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Toyota’s GT86 – is this the best affordable sports car ever

Jointly developed with Subaru – the aim was a clear from the start, a light, spare, simple and cheap sportscar. Based on an entirely new platform, the GT86 has a low, highly aerodynamic bodyshell stretched tight over the engineering hard points, making it the world’s most compact four-seater sports car. It is 4,240 mm long, 1,775 mm wide, only 1,285 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2,570 mm. Available this month the GT86 is priced at an incredibly competitive €39,895 for both the manual and automatic versions.

 

With a front-mounted 2.0-litre “boxer” engine and rear wheel drive, the light, low and nimble GT86 has a classic sports car set-up. The styling and specification reflect its driver-focused character: exterior features include a rear spoiler, 17-inch light alloy wheels, chrome-finished dual exhaust tailpipes .

A limited slip differential also fitted as standard, reaffirming GT86’s essential “driver’s car” character. Other features include bi-xenon high intensity discharge headlights, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps and electric folding door mirrors with housings matched to the car’s body colour. Seven exterior colours are available: Dark Red, Silver metallic, Black metallic, Blue metallic, Dark Red metallic, Orange metallic and Pearl pearlescent.

Inside the GT86, every element is focused on functionality and usability, down to the positioning of the instrument binnacle dials, grip and functional design of the steering wheel, the layout of all switches and the shape, construction and material finish of the seats. Built around the large tachometer, the three dial instrument cluster has been designed with particular attention paid to display placement, markings and typeface, ensuring optimum, at-a-glance visibility and readability during sports driving. Hence, a digital speedometer has been located inside the tachometer, as well as a red shift light which illuminates to help drivers change gear at optimum engine revs.

Active safety provisions include a switchable VSC stability control system, which can be adjusted through three driving modes to suit driver preference, and a torque-sensing limited slip differential. Seven airbags are provided, including a driver’s knee airbag.

The six-speed automatic transmission available for GT86’s includes paddle shifts to give the driver the option of making manual gear changes.


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