Although they make very good cars, somehow, Toyota has not had much success as a maker of top-class sports cars. The world’s largest car manufacturer continues its quest for redemption by launching another sports car, the GT 86. This car is the result of extensive collaboration with Subaru, and will be officially showcased in Tokyo after several rounds of redesign.
From the pictures, the car does have a retro look, which has prompted some to ask if the “86” refers to the fact that the body is reminiscent of cars that were popular 25 years ago. The 2+2 compact sports car will also be sold under the Subaru brand. Expected to be launched in mid-2012, it is expected to be priced at less than $40,000 (£30,000).
The GT 86 is 4.24 m long, 2.57 m wide and 1.285 m high. The 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution and low centre of gravity of 47.5 cm is expected to give the GT 86 all that’s important in a good sports car; balance, excellent power-to-weight ratio and smooth handling.
The GT 86 is probably the only current sports car that features a front-mounted, horizontally-opposed engine and rear-wheel drive. A limited slip differential distributes power to the rear wheels, giving it excellent grip in all driving conditions. The stability control systems have been tuned to deliver dynamic stability even at the limit of the car’s performance envelope. This is perhaps why the GT 86 is positioned as a car meant for “those for whom driving is a passion, not a necessity.”