The joint Toyota–Subaru RWD sports coupe project is now just months away from appearing in showrooms. And today Toyota unleashed a series of photos, details and plenty of information on the new model. The big news is that for some reason they’ve decided at the last minute to change the name from the FT-86, to the GT 86 – In Europe anyway.
The Toyota GT 86 will be making its world debut on the 30th November at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. From the start the GT 86 was developed as a driver-focused machine. That means its been engineered to be light, agile and provide an involving drive. Subaru were responsible for developing the engine, and they’ve opted for one of their trademark horizontally opposed 2.0 litre engines.
The idea behind the GT 86 wasn’t to win any horsepower wars. Think of it more like a slightly larger, 2+2 coupe version of Mazda’s MX-5. Budget thrills with the traditional front-mounted engine and RWD layout. The GT 86’s engine produces 197 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 151 lb-ft (205 Nm) of torque @ 6,600 rpm. No doubt a few aftermarket modifications would raise both numbers significantly. The GT 86 will be offered with a six speed manual gearbox as standard, with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters an option. A standard limited slip differential helps the car to find extra grip in all conditions.
The Toyota GT 86 measures 4.2 metres (167 inches) long, 1.28 metres (50.6 inches) high and 2.6 metres (101 inches) wide. Dimensions which Toyota say make it the most compact four-seater sports car on the market. The GT 86 takes advantage of its light weight and 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution, making it easy for drivers to exploit its handling characteristics. The suspension system comprises of MacPherson struts at the front, and double wishbones at the rear. The GT 86 sits on 17-inch wheels and is fitted with ventilated disc brakes front and rear.
On the inside the Toyota GT 86 isn’t especially pretty, but it is functional and ergonomically laid out. The small diameter steering wheel is trimmed in buckskin – based on feedback from test drivers looking to achieve the best possible steering feel and grip. The three-gauge instrument cluster is arranged around a large easy-to-read tachometer. The sporty feel of the cockpit is enhanced by with carbon-effect trim, contrasting red stitching, aluminium pedals and racecar-like rocker switches.