Toyota's eagerly awaited, compact 2+2 sports car, the GT 86, makes its European debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
On sale throughout Europe in the summer of 2012, the Toyota GT 86 is an entirely driver-oriented vehicle. It gives form to the pure, intrinsic joy of driving through precise, instantaneous response to even the smallest throttle or steering inputs, for those who regard driving as a passion rather than a necessity.
With a low, highly aerodynamic bodyshell stretched tight over the engineering hard points, the new GT 86 is based on an entirely new platform. Shunning a heavy, large displacement powertrain for its performance, the GT 86 returns to Toyota's sporting roots with the world's only combination of a compact, front-mounted, free-revving, horizontally opposed 'boxer' petrol engine and rear-wheel drive.
This unique powertrain format combines with the world's most compact four-seat design, light weight, low inertia and a low centre of gravity for the best possible power-to-weight ratio. These attributes award the GT 86 lively, accessible performance, highly engaging, readily exploitable dynamic abilities with minimal electronic intrusion, and maximum driving pleasure.
Conceived to focus specifically on the purity of the classic sports car experience, designed by a passionate team of engineers, honed through competition and fine-tuned to satisfy the most discerning enthusiast, The GT 86 inherits the spirit of former Toyota sports cars to reward drivers with pure driving involvement.
Though paying homage to both the exhilarating drivability of the Corolla Levin AE86 and its unique relationship with owners, enthusiasts and tuning shops, the number 86 has played a further, significant role throughout the development of Toyota's new sports car.
The boxer engine's square bore and stroke set-up of 86 mm x 86 mm proves ideal, remaining faithful to Toyota's long, sports engine history. The legendary 3M engine of the 2000GT and the 1G-G engine of the Supra were both in-line six-cylinder configurations with a square bore and stroke of 75 mm. And the in-line, four-cylinder unit in the Celica and MR2 had a square bore and stroke of 86 mm.
Even the diameter of the Toyota GT 86's chrome-tipped exhaust opening measures exactly 86 mm…
Packaged to Deliver the Ultimate in Sports Driving Enjoyment
4,240 mm long, 1,775 mm wide, only 1,285 mm high and with a wheelbase of 2,570 mm, the new GT 86 is the world's most compact four-seater sports car.
Comprehensive weight saving measures result in a vehicle mass of around 1,200kg.
The flat-four format of the front-mounted boxer engine combines with the lowest driver hip-point of any Toyota production vehicle -just 400 mm- to give the GT 86 an ultra-low centre of gravity of only 460 mm.
Both the powertrain and driving position have been set as low and as far back as possible to optimise balance, giving the GT 86 near-perfect, 53:47 weight distribution. The ideal static weight distribution varies according to engine power; a 51:49 front bias suiting vehicles with approximately 150 hp, a similar chassis with 300 hp better suited to a 50:50 distribution.
Toyota engineers established that, during spirited driving, the Toyota GT 86's 53:47 front bias produced the ideal response to even subtle steering, throttle and brake inputs, allowing drivers to readily control dynamic weight distribution for the best possible vehicle behaviour.
The GT 86 design uses a unique concept called 'Aero Sandwiching'. The car is pushed by air from the top, bottom and both sides -basically sandwiched by air from all directions- which stabilises it both vertically and horizontally. In this way the car is stabilised with no negative impact on the drag coeffiecient.
The seat design has been painstakingly honed to ergonomic perfection through Nurburgring circuit testing, and under race conditions, to ensure it remains comfortable over long periods behind the wheel.
The seatbacks and cushion surfaces are designed to provide optimum support under acceleration G-forces from the front, back and sides. In addition, the shape of the front seat is designed not only for comfort, but also to prevent elbows from interfering with gearshift operation.
The steering wheel has a diameter of just 365 mm, the smallest yet fitted to a Toyota, and its buckskin finish has been developed through exhaustive feedback from test drivers to offer enhanced steering performance and maximum grip under all cockpit conditions.
The Toyota GT 86 interior also features the world's first frameless rearview mirror. This stylish, lightweight design maximises the driver's view astern without overly impeding the view forward through the windscreen.
A genuinely lightweight machine which offers the intimacy and involvement of a car that can be driven as if it were an extension of the driver's body, the Toyota GT 86 perfectly recaptures the exhilarating spirit of the last Corolla Levin AE86 and, with numerous customisable parts, shares its aim to be an affordable car that evolves with its owner.