Pros: Tail happy, appealing, slick 6 speed manual.
Cons: A little bland.
The 86 is a series of grand tourer sports coupés jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru and solely manufactured by Subaru. It features a front mounted boxer engine which sends power to the rear-wheels. In 2008 Toyota acquired a share of Fuji Heavy Industries, parent company to Subaru. Toyota, led by project leader Tetsuya Subaru’s balk led the project to a six month halt before Toyota invited journalists and Subaru engineers to test a developmental prototype to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform. Following the test, Subaru agreed to become further involved in development.
Well to begin, 147kw’s and 205 Nm’s are not figures that will light up front page news. But take note power isn’t everything in this situation. Actually those figures are a little too high for the inexperienced. Head down a straight find a curve deactivate the traction control and immediately you may find yourself facing in the opposite direction. The chassis in the car is so well sorted that even the unskilled driver can look like a pro drifter the first time out. In a straight line though, you may find yourself begging for more power as force-fed cars are the trend these days, but as I said this car’s talents are not on the straight and narrow.
The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are almost identical but both have a few package options offered by the respective manufacturers. Both have the boxer motor from Subaru but it lacks an inspiring soundtrack, one is expectant of a little rumble from a boxer engine, but in this case you won’t be turning heads from the back box. The tuning capabilities of the motor though have seen some tuners achieving north of 250kw with stock internals so the platform for big power is available and a few kits are already available locally.
Performance figures are claimed as.
0–100 km/h: 7.6s 1/4 Mile: 14.9s Top Speed 226km/h
The interior of the 86 is certainly not the best place to be in, as soon as you step in you are hugged by heated sports seats with an alcantara finish and red stitching which is perhaps the highlight of the interior. One feature that sticks out like a sore thumb is the Toyota Quantum head unit in the centre console. It has Bluetooth connectivity which can come in handy but it’s not ground breaking technology and for a car at this price a little more work could have gone into it. Toyota has mated the head unit to some decent speakers which will suffice for your house and tech music heads so it’s not the worst of situations one can encounter.
When you look at the 86 don’t expect it to have luxuries and technology rivalling Scirocco’s and OPC’s you are looking in the wrong direction, this car is not a hot hatch competitor it’s meant to tuck you in hold you tight and let you enjoy the ride no holds barred. It’s deceptively spacious, seats four in relative comfort, and is accommodating for the heftier passengers. Boot space is adequate and can carry enough luggage so the tourer slogan is certainly not false.
All in all, the 86 is a great car, it does what it was meant to do and it does it well, if you’re a fan of drifting, burnouts and all things illegal this is the car to have. I would definitely have this machine in my garage for those days when you want to be different and not have a care in the world of what everyone else thinks.