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The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - First Drive -

He also ex­plains that the au­to­matic ver­sion couldn’t ben­e­fit from the small but worth­while power up­dates on the man­ual car. The ex­tra oomph from re­vis­ing the in­take and ex­haust man­i­folds caused the auto oc­ca­sion­ally to kick­down and ex­ceed noise lim­its.

Aus­tralia will con­tinue to take GT and GTS vari­ants of the 86 but Toyota Aus­tralia’s Steve Cough­lan says it is too early to set pric­ing, given the up­dated model won’t go on sale un­til Novem­ber. The cur­rent model starts be­low $30,000 but the $35,990 GTS is the best­seller.

The up­dated GT will pick up the car­bon-fi­bre dash in­serts now found on the GTS, along with a smaller steer­ing wheel (another sug­ges­tion from the race team) and LED lamps.

The GTS will have mi­cro­suede in­serts on the top of the door pan­els and the in­stru­ment bin­na­cle. It looks and feels cool and Toyota says it helps the driver by re­duc­ing re­flec­tions. A multi-in­stru­ment dis­play with dig­i­tal speedo can show G-force data, stop­watch, lap timer and fuel re­main­ing.

ON THE TRACK

Drift­ing is out but oth­er­wise the only in­struc­tion be­fore we hit the Fuji Speed­way short course is “go as hard as you like but don’t bin the cars, we need them to­mor­row”.

Toyota is also con­fi­dent enough in the new car’s abil­i­ties to have in­cluded a cur­rent GTspec model as a bench­mark.

Smart move. A se­ries of back-to-back laps shows ac­cel­er­a­tion may not have changed ap­pre­cia­bly but the 86’s abil­ity to hus­tle through turns — al­ready a strong point — has been no­tably el­e­vated.

The new car turns in with more pre­ci­sion, has bet­ter bal­ance mid-cor­ner and can put the power down ear­lier on cor­ner exit. That’s be­cause the rear end now rolls and squats just enough to keep the rub­ber on the road rather than try­ing to skip around the turn.

Track mode per­mits enough rear-end slide to help drive the car on the throt­tle with­out the sta­bil­ity con­trol in­ter­ven­ing. The same couldn’t be said of the cur­rent car’s Sports mode, which in com­par­i­son kicks in ear­lier and cuts power much more abruptly.

The up­dated ve­hi­cle also rolls over rip­ple strips with less vi­bra­tion, which should mean a smoother ride on pub­lic roads.

VER­DICT

TOYOTA 86 WAR­RANTY 3 years/100,000km CAPPED SER­VIC­ING $720 for 3 years (est) SER­VICE IN­TER­VAL 9 months/15,000km SAFETY 5 stars EN­GINE 2.0-litre 4-cyl boxer, 152kW/212Nm TRANS 6-speed man, 6-speed auto; RWD THIRST 7.8L/100km (98RON) DI­MEN­SIONS 4240mm (L), 1775mm (W), 1320mm (H), 2570mm (WB) WEIGHT From 1257kg A good thing done bet­ter, the 86 con­tin­ues to re­fine the af­ford­able sports car seg­ment.

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