Red let­ter day for GT

Rochdale Observer - - FAITH NEWS -

There’s no more power (still no tur­bocharger) but then the GT 86 does not need more than its stan­dard 197bhp from the flat four Subaru-sourced engine for lots of great driv­ing fun… and it also helped that this car was the 6-speed man­ual, where as the Subaru had an auto box. Nor­mally I am a big fan of au­to­mat­ics but in a true sports car it just seems wrong.

The new car is much like the old one be­hind the wheel - which is no bad thing. Toy­ota have made some changes to the steer­ing and shocks for bet­ter agility and one new fea­ture is a ‘Track’ but­ton, which you re­ally should not push dur­ing nor­mal road driv­ing… un­less you have a burn­ing de­sire to drift your way along the high street. The steer­ing re­mains sharp and the ride firm but not too harsh. In short Toy­ota have tweaked but not ru­ined what was al­ready a great driver’s car, stick­ing with the front engine rear wheel drive lay­out.

And the ex­pe­ri­ence is added to by that boxer engine sound­track, which is trans­mit­ted into the cabin un­der harsh ac­cel­er­a­tion thanks to an air vi­bra­tion sys­tem to give a sportier sound.

As you would ex­pect fun comes at a cost with a com­bined fuel econ­omy of just 36.2mpg, although I man­aged a bit bet­ter dur­ing a week of mixed mo­tor­ing at just over 38. How­ever, 0 to 62 comes up in a truly sport­ing 7.7 sec­onds and top speed is 140mph.

Helped by its ‘Pure Red’ colour the GT 86 eas­ily passed the small (and often big) boy star­ing test and from just £26,885 (a shade over £28,000 on the road for our Pro ver­sion) you get lots of show as well as go.

Down sides? Well a few of the switches feel a lit­tle cheap and flimsy, the rear seats are only suit­able for pyg­mies and the boot is, as you would ex­pect, not huge - although I was sur­prised that it did man­age to ac­com­mo­date the weekly su­per­mar­ket shop. But then this is a true sports car so most of the above is ir­rel­e­vant. Also the Toy­ota sat-nav sys­tem is eas­ier to use than that fit­ted to the Subaru.

The GT 86 gets its name by fus­ing two ti­tles from Toy­ota’s past. The GT from the 2000GT of the 1960s (who re­mem­bers the stun­ning con­vert­ible ver­sion spe­cially made for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice?), while the num­ber 86 comes from the Corolla AE86 of the 1980s, a car much lauded by Ja­panese sports car and drift fans across the world.

So, by stick­ing pretty well to the old say­ing ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ Toy­ota will con­tinue to have a win­ner in the 2017 GT 86.

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