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Toyota GT 86 and Celica in the driving report: As cool as ever

Thomas Starck
Toyota GT 86 and Celica in the driving report
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Z jump into 1975. While the Swedes officially declaring their king a great uncle, Charlie Chaplin was awarded the knighthood in England and the metal band Iron Maiden was founded, the local car landscape slumbered. The car of the year is called the Citroën CX, the VW Golf is celebrating its first birthday, and the VW Polo with four drum brakes and 40 hp is applauded at the Geneva Motor Show.

Only a small group of Wolfsburgers in bell-bottoms would like one quick golf - presumably to the Toyota TA 22 to be able to compete. The coupé rocks the country roads between Unterammergau and Lübeck with 86 hp - and looks damn good doing it. The successful mix of long hood, coke bottle waist and stubby tail even gives it the reputation of the little man's Mustang. Six more successful Celica model generations were to follow. Toyota - father of cool sports coupes? Summer 2012, Cologne industrial port.

Toyota GT86 - a planned name

After years of hybrid euphoria and coupé abstinence, Toyota has invited you on a date with a new athlete - the Toyota GT 86. The number in the name is not only an homage to the lively Corolla Levin AE 86, it also stands for the square stroke-bore ratio of its boxer engine and the diameter of the exhaust pipes. First impression: Such a carefully planned name is rare. Second: appetizing sideline, finally again. But what, there you go, is the boxer engine doing here? It comes from its twin brother, the Subaru BRZ. According to the data sheet, the four-cylinder should produce 200 hp - at SEVEN THOUSAND revolutions.

Let's try that out right away. After pressing the start button, the engine rattles dully, almost a little good compared to the TA 22. Sure, under the old Celica there is also a specially made stainless steel vuvuzela that trumpets out every combustion cycle.

Nevertheless, the Toyota GT 86 puts forward, rolls gently over the threshold of the parking lot and storms with the first long burst of gas forward. Quite good for a vacuum cleaner - and it gets even better. As soon as the tachometer needle crosses the 5,000 mark and climbs to 7,000, all 200 hp seem to agree to shrink the world in the rearview mirror. On the 7.6 second jump from zeroAt 100 km /h you can listen to the drumming boxer melody and understand what Auris & Co. has been missing in recent years. Emotion. Driving fun. Passion.

Toyota GT 86 weak

The Toyota GT 86 exudes plenty of this - even without the turbo pressure that is so typical today. Even when changing gears, he makes an effort and doesn't make the distances too long. That the right hand has to grip a little harder - a gift. After all, it can't run as smoothly as in the TA 22, whose five-speed manual transmission must have seen the attention of a gear wizard. There is no other way of explaining the precision. His 1.6 liter heart was technically trained by a talented screwdriver, the motor offers wonderful elasticity and screams so violently at 5,000 revolutions that you voluntarily let go, upshifts and waves to the amazed faces in the area.

Anyone who demands a similarly good draft from the GT 86 will be disappointed. With just 205 Newton meters of torque, hard-working shifting is part of the program. The view from the driver's seat is similar in both models: neat, neat instruments are in front of you, and the passenger sits close to the kiss. While the pronounced bucket seats of the Toyota GT 86 prevent spontaneous changes in family planning, but offer plenty of lateral support, the completely contourless seats of the TA 22 are particularly advantageous for an afternoon nap.

Finally driving fun again at Toyota

Everyone who drives on winding country roads is guaranteed to be lively. With its rear-wheel drive, the GT 86 tends to swivel the rear of the car, both small and large, which can be quite surprising. Those who adjust to it will love them. And tell the friend with the TA 22 about it, who with his rock-hard sports suspension and mechanical lock has to do a lot more to persuade the rear to drift. Which may also be due to the large, thin steering wheel with its tired transmission, a relic of the relaxed seventies. The Toyota GT 86 translates every change of course much more directly.

At the end of the day, it is even more difficult for us to understand why Toyota has not had a driving machine on offer for a long time. Something like the GT 86: affordable, cool, lively. Even if it won't make huge profits - it is worth gold for the brand's image. The Japanese have probably just forgotten that, because in 1967, when James Bond left his Aston Martin for a Toyota 2000 GT in the film “You Only Live Twice”, all car fans knew overnight that there were speedy cars waiting in the land of the rising sun . After the date with the Toyota GT 86, one thing is certain: Finally there is a new one.

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