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The Toyota GT 86 - Get the drift

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It’s the biggest thing that’s happened to the world of Internet and PlayStation users. The Toyota GT 86, inspired by the legendary Corolla GT AE86, has been unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. And alongside it, another mental sports car has been let loose: the Subaru BRZ. Technically, two different cars should be written about in two different pieces, right? Right, but the GT 86 and BRZ are the same, save for the badges, some interior trim and very minor design tweaks.

The GT 86/BRZ is a result of a joint development programme between Toyota and Subaru, which by default means it’s a rev-happy, super-handling sports car. To give you an introduction, it employs a front engine, rear-wheel drive format — traditional sports car stuff, that. At the business end of things is a 2.0 litre flat-four boxer engine that produces 197 bhp! Think that’s not a big enough number? That’s a trick of the light, pun intended. Both these cars are touted to be extremely light (no official figures yet) and Toyota/Subaru insist on highlighting weight distribution, balance and handling the most!

Before we get to that, though, let’s give you a brief run-through of the powerplant. All 197 horses get into action at 7,000 rpm whereas 20.9 kgm of torque is available at 6,600 rpm. The GT86/BRZ benefits from Toyota’s D-4S injection system and has a square bore and stroke configuration of 86.0 mm. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, and is also available as an automatic (six-speed, again, and with paddle shifters in “S” mode). The rear wheels have the services from the all-important limited-slip differential, while the regular stability bits like Traction Control, ESP and ABS are, of course, present.

The GT 86/BRZ boasts an ultra-low centre of gravity, which makes it extremely stable around the fastest of corners, and working in conjunction with that are the 215/45 R17 tyres. Also, it boasts of a 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution, which is as good as balance can get. We do think they don’t look as striking as we’d have liked, though.

Lastly, the Toyota sports the more “premium” interiors of the two, whereas in both the basic theme is “driver focus”. So you get a super-small buckskin steering wheel, aluminium pedals and rocker switches apart from lots of carbon-effect elements. While the difference isn’t all that much, we seem to like the Subaru’s styling better. Whichever you pick, maximum driving fun is guaranteed!