First Drive: Toyota 86 - The best handling compact FR coupe now!

d4rk

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d4rk

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Jul 26, 2010
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It started off as a small, nimble hatchback from the 80’s. But who knew 30 years later, it is still regarded as one of the most influential cars by the ever-growing enthusiasts to have shook the world and still leaves fresh traces of rubber on the tarmac. And it is through its unique characteristics that had moved Toyota in reincarnating the famed sideways legend, the AE86, with the all new Toyota 86 sports coupe.

Compiled by d4rk and Tom



Through the hype that surrounds the 86 even before its debut, it had already gained a steady base of admirers, mainly from being the spiritual successor of the AE86. But that love is felt at a whole different level when one grabs the wheel as the new 86 is not only as sporty as it was marketed, but it totally does a lot more than what it says on the box.



The

The AE86 had gained its legendary sporty position mostly by chance, famed by big names like Keiichi Tsuchiya and the Initial D cult. But for the Toyota 86, this sportiness is undeniably in the blood, as bits of pieces of sporty characteristics could be found in the ride. And with this DNA embedded deep in it, one need not be Tsuchiya to manipulate the 86’s superb driving characteristics, as this new baby was already, born and raised to do just that. Much unlike the somewhat spartan, box-cart classic AE86 that needed much more talent and kahunas from its driver to realize its potential.



And like recreating a piece of priceless artwork, this task is no easy feat. To revive the spirit of the old AE86, one will need to fully understand the “soul” that determines its one of a kind sporting spirit. Through the enthusiasm and dedication from the Japanese giant(s), they had pulled it off, and brilliantly at that, in the chassis department.



The first sensation that greets the driver/passenger upon settling into the Toyota 86 has got to be the, should we say, the low and mostly perfect, sitting position, in which the beautiful, highly ergonomic sports seats that even an orthopedic would endorse, hugs its occupant gently but surely.



One could instantly be struck by epiphany the first time, right from moment the Toyota 86 is driven out from say, a car park. Its reassuring firm ride, perfectly damped suspension setup, is not at all spine-shattering anywhere. Be it while cruising the highway or going through crater blasted urban asphalt. It is also comfortably firm and full of continuous feel and feedback. Much unlike the spine-crushing H Type-R suspension made out of concrete.



Today, the market is flooded with cars that proudly bear the “sports car” tag as a claim to being fast and exhilarating. Somehow this overused term, while good to have, has long been deemed a gimmick since the yesteryears when the word Turbo was put on anything for sale from shoes to food blenders to vacuum cleaners. A placebo for those not in the know.



So has the Toyota 86 got the vital formula to even be badged “sporty” in the first place? The word “Yes” would be an understatement. The new 86‘s chassis is absolutely fantastic. It is rigid, well balanced and highly obedient. One call tell the amount of engineering that has gone into developing the new 86. A veteran could tell how Toyota has taken the best features of other creme de la creme performance cars, blended them into a tight package never before applicable for a compact Japanese sports car. Brute horsepower aside, mark our words, the new 86 shall soon be the next benchmark for performance compact sports coupes.



Like the classic AE86, the new 86 is as practical in its purpose. Brilliant chassis and just enough power. It just get things done, with no unnecessary distractions overpowering the experience. It is pure, it is very focused in the handling department and it juggles with the adequate amount of power for perfect balance. Although the Toyota 86 was engineered to produce 200 horsepower from its 2.0-litre naturally aspirated boxer engine, it is really not 200 of the wild, explosive, screaming Type-Rs.



The Toyota 86 lets you to have dollops of fun in any and all scenarios, where you can either exploit the immense grip and balance it exudes or you can simply chuck it into a corner, fast and initiate the good old dori-dori with a jab to the wheel and throttle.



One can pretty much do manly things to the New 86 and hardly get into any serious trouble. And through this, the only thing we would crave for is for more power in this great piece of automotive engineering, especially when the chassis is capable of much more.



It might never be able to put a dent into the tarmac doing the century sprint but when coupled up with a tall gearing, we find that the power as served by the new direct injection flat-four engine is, should we say, adequate; and qualms about the sedate power quickly fades away once the 86 gets up to speed. This sensation of adequate power also inspires drivers to conserve momentum, shave less speed and take full advantage of the beautiful chassis. What an attitude!





Yes, the new 86 is Toyota’s idea of reincarnating the AE86. No, they haven’t been able to modernize the box-cart Tofu-car. Fine, there is zero resemblance of any sort between the two, hell even the engine is now split in two opposing sides. So what gives?



The common DNA that they still share is that they’re both very pliable, simple in design, practical in use and has no frills. Oh, they can also carve corners. Though the new 86 will do it bloody well. So well, that you don’t need to be Tsuchiya or Takumi to access the full potential of the New 86.



The 86 is hands down the best handling Japanese compact sports coupe available today with perfect combination of good looks, adequate engine performance, and out-of-this-world driving feel. This unique personality shall compliment the rookies and reward the veterans.

Toyota 86 Specifications and Prices

  • Zerotohundred: 8.2s (AT), 7.6s (MT)
  • Top Speed: 225 km / h
  • Engine: 1998 cc D-4S flat-four boxer engine (FA20)
  • Power: 197 bhp / 7000 rpm
  • Redline: 7400 rpm
  • Torque 205 nm / 6600 rpm
  • Weight: 1,230 kg
  • Fuel: 5.91L/100km Automatic / 6.5L/100km Manual
  • Fuel Tank: 50 L
  • Wheels: 17"
  • Tyres: 215/45R17 all round
  • Price: RM243,000 Manual / RM249,000 Auto
  • Official Link: http://www.toyota.com.my/toyota-86/


Toyota 86 in Malaysia Related Posts:

 

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alwhitesat

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alwhitesat

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not impressed with the UMW package....especially the michelin crappy rubber (cant remember tho)......the much slower civic fd 2.0 came stock with better tyres, pilot preceda 2....what a shame!
 

wan9893

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wan9893

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wait for subaru brz..kabar2 angin said more cheaper compare to toyota......
 

Izso

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Izso

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Rims.... ugh... What made them think "oh look. let's use these fugly rims"?

But gotta love the rest of the car.

That isn't an auto right? Paddle shift?
 

Supra_Fanatics

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Supra_Fanatics

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Yes, Auto comes with paddle shift, previously I went and checked it out with a friend of mine.
Overall looks real good but I got to say I don't like dashboard design, kinda let down to me.

About the rear seats, sports car wise, can forget about having rear passengers especially if u r tall and u r the driver, Both front passenger and driver got to be short to have rear passengers.

Still well, is not meant for 4 people when it comes to sports car :biggrin:

Same as CR-Z, only meant more for 2 seater :biggrin:

If were to compared, I prefer CR-Z's dashboard designs.

Boot space, not much, expected from such category. Maybe just for 3 days 2 nights luggage for 2 people, that's it :smile: No complain to that, is not meant to ferry tons of luggage anyway...

In the end of the day, good car but overpriced..
 

csl

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csl

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Just imagine need to send to toyota serbis center for the sake of warranty, no mood already. Old AE86 still way better. Just the feel alone worth everything.