2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition picks purity not power

Toyota's affordable 86 coupe is getting grippier on the asphalt, with the 2019 86 TRD Special Edition borrowing from the old Lotus rulebook for entertaining cars. Rather than adding power for the new model year, the 2019 86 – née the Scion FR-S – is all about handling.

That's epitomized by the limited-run 2019 86 TRD Special Edition. Only 1,418 of the cars will be made, each priced at $32,420. The 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine is the same as in the standard 86, complete with 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, but they're paired with some neat extras.

So, there are SACHS dampers and 12.8-/12.4-inch Brembo brakes front/rear. Exclusive 18 x 7.5-inch alloys get Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. The result, Toyota promises, is sharper steering and more stability, as well as swifter braking from the sub-2,800 pound two-door.

Toyota will finish the limited run in Raven black, with a TRD tricolor graphic along the side. There'll also be a TRD body kit, with special front bumper, side sills, rear bumper and diffuser, and spoiler designs. A TRD exhaust with brushed stainless steel tips will also be standard.

Inside, a new red and black-trimmed telescoping steering wheel packs red contrast stitching, and matches the red and black sport bucket seats with extra side bolstering. Granlux suede-like material wraps the instrument closer, and there are TRD logos, red contrast stitching, and red seatbelt.

Even if you don't opt for the special edition, the 2019 86 and 2019 86 GT have plenty to offer. The 86 gets LED projector-beam headlamps, power mirrors, chrome-tipped dual tailpipes, and 17-inch twisted spoke alloys, while the GT trim steps that up with LED fog lamps, an aerodynamic underfloor cover, heated mirrors, and a matte-black rear wing with color-keyed end plates.

Inside, the cars get sport bucket seats and a sports steering wheel. The 86 GT adds dual-zone automatic climate control; it and the TRD Special Edition have remote keyless entry and push-button start. They also get a 4.2-inch multi-information display which can show G-force, horsepower and torque curves, and more.

As before, the standard transmission will be a six-speed manual. There's an automatic option – you get 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque if you choose it – with auto-blips on downshifting, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Economy is 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway for the 6-speed manual, and 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for the 6-speed auto.

Sales of the 2019 Toyota 86 kick off in August this year. In addition to the new 86 TRD Special Edition, there'll also be a new "Neptune" paint option and a new red/black interior trim.