Toyota GT 86 Sports Car Officially Unveiled Ahead Of Tokyo Motor Show
By Carl Malek
Toyota has finally revealed its long awaited and much anticipated sports car. Known officially as the Toyota GT 86 in European markets (or simply 86 in its Japanese home-market). The GT 86 is the first sports car produced by the Japanese firm in over 10 years and gets part of its name from the legendary Corolla AE86 which was produced in the 1980’s. During that time period, the AE86 variant of the Corolla gained a reputation for being a solid drifting car and as a result it managed to achieve a modest fan following among younger buyers.
The GT86 is the first product of Toyota’s collaboration with Subaru, which occurred as a result of Toyota buying a small share in the company. The most immediate sign of Subaru’s influence on the vehicle can be found under the hood of the GT 86, where Subaru’s familiar 2.0 liter boxer engine and its 197 horsepower makes its presence felt. However, to help enhance the efficiency and performance of the engine, Toyota has equipped the power-plant with its DS-4 fuel injection system which utilizes both port injection and direct injection technology to optimize the way the engine burns fuel which results in better fuel economy and performance numbers. Putting all of the GT 86’s power to the road is either a six speed manual gearbox or a six speed automatic.
Even though Toyota has developed other sports car models under its Lexus brand – the LFA supercar being its most noteworthy example – the GT 86 will be the first sports car offering to wear the Toyota emblem since the company ended production on the Celica, MR2, and the legendary Toyota Supra. Toyota claims that the GT 86 is a vehicle that “was designed by passion not by a committee.” While it remains to be seen whether the GT 86 will indeed succeed in casting aside Toyota’s conservative image once and for all, It does look like an attractive package that should appeal to a new generation of young buyers looking for budget minded performance. In addition it should give potential buyers here in the United States an idea of what to expect when the GT 86 crosses over to our shores as the Scion FR-S. Look for that model to be formally unveiled later at the 2012 North American International Auto show.