The Toyota GR86 has been treated to a late name change so minor it might have passed you by completely. Before, it was officially the ‘GR 86’, and now the space in the middle has been dropped. Now, it’s simply the ‘GR86’.
A needless tweak? Well no, actually - there’s a very practical reason behind it. Car Scoops noticed the change and contacted a Toyota GB spokesperson, who told the publication: “It has to do with SEO…We want people to be able to find the car easily when looking online.”
A Google search for ‘GR 86’ brings up many more search results because it’ll also be dredging up unrelated pages for the individual terms ‘GR’ and ‘86’. It is worth pointing out that few users proceed beyond the first page of a search, though. Interestingly, Google already suggests changing ‘GR 86’ to ‘GR86’. The latter term is much more popular - around 110,000 search for ‘GR86’ globally each month, compared to 33,100 for ‘GR 86’.
Social media hashtags will likely have been a consideration too since the new, condensed name works as one without modification. There’s no chance of someone typing out #GR 86 by mistake.
The switch-up only affects Toyota’s communications for the car, not the physical badge, which remains the GR (Gazoo Racing) badge with the ‘86’ logo used on this car’s predecessor just to the right. Speaking of, it seems odd that Toyota would have gone with the space anyway, since the vehicle the GR86 replaced was the gapless ‘GT86’.
As for us, we’ve never bothered with the space. We ignore a lot of the stylisations companies insists on, and do so for various reasons including SEO and aesthetics. You won’t, for instance, find many publications bothering to capitalise ‘Skoda’, as the manufacturer insists on doing in its own materials.
Space or no space in the name, the GR86 is a car we can’t wait to drive. A new 2.4-litre boxer-four, chassis improvements and a cabin spruce-up promise to turn an already very good sports car into something very special. We’re a little behind those across the pond, with UK deliveries of the Euro-spec version not arriving until 2022, but our colleagues at evo had a go in a prototype and were suitably impressed.