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Toyota GT 86 in the driving report: Driving fun with a boxer heart

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Toyota GT 86 in the driving report
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It's wet and treacherously slippery. Not exactly the best prerequisites for the premiere of a new sports car - or maybe because of that? The two-liter four-cylinder in the bow of the new T oyota GT 86 doesn't seem to matter. It rotates as quickly as possible to the red area, which starts at 7,500 revolutions. On the handling course of the Fuji-Speedway you only move in second and third gear, but you quickly get a feel for the handling in the changing curves. If you overdo it with the accelerator, you can produce nice drifts despite the ESP being switched on. Nevertheless, the new Toyota GT 86 can be moved extremely quickly and precisely on the slippery course.

Lightweight with a low center of gravity

In the back of your mind you have the words of Toyota boss Akio Toyoda, who wants to place 'driving fun' again in his rather sober model range. The model was the Corolla AE 86 from the eighties - a hot rear-wheel drive car that enjoys cult status in the Japanese tuning and drifting scene. Toyoda would like to build on this time, even if he is going an unusual way: The Toyota GT 86 comes from a cooperation with Subaru, where they hold the flag up from opposite cylinder banks and launch a similar model next year. The boxer transmits its 200 hp to the rear axle via a six-speed manual or optional automatic transmission with the same number of stages. Because of the flat engine design, the front section can be low and - more importantly - the center of gravity can be very low.

The weight of the almost 1,200 kilogram athlete is distributed with two passengers, 53 percent on the front axle and 47 percent on the hindquarters. Speaking of the rear: Although the GT 86 is referred to as a four-seater, you don't really want to offer the rear seats to anyone, because there is practically no foot space. But you sit extremely comfortably in the front sports seats and can easily find a suitable position thanks to the diverse seat and steering wheel adjustments. With a diameter of 365 millimeters, the valance is the smallest and sportiest in the entire Toyota range. Depending on the equipment, there is a start button or a conventional ignition lock.

Toyota GT 86 attracts with cheapBase price

The Toyota GT 86 should not only offer driving fun for a small elite like a super sports car, but appeal to a broader audience. That is why the 4.24-meter-long athlete will be available in Japan at a cost of well under 20,000 euros. For Europe (from autumn 2012) the price is still open. For this, however, the basic version has to be content with a hard plastic instead of a soft-touch dashboard and an ignition key instead of a start button. In the higher-quality variants, there are also grained plastics, carbon fiber applications and seat covers in contrasting colors.

There is a useful trunk for everyday transport needs, which can be enlarged thanks to the folding rear seat backrest. Then two golf bags fit in. The Toyota GT 86 passed its maturity test on and around the Nürburgring. No wonder that Toyota chased him over the Nordschleife in a VLN race before series production started. And Akio Toyoda hopes “that as many private teams as possible will be at the start in the next 24-hour race with the Toyota GT 86”.

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