Toyota Australia has dramatically redefined the concept of an affordable sports car with the arrival of its eagerly awaited Toyota 86 coupe.
Designed to delight driving enthusiasts, the compact and aerodynamic four-seater sports car is priced from an amazingly low $29,990.
The 86 marks a return to Toyota's sporting roots with the world's only combination of a front-mounted, free-revving, horizontally opposed "boxer" petrol engine and rear-wheel drive.
This unique powertrain format, combined with a compact design, light weight and a low centre of gravity, produces the best possible power-to-weight ratio.
These attributes will reward 86 owners with maximum driving pleasure - lively, accessible performance and highly engaging dynamic abilities with minimal electronic intrusion.
Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said Toyota was determined to ensure the great handling and performance of the 86 would not come with a hefty price tag.
"The 86 is meant to be enjoyed by as many driving enthusiasts as possible, and our pricing will extend its appeal to people who never imagined they could afford such a fun car," Mr Callachor said.
"Toyota has created something that people have wanted, but didn't exist - a compact, light, basic sports car with balance and handling rated in the same league as some legendary sports cars," he said.
The Toyota GT-86 is powered by a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-four engine, the result of a joint development between Subaru and Toyota, combined with D-4S technology (direct injection combined with port injection). With separate twin injectors for both direct and port injection, and a high compression ratio of 12.5:1, D-4S increases power and torque over a wide range of engine speeds without sacrificing fuel efficiency and environmental performance.
In the Toyota model, this engine will only deliver 200 HP at 7000 rpm and maximum torque of 151 lb-ft at 6600 rpm, but Subaru has promised a total of 300 HP for their version. That being said, the base BRZ will come with the same 200 HP that the new GT-86 is sporting, bringing these two models closer than originally anticipated. Subaru’s promised 300 HP will be present in the STI version, leading us to believe that a G-Sports variant for the GT-86 will bring forth the same amount of power.
This engine will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual will offer quick and precise shifts with a short-throw, while the automatic transmission will feature sporty shifts controlled by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifts. Power will be distributed effectively to the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential.
The GT 86 is a genuinely lightweight machine that offers the intimacy and involvement of a car that can be driven as though an extension of the driver's body. In this way, it perfectly recaptures the exhilarating spirit of the last of the AE86. And, with numerous customisable parts, its shares its predecessor's aim to be an affordable car that will evolve with its owner.