Then there’s that manual gearbox, which again provides a telepathic feel to the gearshift. The stick itself is short, slick and satisfying, and the clutch is silky smooth. It’s one of those where you just love to rattle and up and down the ‘box. A six-speed automatic is an option, but not one you should consider.
In terms of performance, the engine is another step up from the GT86. The Subaru boxer engine has grown to 2.4 litres, and power has risen from 200PS in the GT to 234PS (172kW) in the GR. It’s a naturally aspirated four-cylinder, so there’s no great sound to accompany the output, but you’ll need to reach all the way to the top of the rev range to get the most out of it, because peak power is only achieved at 7,000rpm. You’ll need to be on your game with the gearbox, too, because torque is not always easy to come by, 250Nm (184lb ft) is on tap from 3,500rpm.
All in, the GR86 is a car that rewards a driver that can maintain momentum. A sprint from 0-62mph takes 6.3 seconds with the manual ‘box, which is fast enough if not mind blowing, but the real enjoyment here is the speed that you can carry through corners. It’s perfectly balanced, and beautifully poised. You will struggle to get bored with this one.