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?