The Toyota GT86 was launched in 2012, along with its Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S siblings. Although the GT86 was only sold in Europe, both the BRZ and the FR-S arrived in the United States for the 2013 model year. All three sports cars share the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, boxer engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and enables each of the triplets to sprint from naught to 60 mph in 6.9 to 7.6 seconds, respectively. Far from being one of the fastest sports car on the market, the Toyota GT86 is definitely one of the most affordable, a feat that made it quite popular with consumers.
As we move into the 2015 model year, Toyobaru has yet to introduce the highly anticipated performance update the GT86/BRZ/FR-S dearly needs. However, the GT86 nameplate expanded to receive a brand-new member in the shape of a rally car. Yes folks, Toyota is joining the World Rally Championship with an R3-spec version of its sports car. The race-ready GT86 is not only more powerful, but lighter too, and it just fired up our enthusiasm toward a faster road-going version.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car.
The latter will reappear on the final version of the rally car, most likely with an aerodynamically optimized shape.
Although you’d normally expect a rally car to look more aggressive than its road-legal counterpart, the GT86 CS-R3 is actually nearly identical to the production coupe. Up front, only a couple of hood pins will let you know that this is no regular GT86. Other than that, the stock bumper, hood and fenders have remained unchanged. Even the standard fog lamps are still in place, while the air dam carries the same trapezoidal shape.
The scenario continues around back. The factory rear diffuser and fixed spoiler are seen on the rally car too. The only difference is that one of the two exhaust pipes is missing, but this will surely change once the prototype becomes a full-time rally car.
From the side, the GT86 CS-R3 showcases a set of white, multi-spoke, rally-spec wheels, while a couple of cameras replace the traditional side-view mirrors. The latter will reappear on the final version of the rally car, most likely with an aerodynamically optimized shape. Rounding off the Japanese rally car is a roof-mounted scoop, also a novelty when compared to the road-legal version. However, the piece appears to be missing from the final version of the coupe, at least based on the renderings provided by Toyota.
2015 Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car: Exterior Dimension
|Overall length||4,240 MM (166.92 Inches)|
|Overall width||1,775 MM (69.88 Inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,570 MM (101.18 Inches)|
|Minimum weight||1,080 KG (2,380 Lbs.)|
Interior details are not yet available, but the preliminary photos reveal a stripped-out cockpit that no longer features a rear bench. Expect most of the convenience features to disappear too, and the regular seats to be replaced by bolstered, FIA-compliant units with multi-point harnesses.
Naturally, a weight-optimized safety cage designed to meet FIA requirements is fitted to strengthen the body and provide additional protection in the unfortunate event of a crash. Short of that, we expect the interior to feature a multi-function steering wheel and basic gauges.
A racing clutch and lightweight flywheel complete the updates list for the drivetrain.
The GT86 rally car is powered by the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine found in the regular sports car. However, ECU updates provided by the company’s motorsport arm and new, racing exhaust system and manifold enable it to crank out between 240 and 250 horsepower. That’s 40 to 50 ponies more than the standard GT86, which comes with 200 horses and 151 pound-feet of twist on tap.
Toyota also dropped the regular transmission in favor of a sequential shift six-speed with a short final drive and fitted the GT86 with a limited-slip differential with variable ramp settings. A racing clutch and lightweight flywheel complete the updates list for the drivetrain. The engine draws its juice from a 75-liter safety cell.
2015 Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car: Drivetrain Specification
|Configuration||Horizontally opposed, 4-cylinder|
|Max. power (bhp)||240 – 250|
|Exhaust||HJS racing exhaust and exhaust manifold|
|Fuel tank||75-litre FT3 safety cell|
|Differential||Limited-slip with variable ramp settings|
|Final drive||Short final drive, with options|
|Clutch||Racing clutch and lightweight flywheel|
|Steering||JTEKT hydraulic power steering with short ratio|
Like any other rally car the GT86 CS-R3 comes with suspension kits developed for both tarmac and gravel racing. Larger, updated brakes have also been developed to provide aggressive stopping power, while enduring the tremendous stress of a full World Rally Championship event.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but Toyota says the GT86 CS-R3 will roll out with a sticker "comparable with other R3 cars." We’ll be back with more info as soon as we have it. The first customer rally cars will become available in kit form starting in the first quarter of 2015.
As this year’s WRC-3 season features only teams using Citroen DS3 R3 cars, the French racer is currently the only competitor Toyota will be facing in 2015. Relatively unchanged since its introduction in in 2010, the DS3 R3 is powered by the company’s proven 1.6-liter, THP engine rated at 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The added power comes from race-tuned air box, camshaft, pistons, connecting rods, exhaust and turbo systems.
The front-wheel-drive hatch uses a six-speed sequential gearbox to channel the mill’s power to the ground and a self-locking ZF differential. The front axle benefits from a McPherson-type suspension, while the rear rides on H-shaped axles. The units work in conjunction with BOS three-track adjustable shock absorbers. No less than 19 teams have been using the DS3 R3 throughout the 2014 season so far.
Gallery Citroen DS3 R3
We have been asking for Toyobaru to update the GT86/BRZ sports for over a year, but that has yet to happen as of July 2014. Sure, the CS-R3 rally car is not intended for road use, but maybe the updated four-pot will find its way into a more powerful, road-legal GT86. For now, the GT86 means nothing to the regular customers, but that could change if Toyota decides to improve on the first-gen sports car.
Meanwhile, the Japanese are aiming high in the World Rally Championship against a strong competitor that has been dominating the series for a decade now. Granted, we’re definitely excited that Toyota has decided to get back to rallying with a rear-wheel-drive vehicle in the vein of the iconic Celica.
- Updated boxer engine
- Lower curb weight
- Ready-to-race kit car
- Final product still a few months away
- Tough competition from Citroen
- No pricing yet
Gallery Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car
Toyota’s new GT86 CS-R3 rally car will make its public debut next month on the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, ninth round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship. Engineered by Toyota Motorsport (TMG), this competition version of the multi-award-winning coupe marks a return to Toyota’s rallying roots with rear-wheel drive performance that echoes the winning pedigree of the Celica TA64 Twin-cam Turbo of the 1980s.
The decision to develop the rally car amplifies Toyota’s global theme of “fun to drive, again” and its encouragement of grass-roots motorsport. Although the prototype CS-R3 is breaking cover at a high-profile WRC event, the finished car will be available as a cost-effective competition model for private customers participating at all levels of the sport.
The CS-R3, in development for the past year, will be not be competing in Rallye Deutschland, but will be put through its paces as the official “pathfinder” zero car, driven through each stage as a safety test immediately ahead of the field.
Isolde Holderied, a double women’s world rally champion, will be driving the CS-R3 and an important part of her job will be to evaluate its performance so that final adjustments can be made to its design prior to homologation to international R3 competition criteria.
TMG’s extensive development programme has focused on reducing weight and ensuring safety, reliability and fun. The FIA R3 class allows modifications to be made to the two-litre boxer engine; changes to the software and to physical elements such as the cam-lift and compression ratio are expected to increase the unit’s output to between 240 and 250bhp.
The CS-R3 also benefits from a sequential shift six-speed transmission and a limited-slip rear differential, together with a weight-optimised safety cage, designed to FIA requirements.
TMG has sourced tailor-made wiring looms and motorsport engine ECUs, and market-leading Tarmac and gravel suspension kits have been developed.
The CS-R3 has been tested on different surfaces in readiness for Rallye Deutschland, which will cover 170 miles over 18 stages from 21 to 24 August.
The first customer cars will be available in kit form during the first quarter of 2015, with prices expected to be comparable with other R3 cars. Prices will be announced following confirmation of final specifications.
Nico Ehlert, TMG Principal Engineer – Customer Motorsport, said: “It’s important to say that the GT86 CS-R3 which Isolde will drive is not the finished article; we need the data from Rallye Deutschland to finalise our development programme. But it does represent a significant step in the GT86 CS-R3 story and gives a clear indication to our future customers that this project is progressing quickly.
“The fact we are testing our prototype on a very public stage, the FIA World Rally Championship, shows what confidence we have in this project. Interest in this car has already exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to customer and fan feedback from the rally.”