by Bob Flavin 30/01/13
The day I got to drive the Toyota GT86 will be a day I’ll remember forever. Katie Taylor won a gold medal for Ireland in the Olympics and I got to drive what amounts to be the best drivers’ car that’s available for sale in Ireland. While I’m hugely proud of Katie’s efforts in the Olympics she shouldn’t be driving the Auris, a woman of her calibre needs to be behind the wheel of the GT86.
This new model is a pure bred GT sports car, it was developed with from a Subaru BRZ but Toyota put their stamp on it, giving it a 50/50 balance and the capability of doing donuts in its own turning circle. It’s powered by Subaru’s 2.0ltr 198bhp flat 4 engine which means the excitement happens from 4,000rpm, speed doesn’t matter because you could be going 20kph or 200kph it still puts a big stupid grin on your face every time you push the go pedal.
As just a means of transport the GT86 has 4 seats, a decent boot, dual zone climate control, electric windows, xenon headlights and a decent stereo all for about forty grand. This is no ordinary means of transport, you will take the long way to work, and you will go for a drive just for the sake of it. The comfy seats that hug in all the right ways mean that you won’t mind being at the wheel for the extended journeys.
Technical stuff now, the 50/50 weight distribution coupled to the rear wheel drive and the torque vectoring mean that even the smallest input from the steering angle or throttle will allow fully controllable over steer at low speed. You can turn on sport which will allow some slide or just turn everything off giving you full control but even the most ham fisted driver will find a fun setting. All this means that the GT86 will be happy in the city, motorway, roundabout or race track. End of technical stuff.
It’s hard to think of any car that compares directly with the GT86, perhaps the AE86 or Twin Cam would come close to offering that same drivers experience. The GT86 won’t break the bank on petrol bills either, if you can keep your foot off the throttle you’ll soon find that 6.0ltrs will be a realistic figure, even if you go mad with it you’ll still average 9ltrs per 100kms.
It’s about time that Toyota brought out something with a hairy chest again, while the hybrid stuff is great I missed words like Twin Cam, Celica and MR2. Now we have the GT86 there’s something to get excited about, a real car that’s achievable to buy own and run. If you have a pulse and you would like it to go faster you need to test drive this car because it’s unforgettable.