With the launch of the 2020 Supra, fans of Toyota sports cars are suddenly faced with a difficult choice: get the more expensive and more powerful Supra or the more affordable and lighter 86.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a dilemma at all since the Supra is better than the 86 in every measurable aspect. However, when Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske had the opportunity to drive the 86 TRD at the Supra launch he suddenly realized that the cheaper, lower-powered Toyota is actually more fun to drive.
Much to his own surprise, he says the Toyota 86 is actually the car that made him smile the most as he drove the two vehicles back to back at Summit Point Motorsports Park. How could this be? For starters, the 86 TRD is the lighter car — by about 560 pounds (254 kg). Then there’s the six-speed manual transmission, something the Supra doesn’t (yet) offer.
While extremely capable, the Supra’s eight-speed automatic gearbox just can’t compare with the 86’s manual transmission when it comes to driver involvement. Interestingly, the reviewer says the steering is also better in the Toyota 86 and that’s partly due to the fact that it has a lower ratio and is less assisted than the Supra.
There’s also a less obvious reason, the fact that visibility is much better in the 86, giving the driver more confidence to go fast. There are more reasons as to why the 86 is more fun to drive than the Supra and the video reveals all of them by breaking down each of the cars.