The beginning of a new legend.
It’s been a long while since Toyota manufactured a proper rear-wheel drive sports car, the legendary Supra has been extinct for a decade; even the Celica was stopped being manufactured since 2006. Since then Toyota has been laid back thanks to the ever popular Camry, Corolla and the Yaris. While Scion was their hip brand for the North American market, in the Middle East we had to be satisfied with the Aurion or Avalon if something even remotely ‘sporty’ or powerful was wanted.
However, Toyota heard the millions of fans worldwide, and noticed that there’s a very popular market segment they’re missing out on. The 2-door coupé market was recently flushed with the likes of the new Hyundai Genesis Coupé, and with the new Mustang, Camaro and Challenger trying to outmuscle each other, and even more pressure being built from European marques with the likes of the Golf GTI and Mini Cooper S, Toyota found themselves being a ‘family friendly’ brand that nobody outside of the budget conscious would consider.
Finally the top board decided a couple of years back that it’s time to harken back to the golden years, a time when Toyota’s engineering was relevant in the automotive sports world. And so came about the idea of the Toyota 86, a car that was based on some of Toyota’s most popular sports car from decades ago.
As such, the outside shape of the Toyota 86 is heavily influenced by the Toyota 2000GT. This resulted in one of the rare cases where the final production car turned out to better than the concept version shown off.
While the Toyota 86 measures just 168 x x72 x 47 inches, the long hood makes it looks deceptively huge. The lights on font look every bit as sharp as the original concept, although, only the mid-range and full options get the LED lights and HID bulbs. The front has a large meshed grill that goes all the way from the top to the bottom where the lip extending out. The area near the lights has a nice bulge, giving the front of the 86 a very muscular look.
From the side the Toyota 86 looks just as good a real life rendition of the classic coupé shape as anything from the likes of Porsche 911 to the beautifully sculpted sports cars of the 70s. Our tester was the basic model that came with the 10-spoke 16-inch rims which, in my opinion, look much better than the 5-spoke design on the 17-inch (standard in the mid-range and full options).
From the rear 3/4th the Toyota 86 looks just as impressive as every other angle, albeit a little more aggressive. Just as the doors end and the rear wheel arches begin we see the raised lines which join up at the back of the boot, accentuating the flowing curves. The taillights are rather controversial, with a lot of people disliking the ‘aftermarket’ feel of the clear lights.
Half of the rear bumper is dominated the big black diffuser which houses disappointingly small exhaust pipes. The Japanese model get form-fittingly large exhaust tips, while the Middle Eastern version gets puny outlets.
Overall the Toyota 86 looks like one of the best coupés in the market right now, with beautifully sweeping lines and an impressively low height.