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Toyota 86
Putting the F back in Fun and the D back into Driving


Toyota

In an extremely successful collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, a new type of sports coupe has been born. Featuring a Boxer front-engine and rear-wheel drive the Toyota 86 has put viability back into the sports car segment.

The cynics amongst us (me included) would have assumed that the quality of the Toyota 86 would match the price tag, with shortcuts taken to squeeze it into budget. As the saying goes: never assume, it makes and ass out of you and me.

This car screams athleticism starting with the shape; astute Toyota engineers had obviously flicked through the 2000GT scrapbook when they had their initial thoughts. Shape is classical, not aggressive or punchy, but neither is it passive. If anything it gives off an air of contained exuberance with a cheeky wink over its shoulder as it flies past. It’s small and perfectly formed but with more than enough street cred to keep you, er, well credible.

Toyota has gifted the car with a 2.0-litre Boxer engine producing 200-bhp. Its flat architecture allows it to be mounted low, and drops the car’s centre of gravity, increasing stability and control.

You feel this almost immediately in the way the car handles, incredibly well balanced and, yes, grin inducing. No, it may not have high-end sports car power, but, what it delivers is high-end experience.

The interior is simple, comfortable and stylish, nothing is too over the top. The driving position and visibility are better than you might have expected from a small car.

The dash tells you everything you need to know, when you need it, clearly and without the need to study the manual. The 86 is not low-tech it just doesn’t have things you don’t need. The stereo plays music well and the AC keeps you cool It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a luxury sports car, because it doesn’t need them.

I have one word for this car - fun! The 86 made me giggle out loud and holler ‘I have to get me one of these!’ It is a joy to drive with enough power to excite but not too much that you get carried away.

Toyota wanted to put entertainment back into driving and they have done exactly that.

Available in the UAE now, priced from 95,000/- to 125,000/- Dhs. Has there ever been a sports car on the market which is so affordable and within reach of so many?

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