March 31, 2012

Toyota GT86: Designed and priced to delight

With just three months to go before Toyota’s GT86 officially takes to Britain’s roads, details of the new model’s equipment specifications and prices have been announced.

Early media reports about the new car’s handling and performance signal that Toyota has succeeded
in recapturing the essential joy of driving that it put at the heart of the GT86 project. More attractive still is the fact great performance does not come with a prohibitive price tag: as expected, the range starts at £24,995 for the manual version, with the automatic at £26,495. There is just one equipment grade. Orders are being taken now, with deliveries from July 1.

With a front-mounted 2.0-litre 'boxer' engine and rear-wheel-drive, the light, low and nimble GT86 has a classic sports car set-up. The styling and specification reflect its driver-focused character: exterior features include a rear spoiler, 17-inch light alloy wheels, chrome-finished dual exhaust tailpipes and a signature 'T'-mesh grille. That T motif is repeated in the shape of the rear foglight, set centrally between the tailpipes.
A limited slip differential also fitted as standard, reaffirming GT86’s essential 'driver’s car' character.

Other features include bi-xenon high intensity discharge headlights, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps and electric folding door mirrors with housings matched to the car’s body colour. Seven exterior colours are available - dark red, silver metallic, black metallic, blue metallic, dark red metallic, orange metallic and pearl pearlescent.

Optional side, roof and bonnet decals are available in black or silver to add an extra dimension to GT86’s sporting appearance.

The GT86 badge is a small but attractive detail just forward of the base of the A-pillars, depicting four drifting tyres within the number 86, set between two horizontal 'boxer' pistons.

The 2+2 cabin further emphasises the essential character of the GT86, with a cockpit designed around the driver, front sports seats, aluminium pedals and contrasting red stitching around the black leather trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and parking brake. Black cloth upholstery is standard, but customers have the option of black leather and Alcantara, or black leather with red Alcantara and additional red leather styling details on the door grips, steering wheel, gear knob and parking brake. Both of these options also include heaters for the front seats.

Access is easy thanks to the Smart Entry system, and the cabin environment can be programmed for comfort with dual-zone air-conditioning. The high quality extends to an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control, hill-start assist, scuff plates and the Toyota Touch touchscreen control system for controlling the six-speaker audio system, with Bluetooth for phone connection and music streaming, and a USB port. As an option, the system can be upgraded to Toyota Touch and Go, with satellite navigation and advanced functions such as speed and safety camera warnings, on-board connection to Google Local Search and (via subscription) connected services providing data such as live parking and fuel price information and local weather forecasts.

Active safety provisions include a switchable VSC stability control system, which can be adjusted through three driving modes to suit driver preference, and a torque-sensing limited slip differential. Seven airbags are provided, including a driver’s knee airbag.

The six-speed automatic transmission available for GT86’s includes paddle shifts to give the driver the option of making manual gear changes.



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