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Toyota GT history: every beginning was easy

Thomas Starck
Toyota GT history
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The small, rear-wheel drive two-seater goes by the name Sports 800, comes from Toyota, was built between 1965 and 1969 and exactly 3,550 times is the legitimate predecessor of the Toyota 2000 GT, which later became a cult sports car, not least because of its role in the James Bond classic 'You Only Live Twice', and thus ultimately also the ancestor of the current T oyota GT86 through.

Sports car with boxer engine

Already with a displacement of just 45 hp and a slim 790 cubic centimeters The cylinders worked like today on the Toyota GT86 against each other. However, the boxer engine of the athlete with the removable Targa roof still got by with two combustion chambers in the mid-1960s. Today there are twice as many.

However, the Japanese have probably not seen the iconic microcar as a veritable sports car. They already wanted one. That was to be admired a little later at the Tokyo Motor Show. A 1.16 meter high, also rear-wheel drive coupé, which stylistically borrowed from around the world - a little Jaguar E-Type here, a little Lotus and Corvette there.

Toyota GT was stronger than the Porsche 911

The best of different automotive worlds is as pleasing yesterday as it is today and thanks to three Mikuni double carburettors, almost two liters of displacement, six cylinders and two overhead camshafts also extremely good in the feed for the conditions at the time: With 150 hp and 177 Newton meters of maximum torque at 5000 tours, the Toyota 2000 GT was more powerful than the Porsche 911 at the time.

Only 17 Toyota 2000 GT abroad

A manual five-speed gearbox, independent suspension on double triangular wishbones as well as coil springs and disc brakes all around gave the sporty whole format. At 1,120 kilos, the newcomer weighed significantly heavier than Toyota's first sports car flea, but still managed to achieve a top speed of 220 km /h and a good ten seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 km /h. Not a matter of course for that time. Nevertheless, only 351 Toyota 2000 GT saw the world from the mid-1960s - just now17 of them went abroad. The Far East athlete to whom the Toyota GT86 based on the basic technical specification as a rear-wheel drive front-engined coupé, today. The oldie also left unmistakable traces in the design of the newcomer.

For the Corolla AE 86 launched in the early 1980s, which was launched in Europe under the name Toyota Corolla Coupé GT and which is the current four-cylinder Athlete owes his name, this is only partially true. About three decades ago, the design language was too boxy. In terms of stature, the newcomer plays in that same league: With a length of 4.18 meters, two doors, four seats and a base price of 20,390 marks (1985), the 124 hp Corolla, which is only available in Germany with a notchback, aimed at one similar clientele.

Seven generations of Toyota Celica

That was 25 years at Toyota between 1970 and 2005 also within the Celica series. For seven generations, the two-door coupés with between 75 and 242 hp at Toyota stood for driving fun and sportiness. Even though the comparatively stately Japanese lost its cult character when it switched from rear-wheel to front-wheel drive in 1986. Only the later independently run top model Supra retained the rear-wheel drive, which is now experiencing a renaissance in the current Toyota GT86.


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