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Old 9th November 2016, 05:14   #1
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Background

Probably the most anticipated car in 2012 was the Toyota GT86. I am one of the lucky ones to have owned it. My previous car was a Ford Focus and hence that will be my point of comparison. The Focus is a great little car and I still have it. For people who are unfamiliar with the GT86. It is a front engined rear wheel drive sports car with a Subaru 2.0 Boxer engine. Toyota and Subaru came together to build this car. I think Toyota did the design while Subaru does the manufacturing. It is known by many names. It came up as a concept called FT86, known all over the world as the GT86, Subaru calls it the BRZ. Unfortunately mine's is called Scion FRS.

How much does it cost

A new one costs $ 26K. Add destination and sales tax, it comes out around 29K. Add the automatic, another $1K.

I got mine with 5000 miles. Paid $18K to Owner & $1.5K as sales tax. Yes, that's right, sales tax on a used car.


How does it Look (3/5)
I think just about any coupe looks great. The GT86 is no exception. It does have some nice touches but by no means it is in the beauty contest race. The front from certain angles looks weird but other than that it is well proportioned.

Toyota GT86 - Ownership Review-img_20160831_173654.jpg

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How is the performance (3/5)
This has been the talking point among enthusiasts. Some say it is underpowered, some say it does not need more power. Here is the truth, it depends what you are comparing against. With the same money you can get a lot of turbocharged 2L hot hatches, that generate almost 1.5 times the torque. In fact it is hard to find a performance car in its price that has lower torque. The Ford Focus ST, Fiesta ST, Golf GTI, Subaru WRX, even the base Mustang will make a mockery of the GT86's powertrain. So yes, for the money, it is underpowered. But for a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine, it's not.

As for the Technical specifications it makes slightly more than 200Nm torque at ~6500 RPM and slightly less than 200BHP @ 7000 RPM. 0-100 kmph comes in around 7 sec. The fact that 2nd gear tops out at 98 KMPH does not help. So it's really not that slow. One of the best aspects of this car is the throttle response. It has by far the best throttle response of any car I have ever driven. Acceleration is instant and the short gearing makes the car feel even snappier. There is a bit of a torque dip around 3000-5000 RPM, but it pulls all the way to 7400 RPM. If you want to get the most of this car, you better use all.

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Another thing that needs to be mentioned is the engine braking. Its brutal. You downshift from 3rd to 2nd & dump the clutch the rear wheels will skid. Rev matching is must for this car if you want to shift fast.

I am not a big fan of the noise it makes. But it does have character, the infamous Boxer Growl. It has a sound tube that pumps induction noise to the cabin. Every time you put the foot down, it makes a grrrr sound which if I am honest is quite satisfying. Some people complained about that induction noise, for those Toyota has provided a nicely designed 12V socket cap that can be used to plug that tube.

How is the fuel economy? I see around 10.5 kmpl on the dash and I calibrated it to be optimistic by 0.5 kmpl. My only complaint is it needs premium fuel which is really expensive, 25% more than regular fuel. Even with a 12.5 compression ratio, both port & direct injection and a cd of 0.29 the fuel economy is not its forte. In comparison my 2006 ford focus with 150K miles gives 9.5 kmpl on regular gas.

The performance should be 2.5/5 but due to the instant throttle response, insane engine braking and 7400 RPM redline it deserves a 3/5.


Is the Transmission any good (4/5)

It is neither a cable type nor a rod type shifter. The shifter is mounted right above the transmission. The throws are short and have good feel. The gates are well designed. To engage reverse you need to lift a collar like the Fiat Palio. Always liked that. However I do have a few complaints, for one I have shifted to 3rd instead of 1st a few times. You can't shift to 1st while moving over 20kmph (even with reasonable rev matching skills). The gear knob has a little bit of vibration. If those points were taken care of, I would give it a 4.5/5 rating.


How does it Handle (5/5)
It's like nothing I have ever driven. This car turns with ZERO body roll. You never have to slow down to turn. Part of it is due to the low mounted Boxer Engine, part of it is the fact you sit less than a feet above the pavement, and the rest is black magic. It weighs 1250 Kg, so it's not super light, but compared to competition it has a big advantage. The weight distribution is around 54:46.

Then comes the fact that its rear wheel drive. So every time you smash the throttle during a turn in, you can feel the rear end of the car is helping you to steer. And i haven't even started on the limited slip differential, but then, I don't think 90% of the people are going to use it. Yes it does spread the power more evenly to the rear wheels, but we all know that's not why Toyota put the LSD in this car. Taking it to a driving school to learn controlled drifting is still on my Bucket list.

Next on the list is the traction control. It has 3 settings On, Off and Sport (sort of midway). Sport lets you have some fun by getting a little bit sideways & it does not cut power off very aggressively. But beware, don't use it on a rainy day unless you are familiar with oversteer and counter steering. I haven't driven extensively with traction off so can't comment too much.

Another strong point for the GT86 is the steering. It's incredibly direct, provides pretty good feedback despite being an EPS. EPS are not inherently bad. You just need to tune them properly.
The ride is not too shabby either.

Interiors (3.5/5)

Its great where it matters. The ergonomics are perfect. Steering is small and almost vertical, has decent adjustments. The gear lever and handbrake position are high (well you kind of sit low). The driving position is just perfect.

The seats are brilliant. They lock you in place. It has excellent support. However they are quite hard and not really suited for more than 3 hrs of travelling without a break. During driving the wheel bulges around the bonnet look awesome. And the fact you sit so low results in a different experience.

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That being said, it is not a special place to be. The material quality and design range from good to ordinary. The OEM Music system is an eyesore which the 1st owner was kind enough to upgrade. It now has AM, FM, CD, USB, BT, AUX. So no complaints. Sound quality is very average.

Features are standard, One touch power windows, remote locking, power ORVM. You can set your own shift RPM, there is a gear indicator, and some standard dash info. Lots of airbags.

Can it seat 4 people? With the driver's seat in the position I like, you can't put anyone behind. For the passenger side, a 5.9'+5.9' is an interference fit. It is at best a 2 seater. So take the seats down and you have enough space to carry 4 full sized wheels on a trackday.
Toyota GT86 - Ownership Review-img_20160630_202729.jpg
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Nice touches
1. Frame-less doors look awesome when opened.
2. 2 power sockets, 1 USB. Neatly hidden second 12V power socket in glovebox
3. Wide range of wiper speeds.
4. Full sized spare. No runflats or space savers.

Nitpicks
1. Missing the remote windows roll up and down.
2. The buzzer is annoying. Will keep beeping foreverrrrrrrrrr if key is inserted and door is open. And then the seat belt warning if you turn on ignition.
3. Fuel pump chirp. Its common in all cars including mine. Somewhat noticeable with windows down & no music.
4. Analog Speedometer is useless. Digits are small. Aggressively marked till 260 kmph. IN the US. A car hardly sees more than 130 kmph.
5. Even with the temperature selector in the coldest position, warm air enters the car when the fan is switched off (No re-circulation mode).

Common issues with owning a sports car
1. Firm ride. Though this one is very much acceptable.
2. Getting in and out is a pain.
3. Visibility not great. Especially when parked next to SUVs.
4. Need winter tires for snowy conditions.

So how does this compare to my old Ford Focus. Both are small 2 door cars. Both have 2L naturally aspirated engines. Both develop similar torque figures. (I think 180 Nm for the Ford).
Well, the Toyota feels 20% more punchy, mainly due to the shorter gear ratios. Has better throttle response. While the Focus starts dying above 5500 RPM I guess (no tacho). The last 2000 RPMs in the Toyota get over in the blink of an eye. But the real difference is in the entire driving experience. When you get in the Focus, it feels like you are riding an elephant. The seating position is high, the gear knob is low, it rolls like a drunk, understeers, pitches on braking, Brakes not that strong, Steering is inaccurate, but does provide good feedback, may be a tad better too. The gearbox on the Focus is terrible - long throws and lifeless.

In Isolation the Ford Focus is a great handler, but look what the GT86 did to it.

So what's next? I think the only upgrade from the GT86 is the Porsche Cayman. It has what the Toyota is missing out on, PERFORMANCE. But then it costs 3 times the Toyota.

I wish I could do this. This Guy is awesome

Last edited by GTO : 11th November 2016 at 00:13. Reason: As requested :)
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Old 9th November 2016, 11:39   #2
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Default re: Toyota GT86 - Ownership Review

NOTE FROM T-BHP SUPPORT: Thread taken live. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 9th November 2016, 12:23   #3
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Default re: Toyota GT86 - Ownership Review

Mahn, the 86. Feels good to see a TBHPian putting up an ownership report.

Followed it fanatically since talks of it began in the late 2000s, and I guess have seen all the reviews and Youtube videos till last year.

It's like a dream car come true, low slung small coupe with FR layout and a manual gearbox, coupled with Toyota ownership experience.
It's said that in the design phase the chief engineer wanted the car to be so low that the driver, while sitting in the car with doors open, would be able to stub out a cigarette on the ground.

But even dreaming of the 86 being launched in India is heresy and even if by magic it comes to India, will be priced over 50 lakhs

Anyways, happy motoring (even if its sideways)
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Old 9th November 2016, 13:18   #4
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The GT86 perfectly fits the bill of an enthusiasts car. It's dynamically sorted which makes it a perfect recipe. The day you get bored of the stock power it's best you get a TRD supercharger installed. It will not only make it powerful but will keep it equally reliable. Enjoy pushing her around

Asit

Last edited by GTO : 10th November 2016 at 10:55. Reason: Typo
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Old 10th November 2016, 14:06   #5
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I remember Jeremy Clarkson driving this car in one of the Top Gear episodes and going ga-ga over it on the handling of the car. He says that you can have a lot of fun in this car as it can go sideways extremely easily and at low speeds (30 mph is what I recall). I suggest you see the episode
Maybe you can take it to an empty parking lot and learn how to drift. I for one would love to get this car if I ever have the chance

Hope you have fun with the car!
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Old 10th November 2016, 16:27   #6
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Congrats on the GT86! She's wicked. Thanks for sharing your joy with us.

After reading your report, sure sounds like she is the modern day Toyota MR2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
But for a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine, it's not.

As for the Technical specifications it makes slightly more than 200Nm torque at ~6500 RPM and slightly less than 200BHP @ 7000 RPM. 0-100 kmph comes in around 7 sec.

This car turns with ZERO body roll. You never have to slow down to turn.

Then comes the fact that its rear wheel drive.
I hear you, I hear you. Affordable pricing, sharp dynamics, RWD, direct steering, awesome brakes, what else does a fun-to-drive car need? I must say, it's a lot of fun to high-revv an 'adequately powered car' everyday, than a 'Supercar' once a month. Let me give Mumbai as an example = when I had my City Vtec (God bless that engine), I used to high-revv it everyday on the way to work, and every weekend too. But any car over 200 BHP is too much for Mumbai. You can only high-revv her on the highway. Within the city, 200+ BHP cars run out of road before redlining in 2nd gear!

It's precisely the reason why I insist that cars like the Cayman or even Mini Cooper S give so much more pleasure on Indian roads than a Ferrari 458 (not that I'd ever say no to a 458 ).

At one time, I used to be a big fan of the Honda S2000....a car that offered similar attributes to your GT86. What a driving position the S2000 had!

Wish you years of fun motoring with the GT86. Cars like these prove that at least *some* Toyota engineers have a pulse.
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Old 11th November 2016, 07:08   #7
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Thank you guys. I never thought i would see my thread on the homepage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
It's said that in the design phase the chief engineer wanted the car to be so low that the driver, while sitting in the car with doors open, would be able to stub out a cigarette on the ground.
Since I don't smoke, I tried touching the road with doors open. I could without bending too much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by asit.kulkarni93 View Post
The day you get bored of the stock power it's best you get a TRD supercharger installed.
I am not sure if I want to put a supercharged on an engine with 12.5 compression ratio. Now even if you added a very effective inter-cooler and manage the knock, I am not sure how the higher cylinder pressure going to affect the components. It will probably be fine for 2-3 years but reliability over 10 years might be compromised.

As far as I know almost almost all engines get tuned for a turbo/supercharger addition when done by OEMS. Reworked cyl. head, block, gasket, valves, pistons pretty much everything. Now there are a lot of people putting turbos in there, lets wait and watch what happens.

As for performance, this car should have come with 2.5L Engine from STi without turbo. That would be perfect.



Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya9567 View Post
I for one would love to get this car if I ever have the chance
It is a pure sports car experience. Lightweight, manual, RWD, no turbos. You will love it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
At one time, I used to be a big fan of the Honda S2000....a car that offered similar attributes to your GT86. What a driving position the S2000 had!
S2000 is probably one of the best cars of all times. Better engine than the GT86, pretty good dynamics and then its a convertible. The resale value is insane.
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Old 11th November 2016, 08:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Let me give Mumbai as an example = when I had my City Vtec (God bless that engine), I used to high-revv it everyday on the way to work, and every weekend too. But any car over 200 BHP is too much for Mumbai. You can only high-revv her on the highway. Within the city, 200+ BHP cars run out of road before redlining in 2nd gear!

It's precisely the reason why I insist that cars like the Cayman or even Mini Cooper S give so much more pleasure on Indian roads than a Ferrari 458 (not that I'd ever say no to a 458 ).
.
Agreed. It's better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

And the 458, my god. The greatest modern car ever made apart from the Lexus LFA.
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Old 12th November 2016, 21:51   #9
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Default Re: Toyota GT86 - Ownership Review

Congrats on the car. It's a Toyota legend because it's a departure from the usually 'boring' Toyotas.

Let me give you a fact:
The name 86 is due to the bore and stroke of the engine- both are 86 mm, resulting in a displacement of 1998 cc. The same bore and stroke was used the 2.0 L Innova Petrol previously sold in India, but that was an I-4 engine.
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Old 13th November 2016, 14:17   #10
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Congrats on the new ride Oxyzen ! The car looks stunning in black. FRS and BRZ twins have a ton of after market kits available. Are you planning to soup it up ?

It's heartening to see a manual transmission in the US of A My '12 TSX is a stick shift as well. Quite an experience driving it in and around the hills of San Francisco. Drive safe mate.
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Old 13th November 2016, 18:18   #11
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Congrats Oxyzen!

RWD and the manual stick, you probably don't need anything else. Drift comes free
LOVE the GT86.

Here's one of my favourite car review. Enjoy!
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Old 13th November 2016, 22:18   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Congrats on the car. It's a Toyota legend because it's a departure from the usually 'boring' Toyotas.

Let me give you a fact:
The name 86 is due to the bore and stroke of the engine- both are 86 mm, resulting in a displacement of 1998 cc. The same bore and stroke was used the 2.0 L Innova Petrol previously sold in India, but that was an I-4 engine.
The naming GT86is due to two facts

1. 1967 2000GT - whose design cues adorn the 86 and which was also powered by a 2.0 litre engine

2. 1983 AE86 Corolla GTS, the Hachi-Roku, granddad of the GT86. light FR drivetrain, high rev madness in affordable package. Initial D fans will know

Source - Wikipedia
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Old 14th November 2016, 07:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolBlueBiker View Post
The car looks stunning in black. Are you planning to soup it up ?
I personally prefer the silver or orange. But when you buy pre-owned you don't have a choice.

Not planning on upgrading it now. It still have some powertrain warranty left.
I did some performance testing on in-gear acceleration using torque app this week. Here are some of the results.

Toyota GT86 - Ownership Review-capture.png

Its not real fast but 20-95 kmph in 7 sec (2nd gear) is not bad either.
Below 2000 RPM it is a bit lethargic, but the short gear ratios make sure you are always above 2000 RPM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolBlueBiker View Post
My '12 TSX is a stick shift as well. Quite an experience driving it in and around the hills of San Francisco.
Do you have the V6? Thats a beast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viren83 View Post
Here's one of my favourite car review.
Mine too

Last edited by oxyzen : 14th November 2016 at 08:08.
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Old 15th November 2016, 02:52   #14
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Great ownership thread and hearty congratulations for the legend. I was expecting a Panda Trueno with "Fujiwara Tofu Shop" stickers on the doors .
Jokes apart, Rwd cars are becoming rarer by the day ( the affordable ones). They are a different breed all together I must say.
Hearty congratulations once again, safe driving.
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Old 16th November 2016, 12:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Its not real fast but 20-95 kmph in 7 sec (2nd gear) is not bad either.
Below 2000 RPM it is a bit lethargic, but the short gear ratios make sure you are always above 2000 RPM.
That 0-60 time of < 6 seconds is pretty decent though. Have heard some good things about short ratios combined with short throw shifter on the FRS; yet to sample one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Do you have the V6? Thats a beast.
Unfortunately they offered the manual only with the inline 4. Totally agree that the V6 with a stick would have been a killer combination.
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