Road test: Toyota GT86


What is it?

Toyota's re-imagined legend: A rear wheel drive coupe designed to evoke the memories of the 1980s cult-classic AE86. The GT has quite a reputation to live up to - its namesake was something of a hero when it came to 'drifting', so can the new model manage to go sideways quite as easily?

What's under the bonnet?

A 2.0-litre petrol engine that Subaru helped design. It's been given just the right level of power - not too much, not too little - to keep the car good fun without being a handful. 200bhp isn't to be sniffed at though - nor is the lovely revvy soundtrack it sends into the cabin all the way to 7,000 RPM.

What's the kit like?

There's only one trim level (praise the Lord), and it comes pretty well appointed. For your £25,000 you'll receive xenon headlamps, dual zone climate control, keyless go, and Toyota's Touch multimedia system.

Toyota GT86

Toyota GT86

Is it any good?

In a word, yes. It's the first pure, traditional sports car (Mazda MX-5 aside) that's been on sale for ages. The steering is heavy, the back end is prone to a bit of waggling, and there's just enough power to keep the chassis happy. In fact it's very good.

Any rivals?

Not really - the Subaru BRZ, which is the same car with a different badge on the bonnet. After that, the Mazda MX-5 probably gets closest but is slower and cheaper, while hot hatches like the Golf GTI offer similar performance but go without that lovely rear-wheel-drive setup.

The AOL Cars verdict

The GT86 is a brilliant car - arguably the best product Toyota have produced in a long time, and something to make you reconsider spending £25k on anything else. There are a few bits and pieces where things don't feel so wonderful - some destinctly 1990s switchgear for example - but on the whole, the GT86 is a superb package.

The knowledge

Model: Toyota GT86
Price: £24,995
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cyl
Power: 197bhp, 204Nm
Max speed: 140mph
0-60mph: 7.6s
MPG (comb'd): 36.2
Emissions: 181g/km