Toyota has just announced it’s making a new Sports Car which will put a little fun and desirability back in their range.
There was a time when Toyota offered pretty much the best ‘affordable’ sport car range of any volume manufacturer. Cars like the Supra, Celica and the hugely popular MR2, helped to raise Toyotas boring image as trendy young people chose the Toyota and the badge became a cool thing.
OK, perhaps that’s pushing it a bit far, but there were lots of people driving Toyotas that wouldn’t have done so if they didn’t offer these excellent sports cars, so what did Toyota do? Well one by one, they junked them, leaving Toyota with a perfectly acceptable range of perfectly boring and perfectly dull saloons and hatchbacks.
Things went from bad to worse, as recall after recall began to ask questions about the standard of Toyotas design and build quality whilst failing components left drivers frightened to drive their cars for fear of accident or mechanical failure, leaving owners without much confidence in the product and many potential buyers firmly put off buying one. These were dark days indeed for Toyota.
Happily, that’s all behind Toyota now and the sun has come out, so everything seems brighter and most people have forgotten about the embarrassing recalls (I shouldn’t have mentioned the recalls) and Toyota is credible again and to make it even more so, Toyota has just announced it’s making a new Sports Car which will put a little fun and desirability back in their range.
Called the GT86, it’s a 2 door coupe, much in the style of the Celica or Supra. Powered by a Subaru boxer engine tuned to deliver 197bhp at 7,000rpm and maximum torque of 205Nm at 6,600rpmand Toyota say the GT 86 will give drivers a true sports car experience with crisp throttle response, eager steering and terrific performance.
Seems strange that a giant like Toyota have to run someone else’s engine but with Subaru’s rally experience, the horizontally opposed four-cylinder motor is going to perform amazingly well, sound fantastic and will be the heart of the GT86 offering buyers a really unique combination of Toyota build quality, superb specification, and a real ‘bad-boy’ under the hood.
Being a Toyota, with great reliability and lots of dealer support, you can expect company car drivers to be putting the new GT86 on their wish lists and to be honest, they could probably do a lot worse as the car is bound to hold good second hand values meaning the whole life costs of ownership are going to stack up against the more normal business use car, making this not just an affordable sports car, but an affordable company car.
The GT86 will be launched in the UK in June 2012