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Old 3rd June 2014, 11:15   #1
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Cool Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Time for another "Driving Travelogue" guys & this time visited AUSTRALIA.

Sequence of Places visited;

Melbourne > Sydney > Gold Coast > Melbourne

All above 3 places visited i had the opportunity to drive different cars (Rented) which i shall summarize my driving experience and a short review of sorts on what i felt about them & share my personal opinion about them. Hope you guys have a fun read.

Getting things started with;

Toyota GT 86;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0543.jpg


My friend staying in Geelong, Australia had reached already rented the GT86 the same day of my arrival in Melbourne & i got picked up from the airport in the GT86 itself. I arrived in Melbourne on 3/4/14 & ;

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^ This was the sight of the car that greeted me at the airport.

Right so getting on with the review now;

Engine & Performance;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7370.jpg

The engine as we know is the 2L 200 hp (197 to be precise) flat 4 boxer unit.

The engine felt extremely responsive at low rpm too (thanks to the weight i.e. Gt86 weighs only slightly more than a ton)

Also there's no turbocharger & hence no lag too. But yes, with these new gen turbos & fantastic gearboxes what the new gen cars offer a turbo was missed. Nevertheless coming back to the responsiveness of the engine i was honestly surprised by the punch this NA engine offers from low rpms & upto the peppy 7450 rpm redline.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-redline.jpg

^ Also note the car gets a shift light / red line indicator, NEAT.

The engine in the GT86 has been mounted low down & that advantages to have a low center of gravity contributing to why GT86 has legendary handling & a purist sports car tag.

The credit goes to both Toyota & Subaru, Subaru for their Boxer engine & Toyota for their latest fuel injection technology making this the worlds first horizontally opposed engine with D-4S Fuel injection technology.

The above tech helps it achieve great balance of throttle response, power & torque over the rpm spread.

Coming to the Exhaust, it sounds pretty good for a 4 cyl motor & specially the down shifts were really good sounding.

Also the car is built in with a sound generator which feeds the engine/exhaust sounds through the cars speakers.

Coming to the performance figures this car does 0-100 km/h in about mid 7 sec range but this car is not about figures its about how it makes you smile & makes you feel everytime you drive her.

And that changes the game for the Gt86 coz its simply connects with you emotionally & pulls the right strings of any purists hearts.

At the same time this wont win many drag races evidently coz its no muscle car but what it will do is when you're at the limit it will give you that on the edge performance what you'l get in supercars say suppose while entering a corner it may lose traction in such a way & make you feel that you're driving a much more powerful car than a 200 hp 4 cyl motor. Well partly the tires are to be blamed (or thanked ?) Coz they're right out of a Toyota Prius (215/45 R17s)

Yes, so to get the best of the GT86's engine you'l need to put in some extra effort as the peak torque comes in around 6k rpm & of you manage to keep the revs high it will seriously reward you with the pure driving enjoyment one looks out for & can get addictive.

Gearbox;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-paddleshifts.jpg

The car what i had got was a 6 speed A/T.

The gearbox was extremely fast shifting and responsive & after doing some research online got a figure of 0.2 secs of shifting speed which is fast no doubt.

BUT yes as a purist i found it BORING. Quite simply as this car deserves a Manual Transmission. Sadly none of the rentals had the M/T option.

Handling;

Australia is known to have some of the best scenic roads on offer.

But the most famous & world wide renowned is " The Great Ocean Road " which has featured in many of the top 10 drives in the world.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0526.jpg

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0538.jpg

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0590.jpg

^ The Great ocean road is about 240 kms long coastal road which offers the best of corners, u pin bends & some fast straights with a breathtaking coastal view.

So we needed a car which more than power would be a great handling car & which made me zero down on none other than the mighty Toyota GT86.

Its got a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) as "Standard".

LSD in the Gt86 efficiently does distribute the power to the rear wheels hence optimizing traction & grip under all driving patterns.

Well what that means is that you can be a "Drift King" at every single roundabout or a corner entry/exit & at the same time be well behaved & predictable.

Steering feel;

By fitting thin rubber on the tires Toyota had a mammoth of a task to get the steering right & it has succeeded exceptionally well. The steering provides bundles of feedback & connection with the road.

Also the steering is positioned very well almost perpendicular to the floor giving the GT86 a true sportscar feel. It does feel very good to hold at 3 & 9 o clock positions too which makes it grip good during driving on the limit.

Driving Modes;

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The normal mode itself is pretty peppy in itself for normal/daily driving but yes the SPORT mode does get the action started. It does sharpen the throttle & when in auto mode it does hold on to revs longer.

Also yes did put traction control off a couple of times but did not attempt to keep it off for long time coz it was raining/drizziling 50% of the time & hence had to keep the fun in control.

Does it DRIFT ?

Oh yes it does. It does live upto its reputation of being the best stock drift car.

But, yes there is a but ... the car isnt that easy to get the tail out that fast simply coz the engine isn't that powerful enough. So the question arises why is this car considered to be so good for drifting ? The answer remains simple, that once you have achieved the tail out it is easy to carry forward the drift very easily & for longer duration than other cars. Thanks to the fantastic steering, chassis & specially the LSD & yes partly coz of the skinny tires too.

So when i compare it to my BMW 328i, the BM is easier to start a drift but is tough to carry on the drift & thats where the GT86 takes over so well.

Also IMO the M/T would do much better when it comes to sideways fun.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0611.jpg

Ground Clearance/ Ride height;

To achieve the driving dynamics one of the other points to mention is the ride height.

The GT86 is quite a low sports car & the ground clearance is 120 mm (119 to be precise).

This was fairly dealt with on Australian roads but entering driveways of garages, fuel stations etc was very tricky which i did scrape if not taken at an angle.

Now we know why Toyota isn't launching this car in India, sadly if they fiddle with the height it will make the car lose its character and if they keep it the way it is. It will be very difficult to negotiate the speed brakers & god save you if you jump one.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0531.jpg

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7354.jpg

Interiors, Space & Practicality;

The seats too are positioned fantastically & supportive when driving hard they hold you in quite well.

Also was able to achieve the best driving position so far out of all the cars that i have driven. Also noteworthy was the pedal positions which were very well laid out & at a different angle to be honest or may be this was a very low car which made me thing that way, possible.

Coming to the 2 seats which were behind, the less said the better. They were tight for anyone > 5ft 10 & not at all comfy for long journeys but for short distances im sure it is manageable. But im not complaining to be honest coz something is better than nothing you see.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0562.jpg

The boot space was fairly decent. It swallowed my bag (of 15 days trip) when i'd arrived at the airport with the cabin luggage too. The pic below is from the drive at the Ocean road during lunch.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0576-.jpg

Another beautiful shot of the GT86;

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Parting shot of the GT86 at Hertz location;

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Is it really that good ?

Y E S

It was like as if Toyota made a survey of what the "Petrolheads" want in a car & just went ahead & built it.

This certainly feels like a car designed for people who like driving & thats why we all team-bhpians will like it, coz we love driving.

The GT86 can quite simply be termed as the victory of driving enjoyment over pure power.

So yes from me the Toyota GT 86 gets a big THUMBS UP

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-thumbs-up.jpg

Last edited by karan561 : 15th July 2014 at 17:33.
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Old 14th July 2014, 11:25   #2
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Default re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

HOLDEN Caprice 6.0L V8;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-1959300_10152203542757762_3388632757756246519_n.jpg

Well its time time to go BEAST MODE

The Holden Caprice was our ride for Sydney & we did a quite a good amount of running around in her too, especially the famous BLUE MOUNTAINS drive was done with her.

The way HOLDEN has marketed this car here are a few examples;

" Most metal for the money "

&

" At $59,990 the big long-wheelbase Australian limousine costs about a quarter of the price of similar models from the big name German brands. We'll freely admit the quality of finish of the Audi, BMW and Mercedes models is higher than that of the home-grown Holden, but the local car gives you, in round numbers, about 85 per cent of the car for 25 per cent of the outlay. "

^ Well this is quite true to be honest as at around similar pricing of about 60k AUD you'd probable own a entry level 320i or a A4 2L, but what you get at the same price from the HOLDEN stable is nothing but a monster who cocoons you in luxury too.

So yes coming to the review;

Engine, Performance & Gearbox;

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^ Yes this is the LS2.

This was initially introduced in the Corvette & also was used in NASCAR world series.

Coming to the specs;

Engine Size: 6.0L V8
Max Power: 360 hp
Max Torque: 530 NM

Well, in the world of downsizing these aren't that interesting numbers to be honest. Something like a CLA 45 AMG could do from a 2L & with half the cylinders. But, the FEEL ... that is what this motor is all about, that special feel of a NA engine, that sound, that torque which shoves you back in the seat, its so old school & which is what makes this engine feel so special.

I drove this car in Manual mode most of the times & this is where it was the most rewarding. The V8 sounds absolutely menacing & this is pure engine sound & not your fancy exhaust system.

While driving this car in the outskirts of Sydney i.e. before arriving Blue mountain area i wont lie i did time my traffic lights in such a way that i get a pole position red lights & did go all out drag mode for atleast 5-6 traffic lights & oh boy does the car feel in its element, Pure muscle.

Gearbox;

The gearbox was a 6 speed A/T unit which was fairly smooth & did a good job in holding on to RPMs & was decently smooth shifting. Not a quick one to be clear, but yes the engine performance & sound does overshadow the gearbox.

Also it was raining LSD's in this trip as this car came with an limited slip differential too.

Sadly the Paddle shifts were a miss.

Ok, time for some pics;

A no non sense muscular front 1/4 side profile;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0782.jpg

Rear 3/4 view, note dont mess with me Quad exhaust (V8 variants specific);

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0780.jpg

The monster fenced;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0785.jpg

This pic shows how long this car is;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7439.jpg

A very bold, barking & angry front;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-dsc_0783.jpg

Ride & Handling;

The car was riding on 19"ers with low profile tires, considering that the car was very compliant at city speeds & composed on freeways too.

Another thing is that the suspension aint tuned for sporty handling, but more comfort oriented which helped in scoring good marks for the car in ride quality department.

Handling was precise for a full size car & the steering offered good feedback. Also lets be honest to ourselves we cannot expect this cars handling to be nimble so it felt pretty satisfactory & no complains here too.

Being a RWD & with this much amount of power was easily able to get the tail out in this car at a couple of roundabout exits but still its a task to make it come back to its line specifically as its a big & heavy luxo barge of sorts.

Interiors, Space & Features;

The dashboard/instrument panel felt really classy as it was wrapped in leather for the soft touch feel.

The audio system needs a mention here as it was powered by BOSE & felt premium.

The infotainement screen (8 inch touch screen) had a quick intergration to iphone & android phones displaying the playlists almost immediately for iphone but android took time.

It also had built in GPS with live traffic updates, NEAT.

Other features & driver aids included Auto parking, rear camera, Blind spot alert, Lane departure warnings many more. (Have mentioned which were used)

Also note in the pic below the flat bottomed steering which felt fantastic to hold;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-interior-1-.jpg

The cool blue lighting felt good at night also note HUD;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-hud.jpg

^ The HUD felt cheap & aftermarketish in comparison to what i have in my BMW.

Rear entertainment screens for DVD, AUX inputs, also had remote control.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-interior-2.jpg

^ The rear seat was simply fantastic, infact the last ride to the airport drop off i chose to sit at the back for a change & allowed my friend to take the wheel while i relax at the back.

It did make me feel special & important be it the leg space or the seat cushioning, it was spot on for this car & deserves that i use a emoticon (sadly 2/post) here for a THUMBS UP

My Verdict;

This Holden is extremely VFM and it truly is a big car for small money.

BUT, yes a but again ... will i own it ? Answer is simply NO. Why not ? The next post shall be self explanatory.

Last edited by karan561 : 14th July 2014 at 20:10.
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Old 14th July 2014, 17:16   #3
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Default re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

HOLDEN Commodore SV6;

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The Holden Commodore SV6 was our ride for 3 days in Gold Coast.

What does SV Stand for ?

In Holden country the SV nomenclature stands for " SPECIAL VEHICLE "

The Commodore SV6 is true to its name & why so we're gonna find out in the write up below;

But wait a minute would like to share the other option what was there for us that day, its evil competition the FORD XR6;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7465.jpg

When at the airport we got allotted the SV6 there was a red Ford XR6 standing next to it & that almost tempted us to take that car instead of the SV6 as it would be a fresh change over the Holden which we had already experienced at Sydney, but sadly that was of Budget car rental & not a Hertz car so we could not have had her, any way moving on with the review.

Engine, Performance & Gearbox;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7464.jpg

Engine Specs;

Size: 3.6L V6
Power: 280 hp
Torque: 350 NM

The SV6 is equipped with a 3.6L NA V6 engine which packs a decent amount of punch for a daily drive but nothing exciting enough to be praising about.

Also was disappointed with the muted feel of the engine, it did not have the drama or the orchestral sounds made by the V8 previously driven.

But on the positive side the engine was incredibly smooth & high on refinement. But considering its an " SV " it should have been more on emotion & the Engine/Exhaust combo should have added a bit more flavor to feed the enthusiasts heart.

Though the engine is old fashioned but is grunty enough for strong acceleration.

Coming to the gearbox which was a 6 speed A/T which was very much like the previously driven car in Sydney i.e. The Caprice, not much of complains & not a slow gearbox but good for the engine which it was paired with, but in the immediate future Holden will have to up its game if it has to stand a chance against the DSG's & the ZF's.

Ride & Handling;

After driving the Caprice which was a much larger car than this one the Commodore SV6 felt light & agile.

Being a RWD this was more fun here as dimensionally this felt much more in control & the right size to be having a lose tail with & boy it was fun
But yes the power felt inadequate, and we will come back to this point in the conclusion... so moving ahead with some pics now;

Check out the sporty side profile flaunting those gills;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7498.jpg

Note: As this is a V6 it doesnt have quad exhaust as seen in the V8, but has a dual exhaust.

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-img_7480.jpg

Check out those flared wheel arches, LEAN MUSCLE compared to the Caprice which was Bulking type.

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Ride Quality;

The car was riding on 18"ers against the 19's on the Caprice, but this cars's suspension was more stiffly sprung and hence the ride did feel a slightly disappointing than the Caprice but on the positive side was a much more sporty handler. Could have been better if the car would have been lower though as IMO the car sits a bit high.

Also the brakes needed a special mention as they were simply on the task & never disappointed.

Interiors & Features;

I wish the car was equally sporty as the interiors were, coz the interior design language & finish was simply brilliant for an Holden.

The dashboard had a good mix of gloss black materials & carbon fiber look panels making it really appealing.

Seats were having some Alcantara feel lining on them, felt very sporty.

Sadly i did not click any pic of the interior so will have to stick to some pics from Google images;

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-holdenvfcommodoresv601.jpg

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-holdenvfcommodoresv608.jpg

Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6-holdenvfcommodoresv613.jpg

Also yes the steering was not as good as the Caprice as that was a flat bottomed unit & felt much more sportier to use.

Rest the car felt pretty user friendly, also yes the Commodore did not feature a touch screen media interface & GPS was missing too.

Features like Handbrake button(Sadly no lever which it deserved), Blind spot alert etc were present.

Verdict;

This car is fun & extremely good value for 35k AUD.

BUT, Yes there is again a BUT ... would i have this car in this variant ? NO !

Coz why buy this when you can buy a Holden Commodore SS, which has bigger brakes, stiffer suspension & importantly the V8 from the Caprice at just an additional 15k AUD, making it awesome VFM @ 50k AUD.

So that's all for now, hope you guys had a good read.

Thanks

Last edited by karan561 : 15th July 2014 at 18:39.
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Old 16th July 2014, 15:16   #4
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the International Scene. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th July 2014, 18:58   #5
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Great write up Karan, quick overview of cars and good pics.
Toyota GT86 is real VFM sports car and love to own the big Caprice
Wish i would also able to drive on these roads..expect to land Aus next yr
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Old 16th July 2014, 19:42   #6
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Thanks for sharing the experience, especially with the wonderful GT86!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post

Gearbox;

Attachment 1260717

The car what i had got was a 6 speed A/T.

The gearbox was extremely fast shifting and responsive & after doing some research online got a figure of 0.2 secs of shifting speed which is fast no doubt.

BUT yes as a purist i found it BORING. Quite simply as this car deserves a Manual Transmission. Sadly none of the rentals had the M/T option.
The 6-speed MT is said to elevate the experience to a different level compared to the AT, and rightly the more popular choice among the buyers.
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Old 16th July 2014, 21:06   #7
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

how much was the rental fee for these cars ?
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Old 16th July 2014, 22:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Thanks for sharing the experience, especially with the wonderful GT86!


The 6-speed MT is said to elevate the experience to a different level compared to the AT, and rightly the more popular choice among the buyers.
Thanks, Yes im pretty sure the M/T would add a lot of sting to its tail

Quote:
Originally Posted by mani_jeenu View Post
how much was the rental fee for these cars ?
GT86 was aprox 140 AU$/Day
Holden Caprice 6L V8 was aprox 100 AU$/Day
Commodore SV6 was approx 70 AU$/Day

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Old 17th July 2014, 16:23   #9
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Hi Karan,
Interesting, and a good experience, but how do you compare these cars to your BMW eh ?
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Old 18th July 2014, 11:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxpaul View Post
Hi Karan,
Interesting, and a good experience, but how do you compare these cars to your BMW eh ?
Hey rxpaul,

Thanks, well thats a very difficult question you ask coz all the cars driven here are so different but some how made me think of my BMW every time i drove them, heres my opinion;

BMW 328i vs GT86;

I prefer my cars engine to the GT86 for the obvious reasons as the BM is turbocharged & hence more on power.

I prefer my cars 8 speed A/T to the GT86's 6 spd A/T as my ZF unit was fairly quicker.

Rest all areas i think GT86 takes over.

BMW 328i vs Holden Caprice 6L V8;

The engine 3 times the size of my BMW & double on cylinder was definitely more on power than my BMW 328s.

The Caprice was more spacious, almost 7 series space IMO.

Rest all areas my car was better be it Gear box, handling, features the BMW was superior.

BMW 328i vs Holden Commodore SV6;

The BMW 328 is better than the SV6, Period.


Last edited by karan561 : 18th July 2014 at 12:19.
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Old 18th July 2014, 12:07   #11
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Thanks Karan. Waited for this since you shared the first pics in June! Had some questions but they have been asked and answered above already. Someone beat me to it.

Awaiting your other *newest* write up now.
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Old 18th July 2014, 12:58   #12
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Brilliant stuff karan!

I am trying hard to imagine what a 6l would actually feel, sound and work like. Rarely would you even speak of 6l engine capacities in India. Must have been a thrill filled trip. Someday hopefully I shall convince my family for a trip to aussieland and to get either one of these machines. At least for a day.
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Old 19th July 2014, 10:49   #13
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Quote:
Originally Posted by autobalan View Post
Great write up Karan, quick overview of cars and good pics.
Toyota GT86 is real VFM sports car and love to own the big Caprice
Wish i would also able to drive on these roads..expect to land Aus next yr
Hey thanks 'autobalan',

I completely agree about the GT86 being a proper VFM sportscar, wish it was more practical for India (Ground Clearance wise)

Also the GT86 is easily available in the adrenaline collection of Hertz Australia so get it when you travel to Australia next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
Thanks Karan. Waited for this since you shared the first pics in June! Had some questions but they have been asked and answered above already. Someone beat me to it.

Awaiting your other *newest* write up now.
Hey Thnx man, i appreciate your kind words.

The Ecosport review shall follow shortly, may be mid next month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minimalist View Post
Brilliant stuff karan!

I am trying hard to imagine what a 6l would actually feel, sound and work like. Rarely would you even speak of 6l engine capacities in India. Must have been a thrill filled trip. Someday hopefully I shall convince my family for a trip to aussieland and to get either one of these machines. At least for a day.
Hey minamalist,

Th 6L engine was least on practicality but highest on emotion / driving thrill.

Good to rent, not so good to own
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Old 19th July 2014, 14:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Hey



Hey minamalist,

Th 6L engine was least on practicality but highest on emotion / driving thrill.

Good to rent, not so good to own
Well said friend well said. I remember you saying something similar when you were showing us the photos when we had met. Do these cars actually do well in the market there??
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Old 19th July 2014, 15:02   #15
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Default Re: Driven in Australia! Toyota GT86, Holden 6L V8s & Commodore SV6

Amazing write-up!
Was going to watsapp you to ask you about the report.
I became a fan of the GT-86 after watching Jeremy Clarkson driving it on BBC TOPGEAR. I hope I get the to drive one of these someday. Too bad the minimum age to rent these cars is 23.
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