Toyota is beginning to claw its way back from the design and performance abyss. First the Lexus IS-F and LFA supercar showed their mettle, and now officially the GT 86. Previously known as the concept FT-86 in its many different guises, the new sports coupe that sits four people is Toyota’s first performance coupe since the days of Celica and Supra.
Not exactly a Nissan 370 Z beater in terms of power and performance, the GT 86 nevertheless provides a good starting platform for more potent stuff. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated boxer motor delivering 147kW at 7000rpm and maximum torque of 205Nm at 6600rpm. Clearly this will be a screamer of note, and sadly it will not perform quite to rivals’ turbo standards when it lands in Gauteng where it will probably only produce around 125kW. Shift is through a 6-speed manual for the standard car, while an optional 6-speed automatic can be specified in certain markets. A limited slip differential (LSD) assists in laying power and torque down over the rear wheels.
Nevertheless things do look quite good, from both inside and outside. From a measurements point of view, the GT 86 is 4.2 metres long, 2.57m wide and 1.3m high. A 53:47 weight distribution was achieved. A 50 litre fuel tank is fitted. Front suspension is a MacPherson strut system, while double wishbones make up the rear ride. Speaking of ride, the car rides on 17-inch wheels and has ventilated brakes all around.
High-end features used include aluminium pedals, red stitching on the leather apparel, satellite navigation, heated front seats, climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and others.
The Toyota GT 86 will definitely be in Mzansi in 2012, but pricing hasn’t been confirmed. But considering that its main competitor, the Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI costs R340 200 standard, this should be the ballpark around which Toyota should play. Unfortunately in the UK the car will be priced around R360 000, meaning in Mzansi it will be more.