2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition debuts in the US – improved handling, same power, limited to 1,418 units

The Toyota 86 has been updated for the 2019 model year in the United States and joining the existing 86 and 86 GT trims is the new, limited-number 86 TRD Special Edition. It has more of everything you want in terms of performance, except for what’s under the bonnet.

That’s right, the 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated boxer four-cylinder engine continues to output 205 hp at 7,000 rpm and 212 Nm of torque at 6,400 rpm when paired with a six-speed manual. Those who prefer the automatic box with the same number of gears will have to make do with 200 hp and 205 Nm instead.

Without any power boost to speak of, what is the need to fight other human beings for one of the 1,418 units being offered, and forking out the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of USD32,420 (RM131,916)?

Well, Toyota says, “if USDA Certified Organic had a sportscar category, the 2019 86 TRD Special Edition would be its benchmark.” This is the because the special edition 86 “is North America’s highest performance 86 version thanks to some essential new parts.”

For instance, you’ll get a set of SACHS dampers and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres wrapped around exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels. Larger Brembo brakes (four-piston front, two-piston rear) are also fitted to ensure the car can better cope with the engine’s unchanged power output.

Away from the performance bits, all units of the 86 TRD Special Edition will comes with a TRD body kit (front bumper, side sills, rear bumper and diffuser, spoiler) as well as a Raven black paintjob. There’s also TRD tricolour graphics and a TRD exhaust system with brushed stainless steel tips to match.

Moving inside, Toyota has added contrast stitching and Granlux suede-like covering atop the instrument cluster. The interior also follows a red-black theme as evident by the steering wheel and sport bucket seats. Other items include red seatbelts and a few TRD logos. The options list does not include a supercharger or turbocharger so it’s still only 205 hp – just a reminder.

As for the regular variants, the base 86 comes with LED projector headlamps, 17-inch alloys, chrome-tipped dual exhaust, seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system (navigation is optional), bucket seats, dual-zone climate control and a 4.2-inch TFT LCD multi-info display. The 86 GT tacks on LED fog lamps, floor undercover and a matte-black rear wing. For the engine and transmission options, refer above.