The Corvette looks the business, but this is what you want.
Let’s get something out of the way right now: Yes, I like the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. I think it looks great, its mid-engine layout lends it some cred among the sports cars it squares off against, and at just under $60,000, it’s a relative bargain. However, even at that price I wager most of us out there in the TFL community couldn’t plop down the sort of money these are actually going to command when they hit the market. With options and dealer markups, the 495 horsepower Corvette is going to cost much more than its base price suggests. So, instead, why not consider the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition?
Yes, the Toyota 86 is getting a bit long in the tooth by now. But, it’s a front-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door sports coupe that speaks to most car enthusiasts as one of the purest examples of its breed currently on sale. Apart from the layout, there’s more more important thing to consider here — it has a manual transmission.
The Hakone is the best-looking 86 yet
“Yeah, but so does the normal Toyota 86”, right? That’s true, but the looks alone seal the Toyota 86 Hakone Edition for me. The deep green metallic hue, the bronze alloy wheels, and the tan-and-black interior make this 86 look so much nicer than the normal model. Mind you, it doesn’t come with any power upgrades, sadly. You still get the same 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque that you get from the standard model. Getting the automatic option for a $700 premium knocks off 5 horsepower and 5 lb-ft of torque. It will, however, get some comfort features like heated seats and dual-zone climate control.
What’s more, the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition is available from $30,825, according to a recent Autoblog report. So, that means you’ll end up spending $2,000 for what is basically an appearance package.
But here’s the thing: This is the best looking 86 I’ve seen yet. It’s also based on the GT trim, which forgoes the Brembo brakes and Sachs performance dampers you get in the current TRD Special Edition. That’s a good thing, in my mind, since those dampers made the car’s ride extremely firm. And at just over $30,000, it’s only half the price of a Corvette. That means I can actually (one day) afford one, unlike the Corvette or even the new Supra.
The 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition may be old, but it’s still a fun enthusiast’s car. It looks great, and I would still feel special as I got into it every day to drive to work.