There’s no overstatement in suggesting that we’ve been waiting years for the Toyota GT86.
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By that we don’t just mean enduring the interminable period of delays and introductions as journalists before finally getting our hands on a UK-spec Toyota GT86 (although we have had to do just that).
Road test editor
The Toyota GT 86 feels light and compact, a bit like a Mazda MX-5
We mean ‘we’ in a broader sense, as in the wait that every car enthusiast with modest resources has had to tolerate before a manufacturer summoned up the necessary gumption to build an authentic, low-weight, low-cost, compact sports car.
The front-engined, rear-drive 2+2 is powered by a 2.0-litre flat-four engine that churns out 197bhp and 151lb ft. A six-speed manual is standard; there’s also a six-speed automatic on offer as well.
Despite boasting a heritage that contains the Celica, the Supra and the MR2, Toyota has passed through a period of recent history that has been so mundane that the GT86’s potential place close to our hearts seems almost to be a novelty.
However, the manufacturer’s three stated criteria for the GT86 (which has been developed in conjunction with the Subaru BRZ) read like a purist’s manifesto: rear-wheel drive, no turbocharging, ordinary tyres – much like the Mazda MX-5.
The objective, it gloriously affirms, was driver-focused fun. No further introduction is necessary.