Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Toyota 86 is confirmed for production!

It’s said that racing improves the breed? That's a wise saying Toyota takes very seriously. The much anticipated new chapter in the brand's sport car collection was unveiled to the press this week at renowned track - Fuji Speedway. The new model will be called “86” in Australia as a tribute to the Corolla AE86, which inspired its creation. The Japanese domestic market version will be appropriately named “Hachi Roku”.

Toyota and Subaru have teamed up to create both the 86 and Subaru’s variant which will be called the BRZ. Under the bonnet, you'll find a naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed 2.0 litre four cylinder boxer engine upgraded with D4S direct injection technology. The increase in torque and performance should hopefully translate to a little more punch from the motor. Customers will have the choice of either a short shift six speed manual transmission or a tip-tronic six speed automatic transmission which will transfer its power through a limited slip differential that will then drive the rear wheels. Both the drive train and seating position have been set as low and as far back as possible to optimise balance within the car. 

Motorsport is hardwired in the manufacturers DNA with victories that include four World Rally Championship drivers’ titles, the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Sebring. These are all pages and stages that sum up Toyota’s sporting heritage, but what makes the new 86 truly special is it's close connection to the 1965 Sport 800 which was also powered by a horizontally opposed boxer engine.

The design works within the technological constraints of achieving the most compact dimensions possible including a low centre of gravity. The modern aggressive styling helps to retain the presence asserted by modern day sports cars but is still humble enough to recall it's origins. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to be one of the few that were able to drive the car, based on what I’ve read and seen from driving clips, the 86 will offer affordable power, good handling and everyday usability.

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