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    • By William Maley
      The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen radio featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  Trying to find a comfortable position the 86 took longer than I expected due to the limited amount of adjustments on offer. The sport seats provide excellent bolstering to hold you in during enthusiastic driving but falter in terms of comfort when it comes to long drives. As for the back seat, I would only recommend it for either very small kids or extra storage space. We come to the key weak point of the 86, the engine. It is the 2.0L Flat-Four from Subaru which produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the six-speed manual - figures drop by five when equipped with the automatic. Not much has changed in the performance department. At low speeds, the 86 goes along merrily. But then the power band falls off a cliff and you're left wondering when it will come back.  It doesn't help that the engine note of the 2.0L sounds like a bucket of bolts dumped into a dryer. This doesn't encourage wanting to climb higher in the rev band and giving the illusion of going faster - something Mazda does quite well with the MX-5 Miata. On my test car, an optional TRD exhaust was fitted and it somehow makes the noise worse. It sounded like a group of cats fighting one another to get that prime spot in the box from an Amazon delivery. The manual transmission does not like being shifted quickly as it becomes slightly stiff and bulky. Go slowly and the gear lever responds with a smooth and positive feel. An option that was ticked on this vehicle was the TRD handling package which adds a set of SACHS dampers. The SACHS do make an improvement in terms of body control as the 86 doesn't really exhibit any sort of roll. What you get a vehicle that is fun to toss in the corners. Helping out is the steering that responds quickly and provides a decent feel. But there is a downside to the TRD Handling package and that is the ride quality. I found the FR-S to be quite stiff and transmit most bumps and road imperfections. This package only increases the frequency and impact them. I would highly recommend driving a standard 86 against one with the Handling Pack to see which one you would prefer. The 86 GT starts at $30,115 and my tester with the two TRD options and some other items stickers at $34,783. If you drop the TRD options, then it becomes slightly better at just under $32,000.  Who is the 86 for? The obvious answer to this is someone who wants something fun to drive but doesn't have that much to spend. Of course, there are other options that offer more performance, the 86 shines on a winding road. But as someone pointed out in our interactive review, the 86 is a good option for someone who wants a blank canvas. This and the BRZ have a large aftermarket which means an owner can build their coupe to their desires. Want to upgrade the suspension and brakes? There are parts available. Feel like dropping in a larger engine? That is possible. It's a blank canvas ready for someone to make it their own. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 86, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: 86
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
      Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
      Base Price: $30,115
      As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
      TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
      TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
      Special Color - $425.00
      Center Armrest - $199.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00

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    • By William Maley
      The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen radio featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  Trying to find a comfortable position the 86 took longer than I expected due to the limited amount of adjustments on offer. The sport seats provide excellent bolstering to hold you in during enthusiastic driving but falter in terms of comfort when it comes to long drives. As for the back seat, I would only recommend it for either very small kids or extra storage space. We come to the key weak point of the 86, the engine. It is the 2.0L Flat-Four from Subaru which produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the six-speed manual - figures drop by five when equipped with the automatic. Not much has changed in the performance department. At low speeds, the 86 goes along merrily. But then the power band falls off a cliff and you're left wondering when it will come back.  It doesn't help that the engine note of the 2.0L sounds like a bucket of bolts dumped into a dryer. This doesn't encourage wanting to climb higher in the rev band and giving the illusion of going faster - something Mazda does quite well with the MX-5 Miata. On my test car, an optional TRD exhaust was fitted and it somehow makes the noise worse. It sounded like a group of cats fighting one another to get that prime spot in the box from an Amazon delivery. The manual transmission does not like being shifted quickly as it becomes slightly stiff and bulky. Go slowly and the gear lever responds with a smooth and positive feel. An option that was ticked on this vehicle was the TRD handling package which adds a set of SACHS dampers. The SACHS do make an improvement in terms of body control as the 86 doesn't really exhibit any sort of roll. What you get a vehicle that is fun to toss in the corners. Helping out is the steering that responds quickly and provides a decent feel. But there is a downside to the TRD Handling package and that is the ride quality. I found the FR-S to be quite stiff and transmit most bumps and road imperfections. This package only increases the frequency and impact them. I would highly recommend driving a standard 86 against one with the Handling Pack to see which one you would prefer. The 86 GT starts at $30,115 and my tester with the two TRD options and some other items stickers at $34,783. If you drop the TRD options, then it becomes slightly better at just under $32,000.  Who is the 86 for? The obvious answer to this is someone who wants something fun to drive but doesn't have that much to spend. Of course, there are other options that offer more performance, the 86 shines on a winding road. But as someone pointed out in our interactive review, the 86 is a good option for someone who wants a blank canvas. This and the BRZ have a large aftermarket which means an owner can build their coupe to their desires. Want to upgrade the suspension and brakes? There are parts available. Feel like dropping in a larger engine? That is possible. It's a blank canvas ready for someone to make it their own. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 86, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: 86
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
      Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
      Base Price: $30,115
      As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
      TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
      TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
      Special Color - $425.00
      Center Armrest - $199.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00
    • By William Maley
      Next up on the review vehicle playlist here at C&G's Detroit Bureau is the 2020 Toyota 86, a vehicle I haven't driven since it was called the Scion FR-S. A lot has changed with this model aside from its name since the one I drove back in 2013. The styling has been refreshed, various tweaks made the suspension, and minor updates to the interior. What hasn't changed is the 2.0L boxer-four from Subaru that produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. My test vehicle has the standard six-speed manual.
      The as-tested price for this 86 comes to $34,783, partly due to a couple of TRD options being fitted. Here's some first impressions,
      The 2.0L boxer-four isn't a great sounding to begin with, sounding like a bucket of bolts being shaken. The optional TRD exhaust only makes the noise worse. Handling is still this car's strong suit, offering minimal body roll and crisp steering. The touchscreen radio is very barebones, but does offer Apple CarPlay. I'll have more thoughts throughout the week, and will be doing my best to answer various questions from you. 


      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Next up on the review vehicle playlist here at C&G's Detroit Bureau is the 2020 Toyota 86, a vehicle I haven't driven since it was called the Scion FR-S. A lot has changed with this model aside from its name since the one I drove back in 2013. The styling has been refreshed, various tweaks made the suspension, and minor updates to the interior. What hasn't changed is the 2.0L boxer-four from Subaru that produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. My test vehicle has the standard six-speed manual.
      The as-tested price for this 86 comes to $34,783, partly due to a couple of TRD options being fitted. Here's some first impressions,
      The 2.0L boxer-four isn't a great sounding to begin with, sounding like a bucket of bolts being shaken. The optional TRD exhaust only makes the noise worse. Handling is still this car's strong suit, offering minimal body roll and crisp steering. The touchscreen radio is very barebones, but does offer Apple CarPlay. I'll have more thoughts throughout the week, and will be doing my best to answer various questions from you. 

    • By William Maley
      It has been some time since we last reported on PSA Group's plan to re-enter the U.S. When we last checked in, Peugeot was chosen as the brand to be entering the U.S. by 2023 and rumors were swirling about a possible merger between PSA Group and FCA. A lot has changed since then as the two automakers begin to finalize plans for a merger, and the COVID-19 pandemic has no end in sight in the U.S. What does that mean for Peugeot's return to the U.S.?
      "My role is to grow the PSA business in North America, growing our mobility capability and preparing for the launch of Peugeot." said Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America to Automotive News.
      "From our standpoint, we're planning as if [the merger] doesn't exist. We're marching forward as if PSA was going to be there by themselves."
      Dominique is right now focused on the present with the top priority being building out a dealer network for both U.S. and Canada before the launch. He explained that the company is planning a two-prong approach, having franchised dealers and online retailing.
      "The future success for OEMs is the reduction of distribution costs while ensuring both retail and OEM margin sustainability. This has to be done through strong pricing power, not volume turnover," he said.
      Part of this is due to COVID-19 pandemic which has many automakers rethinking how they sell vehicles, something Dominique admits is a big challenge.
      "All my competitors are going to be focusing on digital, which means we have to step up our game and deliver an even stronger customer experience when we launch Peugeot in North America. We need to get out of an environment where the retailers are dependent upon just F&I and service to pay their bills."
      Another challenge facing Dominique, what models to sell in the U.S. The market has changed a lot since PSA Group announced its intentions to re-enter the U.S. Consumers now are focused on trucks and crossovers.
      "I don't have a full-sized truck,. But the C and D segments are what's relevant to us. The C and D segments are high volume and important to North America. That's where we're going to focus initially,"
      To us, this hints at the 3008 and 5008 crossovers being some of the first models to be available.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
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