March 29, 2023

10 Must-Have Modifications for Your Toyota GT86

From alloy wheels to rear diffusers, our selection of 10 must-have modifications evokes even more excitement within your GT86. So, what are you waiting for?
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Embracing its aerodynamic styling, the Toyota GT86, now known as the GR86, includes stock features that offer optimal driving pleasure. However, the taste of thrill this car gives leaves petrolheads wanting more.

Toyota lover’s dream of owning a high-performance car that impresses from every angle, and the GT86 just might hit that mark. With a range of modifications to set pulses racing, it’s hard to know where to start.

We’ve collated the top modifications you seriously need to invest in. From design aesthetics to thrill-inducing performance, we cover it all.

The Best Toyota GT86 Mods

1. Add a Turbocharger for Increased Power and Notoriety

Accompanying a snazzy, new intercooler, a turbocharger is the icing on the cake when it comes to enhanced performance. Not only can you see a breathtaking increase in horsepower, but the girthy tones will immediately turn heads – something every car lover is proud to witness.

When you own a Toyota GT86, you want people to look and that’s exactly what a turbocharger can do. As long as it adheres to the UK’s noise pollution laws and doesn’t exceed motor circuit decibel limits, you’ll be able to flaunt your GT86, attracting other petrolheads along the way.

The increased potential for power is not something to be ignored either. The turbocharger can optimise performance by between 30-40% too. However, you’ll need to communicate any performance changes with your insurance company prior to work being completed.

2. Pair Your Turbo with an Intercooler If You Want to Enjoy the Benefits Long Term

It goes without saying, but it’s often forgotten. Investing in an upgraded intercooler will significantly help your Toyota GT86 after remapping or fitting a turbocharger. After all, you want to benefit from the extra boost of horsepower and torque, don’t you?

Without it, your car will most likely end up overheating, causing more problems and a potentially embarrassing scenario. It’s a worthwhile investment, especially if you are planning to use your car for everyday driving alongside a few track days. The intercooler will naturally support your GT86 and any additional mods you add.

Upgrading your intercooler setup has major perks too. For those who are partial to a track day, it can ensure your car lasts much longer without losing power or performance. As its namesake implies, it also maintains cooler air temperatures within your engine and surrounding parts. Depending on the intercooler you select, you could also enjoy extra brake horsepower.

3. Exhaust Manifold Replacement is a Must for Any Modification

Depending on the age and modifications planned for your Toyota GT86, replacing the exhaust manifold can offer you greater fuel efficiency whilst improving acceleration rate and power. It could even be cheaper for you to fuel up your car in the long term.

An increase in acceleration and power correlates with better peak torque results at lower revs-per-minute. Now you can have a superior, athletic car that doesn’t break the bank or guzzle fuel. After all, you don’t want to destroy your GT86 through poor mod planning. Ensuring a decent exhaust manifold is fitted could result in longevity for the motor and engine too.

It’s also worth the note that fitting an exhaust manifold is vital if you’re also planning on adding a turbocharger to your car. The combination will ensure you always receive peak engine performance whilst maintaining the health of your vehicle.

4. Remapping Your Engine for Enhanced Performance

Alongside all the technical modifications, you’ll want to include remapping your engine’s software to the list. If your Toyota GT86 is more than just a track car, it can greatly increase fuel economy for you, meaning less spent on petrol in the long run.

Remapping and fine-tuning your engine offers more precise vehicle parameters that take into consideration where you live and the quality of fuel available. A remap can also remove the limitations of an engine imposed by manufacturers, but it’s worth noting that this could affect warranty and insurance.

The UK doesn’t have any law in place that affects car remapping, but the usual precautions need to be taken, such as informing your insurance company. Due to the technicalities of engine remapping and MOT emissions testing, having a professional mechanic or company that specialises in remapping is a must for completing the job.

5. Alloy Wheel Upgrades that Offer More than Aesthetics

If a polarising design is your forte, and your car is intended just for show, then you have free reign in alloy wheel selection. However, for those seeking an added bit of thrill alongside an already striking appearance for their Toyota GT86, you’ll need to look at the details.

Alloy wheel upgrades can lower your car’s unsprung mass, meaning increased reactivity from the suspension. You’ll notice your Toyota GT86 is more responsive when it comes to cornering and handling road terrain. Modifying your alloy wheels can also offer enhanced brake cooling capabilities which could lead to sharper braking.

It’s also possible to increase the tyre size of your car, which could help with optimised handling. However, it’s worth noting that the recalibration of your speedometer and tyre pressure sensors will need to be completed.

6. Increased Braking Performance with Upgraded Brake Calipers

There’s nothing like a glint of sunlight reflecting from a glossy brake caliper design. Matte exterior effects are also available for those who prefer contrast. Aside from the possibility to repaint or order eccentrically coloured brake calipers, rejuvenating your Toyota GT86’s braking setup has other benefits.

Modified brake calipers can assist with heat dissipation, reducing the risk of skidding or sliding during extended periods of braking. It could also lessen the chances of brake fading or loss of braking power, especially when your brakes haven’t been able to cool down.

Some brake manufacturers claim that performance brakes can improve safety, but it’s easier to take this with a pinch of salt. However, they do offer increased stopping power and greater response. Plus, they just look athletic.

7. Increased Aerodynamics with a Rear-End Diffuser

Introducing an air management system at the rear of your Toyota GT86 can be the difference needed for smooth transitions. Without a system in place, it can make driving feel quite turbulent and rocky – something you don’t want after spending time and effort upgrading your GT86’s performance.

Reducing drag can also be great for those utilising their car for track events or car meets, ensuring seamless movement and evoking a feeling of gliding. Not to mention, drivers behind you will be jealous of its superior sporty design.

UK legislation requires rear reflectors and fog lights to be fitted to the car, so if these are normally housed within the diffuser of your GT86 they’ll need to be replaced. Your car will fail its MOT if they are missing.

8. Introduce a Spoiler for Enhanced Traction and Braking

Rear spoilers are synonymous with racing and athletic performance. And they have a pretty fiery appearance on the Toyota GT86 too. Excellent for reducing lift and raising downward force, introducing a rear spoiler can increase your car’s traction and braking ability.

Spoilers are becoming increasingly popular now and are even fitted on regular hatchbacks or saloons just to evoke a high-performance nature – a little like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You might have to do something a little more daring if you want your spoiler to stand out.

Don’t be caught out by an ill-fitting spoiler either. Although modifying a spoiler isn’t illegal, it can break the law if it is not fastened securely. You’ll also want to avoid sharp exposed edges too.

9. Create a Unique, Sporty Dashboard for the Ultimate Experience

Your modifications will entirely reflect your personality across your Toyota GT86, and your interior setup is no different. From an exclusive Alcantara dashboard to customisable controls, you can create an authentic interior driving experience that matches your car’s performance capabilities.

Just like any interior modification, you’ll need to check that any safety features, such as airbags and lights are not hindered by the design. However, detailing around the air vents and on any controls can be a nice touch.

If you enjoy a waterfall effect or light stream, ambient lighting on your dashboard will look the part.

10. Bucket Seats Make for a Properly Sporty Drive

If you’re all about the immersive driving experience, bucket seats should be definitive for your Toyota GT86. Bucket seats normally weigh less than the car seats supplied within domestic vehicles, which could have the benefits of improved fuel economy and enhanced performance on the track.

Bucket seats aren’t always for everyone, especially those who also enjoy seat heating or manual adjustment. It can be pricey too and even more so if you are able to reconnect adjustment settings to the seat.

Need Modified Car Insurance for Your Toyota GT86?

At Keith Michaels we are just as enthusiastic as you about your modified Toyota GT86, and that’s why we know you need the right insurance in place to feel protected. Contact one of the team today and we’ll happily assist in finding modified car insurance that works for you.