Codename WTF86

Toyota’s GT86 remains one of the best cars I’ve ever driven – front engined with rear wheel drive and sharp handling, resulting in a sports car that’s very fun to drive.

Some critics, however, have complained that the performance from the 2.0L boxer engine is somewhat sluggish – a recent review in the Telegraph described its 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds as “slow compared to its price tag.”

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Toyota’s GT86 gets a facelift


The first car I ever test drove was Toyota’s GT86 back in early 2013, the reincarnation of the classic AE86 and the 2000GT which helped to establish Toyota’s reputation as a sports car maker. I was interviewing Dave Shannon, then the managing director of Toyota Ireland, about something else entirely, when I asked him about the brand’s model range. Shannon mentioned the GT86, which had only recently landed, and the sheer joy that came from barrelling around the roads in Glendalough in this new beast. One thing led to another, and several weeks later I found myself behind the wheel of the new model.

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Armchair racers, rejoice!

Toyota_Gives_GT86_Drivers_The_Chance_To_Race_ThemselvesIt’s a scorching day. You’re hammering down the Fuji Speedway International Course, neck and neck with yourself in your Toyota GT86. Nope, it’s not that slightly uncomfortable dream you keep having, nor is it an especially vivid acid trip – it’s just the latest technology on offer from Japanese giants Toyota and Sony.

You see, one of the best things about Gran Turismo for many of us is the fact that you’re controlling (and crashing) real cars, cars which any one of us could – theoretically – own or drive some day, if we won the lotto or never had any bills to pay. Unfortunately, if your broadband isn’t great (read: quite a lot of Ireland), your competitors don’t really exist, and the thrill of beating virtual opponents doesn’t always last for terribly long.

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