front and 316 x 20mm at the rear (compared to 294mm x 24mm and 290mm x 18 mm for the standard ‘High-grade’ model). In conjunction with the larger brake rotors, the calipers’ swept area increases by 38% and 6% for the front and rear respectively.

Exterior changes include a black boot spoiler and side-mirrors, as well as new black 17-inch alloy wheels. While Metallic black has been dropped from the offered colours, a striking new ‘Bright Blue’ colour option has been added to the range, which maximizes curb appeal and offsets the black trim detail particularly well. Other colour options include Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver metallic, Dark Grey metallic, Pure Red and Lapis Blue Pearl.

As expected, standard specification is comprehensive and includes full LED lighting elements (headlights, taillights and fog lamps), keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, seat heating, Alcantara seat -and door trim and TFT multi-information display with digital gauge read out.

A newly fitted touchscreen infotainment system occupies the dashboard – complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Show Plus functionality. This allows users to ‘mirror’ apps on their smartphone and stream both music - and navigation services from apps such as Spotify, Apple Music and Waze, to the vehicle’s audio screen. In addition, on-board Satellite Navigation is included as standard.

The GT86 is priced at R575 000, and includes a 3-year/100 000km warranty and 4-year/60 000km service plan.

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