In-depth reviews

Toyota GT86 review – performance and 0-60 time

Low torque figure limits low-revs performance, but performance is respectable if you're prepared to work for it

Evo rating
Price
from £27,325
  • Fun at sensible speeds, great driving position, old-school values
  • Wants for a bit more power, low-grip Primacy tyres an acquired taste

The Toyota GT86 is a car that more often than not feels like it needs just a little bit more when it comes to performance.

The 7.6se 0-62mph time (unchanged for the facelifted model) is fine on paper, but on the road the GT86 feels slower than you'd expect for a car with such an emphasis on driving. The more pressing issue, however, is how hard you need to work the engine to reach the quoted 197bhp and crucially, the meagre 151lb ft of torque produced at a sky-high 6400rpm.

Indeed, with the car’s true performance on offer only close to the red line, you need to work the engine hard to extract the flat-four engine’s potential. The commotion will come as a surprise to anyone used to modern four-cylinder turbocharged units – the sound is industrial and sometimes even harsh down low, and offbeat at high revs. But befitting the boxer design it's also free of vibration, and will happily spin to the limiter without issue, prompting a beeping to remind you another gear is due. There's a satisfying induction note in the mid-range too, which perhaps offsets marginally the slightly flat feeling lower down the rev counter

It does mean that exploring the car’s limits requires a committed driving style. We’re not saying the GT86 needs another 200bhp, just a broader powerband and another 50bhp and 50lb ft, which would alleviate some frustration and imbue the driving experience with a little more gusto and verve.

Conversely, the GT86 proves that you don’t need to be risking life, limb and penalty points in order to enjoy a car. While you need commitment to enjoy the full reach of the engine, you're also not travelling obscenely quickly if you do so. It's a car that proves that sometimes, chassis balance and the sensation of pushing a car to its limits are more valuable than all-out straight-line speed... though a little more of the last wouldn't go amiss

Most Popular

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now
Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae
Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now

The final Aventador Ultimae and next year’s Countach are now spoken for, calling the end of fresh orders for Lambo’s V12 models
21 Oct 2021
2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week
Range Rover teaser
Land Rover Range Rover

2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week

A new era for the Range Rover is about to be revealed, with new engines, tech and styling
20 Oct 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals Oct 20 21
Features

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
20 Oct 2021