Electric Toyota GR86 unveiled, but there’s a catch

A Canadian firm has unveiled an electric Toyota GR86 for the race track – and it has more power than the petrol version.

A Canadian performance tuning firm has unveiled an electric-powered Toyota GR86 sports car.

But it’s not expected in showrooms anytime soon. Instead it has been developed for race track use.

Unveiled at last week’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas, the Scalar SCR1 is a battery-powered Toyota GR86 developed for the US National Auto Sport Association’s (NASA) ‘Super Touring Series’.

The Scalar SCR1 is the first electric car to be approved for NASA competition and is set to make its racing debut next year against petrol-powered rivals.

Powering the Scalar SCR1 is an 800-volt electric motor, producing up to 245kW and 468Nm – a marked improvement on the 174kW/250Nm 2.4-litre petrol engine found under the bonnet of Toyota’s GR86.

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a single-speed gearbox and a limited-slip differential, with Scalar claiming the SCR1 can accelerate from 0 to 98km/h (60mph) in 3.9 seconds before reaching its top speed of 267km/h.

According to Scalar Performance, the SCR1’s 65kWh battery is fitted with an “industry leading thermal management and runaway prevention” system, designed to stop the lithium-ion cells from suffering an exponential increase in temperature and subsequent fire.

A fire suppression system is activated if the vehicle starts to go up in flames, the company says.

The Canadian firm claims the SCR1 can be driven flat out for up to 45 minutes on a race track, while its battery is capable of being fully charged in less than 20 minutes when using a 150kW DC fast charger.

Additional mechanical upgrades include Öhlins adjustable suspension and Wilwood brake calipers (six-piston front, four-piston rear), located behind lightweight 18-inch Enkei wheels.  

Compared to the road-going Toyota GR86, the SCR1’s exterior bodywork is fitted with a large front ‘splitter’, rear wing and diffuser to generate downforce at speed.

The Scalar SCR1’s interior is fitted with a roll cage, a racing seat and a six-point seatbelts – all approved for track use by NASA.

With all of the changes accounted for, Scalar claims the SCR1 weighs 1378kg – just 80kg more than the petrol-powered Toyota GR86 GT.

Initially limited to just 10 examples, the SCR1 ‘Founder Limited Edition’ will eventually lead to a ‘Gen2’ version, with Scalar claiming owners of the first-generation electric race car are able to make the hardware and software upgrades free of charge.

Scalar Performance is yet to announce pricing for the SCR1, although it is believed to be significantly more expensive than the Toyota GR86’s $43,240 Australian RRP.

For Australian racers, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia (TGRA) 86 Series – a championship exclusively for the sports coupe – is set to switch from the first-generation 86 to the second-generation model in 2024. The TGRA 86 Series cars are built by Neal Bates Motorsport in Canberra, priced from $89,990.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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