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Toyota officially reveal the GT-86

They've finally turned the FT-86 concepts into reality...

After teaser shots, leaked images, spyshots and brochure leaks, the long awaited day has finally arrived.

Toyota has today revealed the first pictures and details for the hotly anticipated GT 86 sports car, the production version of the FT-86 concept.

The GT 86 is a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru and will eventually spawn 2 additional models: the Subaru BRZ which will be available globally and the North American market Scion FR-S. All the cars in their base forms will share the same engine and brand new rear wheel drive chassis complete with drift-friendly limited slip differential.

Power comes from Subaru's new horizontally opposed 2.0-liter flat-four boxer engine that has been enhanced with torque-enhancing D-4S injection technology by adding a Toyota developed head which also gives a higher redline. Maximum power is rated at 197 bhp at 7,000 rpm with the maximum torque of 151 lb-ft reached at 6,600 rpm. All models will be available with either a six speed manual gearbox, or a five speed automatic with steering wheel mounted shift paddles.

The GT 86 measures 4,240mm long, 1,285mm high and 2,570mm wide making it the most compact four-seater sports cars on the market. A near perfect balance has been achieved with a weight distribution ratio of 53:47 (front-to-rear). The flat-four engine format and low driver position has also enabled the GT 86 a very low centre of gravity of just 475mm which will help with the handling. Power may not be overly high, but as the GT 86 only weighs 1180kg it still has a power to weight ratio of 166 bhp/tonne which is the equal of some hot hatchbacks. 

With the suspension setup, Toyota is instead focussing on handling prowess with this car. relatively small 215mm wide tyres on 17" rims mean that there isn't too much grip, and drivers can fully exploit the RWD chassis. Initial drive reports put the handling comparable to the Porsche Cayman which is high praise indeed.

Interior wise there are leather/alcantara bucket seats and a simple centre console, with a clear infotainment touch screen system.

Buyers may have been able to overlook the performance shortfall if the price had been close to the originally mooted £22,000, but with the press release comes news of the targeted price of around £28,000. In our opinion that is far too high, as it places the GT 86 against rivals with much more firepower - the 320 bhp 3.7 litre V6 Nissan 370Z is one example that costs only £1000 more.

The new Toyota GT 86 will be unveiled for the first time at the Tokyo motor show at the end of the month.

 Images courtesy of Toyota

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more