A slice of nostalgia

Toyota remembers when coupes were simple, rear-wheel drive and designed to give the person behind the wheel a good time. It’s called the GT86.

In recent years it’s been hard to construct a sentence where the word “fun” sits comfortably with ‘Toyota’. The GT86 changes all that.

Bland and reliable doesn’t sell to young, fun-seeking drivers, but Toyota is confident that the smart, rev-loving, rear-drive coupe it’s made in collaboration with Subaru most certainly will.

The formula is simply classic: snarly, high-revving four-cylinder engine in the nose, rear-wheel-drive, 2+2 seating, a swoopy body, a stubby gearlever and a cosy cabin with low-slung sports seats - more or less a throwback, quite intentionally, to the Corolla GT Coupe of 1984.

Weighing just 1180 kilos, you might expect the GT86 to make rather more of its 197bhp and 151lb ft of torque than the estimated headline performance stats of 140mph and 0-62mph in 7.6s suggest. But this car isn’t just about raw power. Its lean kerb weight will play just as big a role in the way it handles and rides. A limited slip differential also fitted as standard, reaffirming GT86’s essential “driver’s car” character.

The driving environment should certainly help get you in the mood with its low-slung bucket seats and driver-centric control layout, not to mention the drilled pedals and footrest. Disappointments? A short-throw gearchange that’s a tad notchy and a six-speed auto option that, while smooth, lacks the snappy alacrity of the best double-clutchers. But that’s about it.