Certainly for the moment, this is the biggest competition the Subaru BRZ has: its twin, the Toyota GT 86. The volcanic orange coupe was unveiled in another corner of the Tokyo Motor Show, and frankly, it's got a lot to recommend it. The frontal treatment is slightly different than on the BRZ, but the only digression out back is the lack of a spoiler, and the GT 86 looks pretty good without it.

Inside, it's a tale of two cabins. Clearly Toyota has brought a higher-spec cockpit to the party, and although you might not dig the red two-tone scheme, the iPhone cradle, toggle switches and white gauges are nifty. Of course, that niftyness will cost you a navigation screen, but these are exactly the kinds of choices the GT 86 vs BRZ crowd will need to make. Brush up on the specs in the release after the jump and take a walk around it in our high-res image gallery.
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MORE PASSION, MORE FUN: TOYOTA RECAPTURES THE JOY OF DRIVING
World debut for Toyota GT 86 sports car at the Tokyo motor show


KEY POINTS

- Entirely driver-focused sports car, designed to recapture the fundamental joys of motoring
- World's most compact four-seater sports car, delivering very low centre of gravity and excellent power-to-weight ratio
- A return to Toyota's sporting roots, with a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive package
- Powertrain combines 197bhp 2.0-litre flat-four boxer engine with torque-enhancing D-4S injection technology
- Design achieves outstanding aerodynamics while recalling Toyota's sports car heritage
- New car to be called the GT 86 in Europe, in tribute to Toyota's GT car heritage
- On sale in the UK in June 2012

The anticipation is over: Toyota's new GT 86 sports car makes its world debut at the Tokyo motor show on November 30. The compact 2+2 model, one of the most keenly awaited new cars of the coming year, will go on sale in the UK in June 2012.

The GT 86 has been conceived as an entirely driver-focused machine, designed to deliver the core qualities of the classic sports car experience. That means precise, instant response to the smallest throttle and steering inputs and the kind of performance that appeals to those for whom driving is a passion, not a necessity.

The GT 86 is built on a new platform, with a highly aerodynamic bodyshell stretched tight over the car's mechanical elements. Rather than fitting a heavy, large capacity powertrain, Toyota has opted instead to go back to its sporting roots, installing a compact, front-mounted, free-revving petrol engine that drives the rear wheels.

This four-cylinder "boxer" unit generates 197bhp at 7,000rpm and maximum torque of 205Nm at 6,600rpm, giving the GT 86 brisk, engaging performance.

The powertrain is matched to the world's most compact four-seat design to create a car that benefits from light weight, low inertia and a low centre of gravity to achieve the best possible power-to-weight ratio. For the driver that means lively, accessible performance and dynamic character with minimal intrusion from electronic systems.

Packaging

The GT 86 measures 4,240mm long, 1,285mm high and 2,570mm wide, dimensions which make it the most compact four-seater sports car available today.

Both the powertrain and the driving position have been set as low and as far back as possible to achieve the best balance: the car has a near-perfect 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution. The flat-four engine format and the driver's hip point – the lowest of any current Toyota production model – together give the GT 86 an ultra-low centre of gravity, at just 475mm.

The GT 86 makes the most of a light kerb weight, making it easy for drivers to exploit its nimble handling and cornering poise. The suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear. The car rides on 17-inch wheels and is fitted with ventilated disc brakes fore and aft.

World's first horizontally opposed engine with D-4S

The GT 86's engine is the result of a joint Toyota and Subaru development programme that brings together their technical know-how and mutual passion for sports cars.

Toyota has added its D-4S injection technology to Subaru's new, horizontally opposed, naturally aspirated 1,998cc four-cylinder boxer engine. This system features separate twin injectors for both direct and port injection, and a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, increasing power and torque across a wide range of engine speeds without sacrificing fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

The flat-four engine has equal bore and stroke of 86.0mm and drives through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offers quick, precise shifts using a tactile, short-throw lever; the automatic transmission can be controlled using paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel.

Power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential to give the best possible grip in all driving conditions. The ABS and switchable vehicle stability control systems have been tuned specifically to deliver dynamic stability at the limit of the car's performance envelope with minimal electronic intervention to help preserve the purity of the driving experience.

Design

The design of the GT 86 successfully works within the technical constraints of achieving the most compact dimensions possible, a low centre of gravity and aerodynamic performance inspired by motorsport technology, while also displaying evocative, sweeping styling that recalls Toyota's sports car heritage.

Toyota's new design language informs the styling, as in the way attention is focused on the lower part of the car with the large lower grille. Elsewhere the "keen" approach can be witnessed in the clear, expressive lines.

The lower grille's "scorpion" look gives the GT 86 a more powerful appearance, with further sporting details including the model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, twin exhausts and the "86" piston logo that denotes the car's special powertrain configuration.

On board, the ergonomics and function of every element the driver interacts with have been scrutinised to make driving the car as natural, instinctive and rewarding as possible. For example, the steering wheel has a 365mm diameter, making it the smallest ever fitted to a Toyota, and it is trimmed in buckskin, developed from exhaustive feedback from test drivers on how to achieve the best steering performance and grip.

The three-meter instrument cluster is arranged around a large tachometer, its design benefiting from close attention to the positioning of the displays, markings and typeface. The result is the best possible visibility and readability. The driver-focus of the cockpit is further reinforced by the carbon-effect trim, all-black roof lining, red stitching on the upholstery, aviation-style rocker switches and lightweight, aluminium pedals.

Toyota's 50-year sports car heritage

The GT 86 may be launched as the world's only current sports car to feature a front-mounted, horizontally opposed engine and rear-wheel drive, but it cannot claim to be the first. That honour is held by Toyota's two-cylinder boxer-engined Sports 800, which the company began developing in 1962. Since then, Toyota has established a long history of producing exciting, driver-focused sports cars with a front-engine, rear-wheel drive format that have proved as popular with the public as they have been successful in competition.

The beautiful 2000 GT, a coupe powered by a 2.0-litre straight-six engine, was first displayed at the 1965 Tokyo motor show and helped establish Toyota's global reputation as a sports car manufacturer.

Launched in 1971, the first Celica models featured rear-wheel drive powertrains and were praised by enthusiasts for their agility. All four Supra generations came with straight-six engines and rear-wheel drive, while from 1984 the MR2 won recognition as one of the best handling sports cars in motoring history.

The inspiration for the GT 86, however, is the Corolla GT (or Levin) AE86, a car with an enduring reputation for delivering sheer excitement and capturing the fundamental joy of driving. Its front-engine, rear-wheel drive package, compact dimensions, light weight, impeccable balance and superior power-to-weight ratio made it a must-have choice for rallying and circuit driving throughout its production life, from 1983 to 1987. Here in the UK the GT claimed two British Touring Car Championship titles and a series of top-level rally victories.

The GT 86 is a genuinely lightweight machine that offers the intimacy and involvement of a car that can be driven as though an extension of the driver's body. In this way, it perfectly recaptures the exhilarating spirit of the last of the AE86. And, with numerous customisable parts, its shares its predecessor's aim to be an affordable car that will evolve with its owner.


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  • 168 Comments
      MoonMan
      • 3 Years Ago
      According to toyota, the GT 86-FRS-BRZ were all designed after 3 cars in mind. The toyota Sports 800 ( first with horizontally apposed engine), the Toyota 2000 GT , and the AE86. They designed the car from the start to initially not include a turbo, Big Sports tires , and an AWD system because all of these would weigh down the car immensely.
        MoonMan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MoonMan
        http://www.tune86.com/ft-86-news/16077-toyota-86-presentation-video-tetsuya-tada
      Matthew Simmons
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dig the look of this car. Looks very futuristic.
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      Come on guys, you can share platform without looking like identical twins........
        Pj Taintz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        this is eclipse/talon all over again
          Eric Leippe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          except these cars have a chance at being decent
          David
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          Or the pontiac vibe and toyota matrix.
          MachDelta
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          At least DSM's had distinct rear ends too. Come to think of it, they're probably easier to differentiate from behind. Which is good, because that's the view most people get. ;)
          Pj Taintz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          the vibe and matrix had some body differences, the mitsu and talon had 2 differences, and none body, different taillights, and the talon had a black roof/color body where the mitsu had full color body, these are exactly the same as those from what i can see so far. nothing wrong with that, the eagle to me was the guys car and the mitsu was the girls car, we just need to wait and see who picks what here
      patrialuvien
      • 3 Years Ago
      Vastly prefer the additional gauge cluster and iPod/iPhone cradle versus the nav screen. More input to the driver, and a harness for a device that can accomplish navigation perfectly and receive regular updates? More automakers should have an option like this.
      David Hu
      • 3 Years Ago
      By the way, for all those who are complaining about it not being a Supra: let's just hope Toyota's successful with this car first. It's hard enough to make a business case nowadays for a sports car, much less an expensive one.
      George
      • 3 Years Ago
      lol @ the water cup app on the phone in the interior photo...
      gork
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Toyota version's interior sure feels like it was designed to appeal to video gamers with the dual color and more angular shapes. They remind me of Alienware (Dell) computers: http://goo.gl/ih3GH I like the brave move to strike it different from others.
        over9000
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gork
        It looks like the 2012 Toyota Yaris, just look at the instrument cluster and how it's laid out. Before downvoting, do your research.
          4 String
          • 3 Years Ago
          @over9000
          No, no, and no. Looks nothing like the Yaris... LOL
      Robert Fahey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seems to be a discrepancy about 0-60 times. Edmunds: 7 seconds TTAC: 6 seconds (to 62 mph!)
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        And since no one has actually tested it. guess we'll have to wait for actual times. That being said, I've found that on a lot of cars Edmunds has slower results than other outlets.
          jtav2002
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          Unless they have done actually testing that I haven't seen, in which case my latter statement would still hold true.
      Doug Danzeisen Sr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice- reminds me a little of the original 240Z, in spirit, if not actual form
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      give it decent wheels and tail-lights and i will start to like it!
      dan-
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can see the specs and new press release photos that just came out today here: http://www.allcarwiki.com/wiki/Subaru_BRZ http://www.allcarwiki.com/wiki/Toyota_GT-86 Personally, the car looks awesome, frankly I'm a bit surprised at the low power output I was expecting the Subaru to have an official upper spec with about 200kw. But from what the insiders at Toyota have been saying the car is being designed to be modded. I guess they're setting up the basics and letting the individual owners determine what power the car should be putting out.
        Rafael
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dan-
        Why does the higher spec have lower MPG if the only difference is the wheel size?
          Royce Ramos
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rafael
          has to do with gearing. i.e. The 178HP/170lbs Tq 2012 Toyota Camry 2.5L gets 25/35. The 180HP/173lbs Tq 2012 Scion tC 2.5L gets 23/31. Why does the Scion tC get lower MPG even though it has the same engine, but is a lighter car? Because of gearing and tuning.
      David Hu
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course, as soon as I posted that, I see the photo gallery of the 2013 FR-S in red... :P
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