- Great to drive
- Strong 2.0-litre engine
- Should be reliable
- Not particularly economical
- High CO2 emissions
The Toyota GT86 is a lightweight, fun-to-drive coupe that the Japanese firm hopes will tempt performance car buyers back to the brand.
It is aimed squarely at enthusiasts.
Driver-focused sports car
In the words of the Japanese company, it is “an entirely driver-focused machine, designed to deliver the core qualities of the classic sports car experience”.
It’s been eagerly anticipated, not least because Toyota has issued teaser after teaser for several years showing concept cars and disguised mules as the project took shape.
Critics have been disappointed recently with the absence of any type of sporty offering from Toyota, the firm foregoing fun in favour of reliable, economical and family-friendly machines. It’s good news then that the GT86 is here to try to reform the brand’s image, but what’s so interesting about it from a performance point of view?
Developed in partnership with Subaru
Co-developed with Subaru, the recipe looks good on paper. The first thing to note is that this car is rear-wheel-drive, which for purists is the only way to make a sports car. The next ingredient is the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine from Subaru.
Making 197bhp, the interesting thing about this engine is its cylinder configuration – it’s a ‘flat four’ boxer meaning the cylinders are laid on their sides and so the engine can be mounted lower in the body, hence lowering the centre-of-gravity and improving handling.
It has relatively thin tyres for a modern performance car too, which further serves to improve the driving experience and make it more exciting at lower speeds.
Two gearboxes are available: there’s a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
Designed to seat four people, there isn’t a huge amount of space in the rear – although this is a car that is designed to appeal to the driver. For this reason the dash is sculpted so all the controls face the driver, with everything required to enjoy the driving experience given top priority in the cabin.
TRD version also available
You can also order a TRD version of the GT86 which features new wheels, a body kit, a sports exhaust and some TRD detailing around the car.