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Archive for the ‘Toyota GT86’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Celebrates 86 Years of Le Mans By Dressing Up Its GT86 Models

As an automaker that has a long and proud history racing at Le Mans, Toyota is celebrating the race’s 86th installment by dressing a trio of GT86 sports coupes in the colors of some of its most iconic LMP1 racers. In an intentional move, Toyota unveiled the three dressed up sports coupes, called the 86 Le Mans Heritage, on June 8, or the eighth day of the year’s sixth month: 8-6. The puns are heavy on these three special edition GT86 models.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Somebody Crammed a BMW M5 5.0-liter V-10 into a Toyota 86

The Toyota GT86 is not the most powerful sports car on the market. Some will even say that its lack of top-flight performance car power is its biggest drawback. As disappointing as that is, the 86 does have a few things going for it, including its ability to be easily customized. Over the years, we’ve seen tuners of all shapes and sizes work on the Toyota sports to varying degrees of success. Now, we turn our attention to Australian tuner Zoom Garage and how it was able to turn the 86 into a Time Attack conqueror with the help of an old BMW engine.

This tuning job isn’t your typical cut-and-paste cosmetic work. In giving the 86 the chops to be competitive in a Time Attack race setting, Zoom didn’t just slap on a turbocharger on the 86’s four-cylinder engine or drop an LS crate engine. It had to get creative in giving it enough power to compete in Sydney’s World Time Attack Challenge. So it turned its attention to BMW’s 5.0-liter S85 V-10 engine, the same mill that’s found in older models of the BMW M5 and M6.

Once the work of putting the S85 engine into the Toyota 86 started, Zoom faced a few challenges, including the task of trying to find the right balance in weight that wouldn’t compromise the 86’s performance abilities. The tuning shop went to work on modifying the engine, which included installing a lightweight air intake to save weight and customizing the transmission tunnel to make the engine fit into the engine bay. When everything was done, the tuner managed to cut about 25 kilos off of the engine’s weight, ensuring that it weighed just 10 kilos heavier than the 86’s original flat-four engine. Added upgrades to the fuel pump and injector, modifications with a dry sump setup, and the addition of fuel cell at the back ensured that the car achieved a 52/48 weight ratio. The result yielded positive results for Zoom Racing in more ways than one. All you need to do is watch the video and listen to the engine’s wailing noise. You don’t get that kind rip roar on the 86’s stock four-cylinder engine.


References

Toyota GT86


2013 Toyota GT 86 - image 428022

Read our full review on the 2013 Toyota GT86.

BMW M5


2006 BMW M5 - image 49779

Read our full review on the 2006 BMW M5.

PostHeaderIcon Hagerty Has These 2017-2018MY Cars On Track To Be Future Collectibles

2017 has been quite the year for the automotive industry. We’ve seen hypercars make their debuts. We’ve seen incredible advancements and electrification and autonomous driving technology. Heck, we’ve even seen deceased brands come back to life – shout out to TVR! – with a vengeance. One of the best parts of all these releases is that at some point, some of them will inevitably skip the depreciation curve and become collectible cars. The trick is figuring out which ones will be able to navigate down that road, and if you’re trying to do that, there’s no better source of authority in matters pertaining to the collector car market than Hagerty.

It’s safe to say that when the insurance company talks, all of our ears perk up. If it says that one of today’s models is on the inside track to be a future classic, there’s a good chance that it could turn into one. Ok, so enough small talk. Hagerty’s has already released its picks of 2017-2018 models that are trending on the right path. It’s not a guarantee that these cars will earn collectible status in the future, but having Hagerty’s stamp of approval goes a long way in shaping the opinions of car collectors all over the world.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 - image 669656

Current price: $61,140

We’ll start with a car that’s expected to be a collectible in the future. There are no surprises here, at least not when the car in question is the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which has been described as the most powerful factory-built Camaro in history. It also comes with arguably the most comprehensive aerodynamic package ever given to a Camaro. The result is a car that not only tips the scales at 200 pounds less than its predecessor, but also has power numbers that add up to 650 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque. These figures translate to an acceleration time of just 3.5 seconds to 60 mph and 11.4 seconds at 127 mph to a quarter-mile. It may not be as powerful as the Challenger SRT Demon, but rest assured, Camaro collectors from all corners of the world would be smart to get the 2018 ZL1 while it’s price tag of just over $60,000 is still where it is now. Wait a few years and you might end up being forced to pay far more than that.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport


2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport - image 667643

Current price: $65,450

It is a bit surprising that Hagerty did not include the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – or even the Challenger Hellcat – in its list. Is it possible that both Challenger models are overhyped? That’s a question for another time, though, because this spot is dedicated to the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. It’s not the most powerful Corvette in the market today – that would be the ZR1 – but the Corvette Grand Sport is arguably the best Corvette for your money. It’s priced at a shade over $65,000, and for that amount, you stand to get an all-American sports car that features a 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 460 horsepower on tap. Beyond the numbers, the Corvette Grand Sport also has the chops to handle its business against European sports car elite. Very few American-made sports cars are capable of doing that, but the Corvette Grand Sport can do it. Add the nostalgia that’s traditionally associated with Corvette models and the Grand Sport is shaping up to be one of the best sports car purchases today.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

Fiat Abarth 124 Spider


2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth - image 667942

Price: $28,195

Is it a surprise that of the ten cars on this list, three of them are entry-level sports cars that cost somewhere in the vicinity of $30,000? I don’t think it is, especially when you see the three sports cars that Hagerty identified. One of them is the Fiat Abarth 124 Spider, the spiffy roadster that brought back the now-iconic 124 Spider name. It says a lot about the new 124 Spider’s predecessor that it lasted almost 20 years on the road (from 1966 to 1985) and is now considered a collectible piece. The new Spider isn’t the most powerful car out there, but with 164-horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, it has enough juice to become this generation’s go-to Italian roadster. It’s even capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, so that’s another feather in the cap of the sports car. Ultimately though, the new 124 Spider will be judged by how it’s going to handle the test of time. Can it live up to its predecessor’s status and become a collectible itself? It’s too early to say now, but give it 20 years, and the conversation could turn into which of the 124 Spiders is the more collectible version.

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat Abarth 124 Spider.

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF


2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Unveiled - image 670228

Price: $31,555

This feels like a cop-out answer given how Mazda’s MX-5 sports car is already considered a collectible. But to make it more interesting, Hagerty put the spotlight squarely on the shoulders of the MX-5 RF variant. I personally think it’s a good call because the MX-5 RF has history on its side for being the first MX-5 to feature a targa roof. Think about that for a second. The MX-5 has been around for almost 30 years and it’s only now that a targa roof version is created. Add that to the revered legacy of the sports car and this is probably one of Hagerty’s easiest calls. It doesn’t even matter that the MX-5 RF has a 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G engine that pumps out 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Those figures are just bonuses to what ultimately be the MX-5 RF’s legacy: it’s a Miata that has “first of its kind” attached to its name. That kind of distinction is tantamount to a fast-track to “collectible” status.

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.

Toyota 86


2017 Toyota 86 - image 670728

Price: $26,500

I’m actually surprised by this one. Hagerty legitimately thinks the Toyota 86 has the potential to be a collectible car. It’s not that I don’t like the 86, but ever since it was released in 2012, the only thing that sticks to me about the 86 is how much Toyota has left – and continues to leave – off the table as far as allowing the car to reach its full potential. I think Toyota has short-changed the 86 to the point that the lack of any meaningful improvements in the five years it’s been in the market will hamper its long-term outlook as a collectible. For sure, it’s a great entry-level sports car that just about anyone can buy these days. But the 86 could’ve been more if Toyota had just given it more freedom to realize its sports car lineage. There’s still room for that to happen, but with the return of the Supra, it’s hard to imagine the 86 being more than what it already is. Again, it’s a good sports car to own. It just could’ve been a lot better. Regardless, Hagerty is a lot more bullish on its long-term outlook than I am so I’m going to trust its judgment on this one.

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota 86.

Audi TT-RS


2017 Audi TT-RS - image 673812

Price: $60,000

We’re going a segment up in the sports car market for the next two cars on this list. Unlike the Toyota 86, the inclusion of the Audi TT-RS on this list is far from a surprise. In fact, it’s another one of Hagerty’s easy calls. It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has garnered much of the attention as far as being one of the most engaging sports cars in the past 20 or so years. But let’s not sleep on the Audi TT-RS either because it’s just as distinctive in terms of driver engagement as the MX-5. It doesn’t even matter that the TT-RS costs twice as that of the MX-5. Their two sports cars that occupy two different segments, and more is that evident than the numbers the Audi can offer on the table. Think about it. It has 400 horsepower coming from a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five engine. It’s got a sprint-to-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds. It’s even dressed like a proper sports car, thanks in large part to an aerodynamic kit that makes it look like a baby Audi R8. All plaudits aside, the TT-RS’s long-term outlook is bright because it really is a supercar dressed up in a sports car body. As far as “collectible” potential is concerned, the Audi TT-RS is dripping with it.

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi TT-RS.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2017 Porsche 718 Cayman - image 673770

Price: $50,000

It’s hard to imagine a Porsche not having collectible potential. It’s even harder to imagine a Porsche not being a collectible when its name is taken from a legendary race car that won the 12 Hours of Sebring once and the Targa Florio three times. That’s what we have with the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman. It has turbocharged boxer engine that pumps out 300 horsepower and it’s got an assortment of Porsche’s class-leading technology at its disposal. The result is a sports car that not only serves as a cheap alternative to the Porsche 911, but just as important, it carries with it the legacy of a racer that lived up to its name. Hard to think that the 718 Cayman can’t do the same, right?

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio


2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - image 656131

Price: $73,000

We’re already up to the eighth car on this list and this is the first four-door model to make it. Goes to show how popular performance cars are as potential collectible cars. Is it a surprise that Hagerty identified the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio as a potential future classic? I’m actually on the same page here, and it’s not just because I count myself as a fanboy of the Giulia Quadrifoglio. First, let’s talk about what’s at the heart of it: a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 that has the fingerprints of Ferrari all over it. The result is an output of 505 horsepower and a sprint-to-60-time of 3.8 seconds. Outside of the numbers, you have to look at its impact, not only as Alfa’s new flagship sedan but also as a representation of the automaker’s return to the US market. If the Giulia Quadrifoglio hits big here in the US, it has the credentials and the legacy to prove Hagerty right. I wouldn’t put it past Alfa Romeo to make that happen.

Read our full review on the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

Ford SVT Raptor


2017 Ford F-150 Raptor - image 610255

Price: $50,000

Pick-up trucks are probably the last type of car you’d see on a “future collectible” list, and yet here we are. The Ford Raptor isn’t an old model – it’s only been around since 2010 – so it doesn’t have the legacy of a model like the Mazda MX-5 or even the Fiat 124 Spider. But in the short amount of time that it’s been around, it’s arguably become one of the most popular production pickups in the business. At the very least, the first-generation model of the Raptor is already being singled out as a potential collectible, and that model only went out of production a few years ago to give way to a second-generation model that’s already being touted as better in every conceivable way compared to its predecessor. This is the what the Ford SVT Raptor has done to the segment. If any of you have any doubts about the Raptor’s chances of turning into a collectible, try looking for one that’s for sale at a decent price. You might find it harder than you expected.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford SVT Raptor

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695946

Price: $40.995

It may not be as popular – or as big – as the Ford Raptor SVT, but the Chevrolet Colorado more than holds its own in the mid-size pickup segment where the ZR2 trim is holding court as one of the best picks in the market today. It’s not the most powerful pick-up, nor is it the cheapest. But it has a suite of tech and aerodynamic features –
dynamic shocks, electronic locking front/rear differentials, increased ride height, and widened track – that has it on Hagerty’s short list of potential future collectibles. You may not agree with it, but the insurance company has the pulse of this market and if it thinks that the Colorado ZR2 could have the same impact as the Raptor in its segment, then we could be looking at a spot-on prediction from Hagerty.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

PostHeaderIcon Halloween Special – “Costumed” Cars

I don’t think I’m alone in recognizing Halloween as one of the best holidays ever. In addition to pumpkin carving and excessive amounts of candy consumption, it’s an excuse to dress up in costume, giving us one day out of the year to become whoever (or whatever) we want. Of course, sometimes, this charade continues regardless of what the calendar says, even in the automotive world. Indeed, there are many cars out there right now masquerading as something other than what they really are. For whatever reason, these cars are draped in a costume that hides what they truly are underneath.

Carmakers do this for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because two car companies collaborate on a project and create something together. Sometimes, one car company adopts the bones of another brand’s car and slaps on new badges. Whatever the case, we’ve assembled here a list of dressed-up cars to keep you from getting tricked, no matter how sweet the treat might be. Read on to learn more, and don’t hesitate to provide your own examples of “Costumed” cars in the comments!

And oh yeah –

Happy Halloween!

Continue reading to learn more about a few “Costumed” Cars.

Subaru BRZ And Toyota 86


2017 Subaru BRZ - image 682565

2017 Toyota 86 - image 670728

This one should be pretty obvious. Developed as a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, the BRZ and 86 are practically identical, with just a few minor differences to tell them apart. Outside, there are several small cosmetic alterations and slightly different headlights, while inside, the trim and equipment varies a bit between the two models. The suspension tuning is also slightly different.

The rest of it, however, is the same. That includes all the important stuff, like the platform, the engine, and the transmission options. Basically, everywhere it matters, these two are the same.

Read our full review on the 2017 Subaru BRZ and the 2017 Toyota 86.

Fiat 124 Spider And Mazda MX-5


2017 Fiat 124 Spider - image 656070

2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614458

Upon its release for the 2017 model year, the Fiat 124 Spider was hailed as the glorious return of the small Italian roadster, a topless homage to the brilliance of Fiat’s past and the possibilities of its future. However, there was just one problem – it wasn’t a Fiat. It was a Mazda.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, especially considering the similarities seen between the above-featured Subaru and Toyota. After all, the Fiat does get a good deal of unique gear to call its own. The suspension is new, as is the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder under the hood. The exterior styling is totally different as well. What’s more, buyers can upgrade to the even-sportier Abarth edition if so inclined, gaining a new limited-slip differential and a throatier exhaust.

Still, the 124 uses the Mazda’s platform and several of its minor components, and even gets built in the same factory as the MX-5. All told, the bones of this Italian are Japanese.

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider and the Mazda MX-5.

Lamborghini Huracan And Audi R8


2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 - image 709860

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 - image 619666

Less you think its just $30,000 sports cars that can play this costume game, we had to throw in this pair as well. Here’s the deal – Lamborghini likes to tout itself as a preeminent supercar brand rocking a long history of making incredible performance machines with few to no rivals. And that’s true. It’s just that since 1998, the Raging Bull has operated under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, which means brands like Audi can now say the same thing.

Take the Huracan and R8. Both get over 600 horsepower from a mid-mounted 5.2-liter V-10, routing power through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Both also get the same low-weight, high-rigidity chassis. But sure, the Lambo is the one to get if being noticed is a top priority… but either way, you don’t have to dig deep to see it’s basically a disguised Audi.

Read our full review on the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan and the 2017 Audi R8.

PostHeaderIcon Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000

Times like this, picking a sports car can get a little tricky, especially when money is no object. The range of options cuts across different segments and if you really want to make an impression, the cost of getting one could run up in the seven figures. But for those who don’t have the proverbial “unli-funds” at their disposal, buying a sports car becomes a little bit more difficult. For one, a large number of options are pulled off of the table because of their costs. Then there’s the prospect of availability.

But there is some good news. Just because money’s tight, doesn’t mean that the market becomes slim pickings. Far from it actually. Just lower those expectations, and you might find themselves having more than enough options to consider. And, since we’re in the business of helping others out, we’ve put up a list of some sweet performance rides that buyers can score for less than $50,000. I’m purposefully leaving out performance hatchbacks out of this list because they’re an entirely different category of their own. So we’re going with coupes and sedans, some of which can go as cheap as $20,000 while others can max out at or near the $50,000. The point is that they’re affordable and can put buyers one step closer to finally scoring that long-awaited performance car purchase.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Ford Mustang GT


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 702229

Price: $35,095

Still one of the best values in the market today, the Ford Mustang remains one of America’s most popular performance cars for good reason. The latest version of the iconic pony car can still get the job done on the performance end. It has 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque on tap courtesy of a 5.0-liter turbo V-8. It can hit 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and do 0 to 124 mph in 13 seconds at 112 miles per hour. And don’t mistake its 164-mph top speed for a slouch. The Mustang is all business, all the time. It’s also one of the most customized cars in the business today so buyers who want to get a little extra on the ’Stang GT can still do so without burning holes in their bank accounts. Best of all, the Mustang GT starts at just $35,095, though if that price is still too steep, there is an option to get the base ‘Stang version, which starts at $25,585.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang GT.

Chevrolet Camaro SS


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 654360

Price: $37,995

Any mention of the Mustang must be followed by a mention of the Chevrolet Camaro. There’s no rule against it, but the two have become synonymous with each other that referring to one without the other is like talking about pizza without cheese and pepperoni. In any event, the Camaro SS checks all the same boxes that the Mustang GT does. It’s capable of producing 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers allow it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and 0 to 124 mph in 12.3 seconds at 116 mph. And if you’re comparing the Mustang GT with the Camaro SS, know that the latter can also hit a top speed of 165 mph. The Camaro SS is a little more expensive at $37,995, but again, if that’s too expensive, there is an option to get the base Camaro for just $26,900.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.

Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 574957

Price: 41,090

I was tempted to put the Dodge Challenger in here to complete the muscle car troika, but I ultimately opted to go with the Challenger’s performance car sibling, the Dodge Charger. It’s not just the Charger too; it’s the Charger R/T Scat Pack, the gnarly variant that features a 485-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine. Its power output is complemented by a 475 pound-feet worth of torque, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in 16.1 seconds, and 0-to-a-quarter-mile in 12.6 seconds at 111 mph. Top speed has been rated at 160 mph, making it as potent as any “affordable” sports car in its segment. It’s priced at $41,090, which is a little pricier than the Mustang GT and the Camaro SS. There’s still no shame in getting the Charger R/T Scat Pack, though if the move is to only get a base version, the 292-horsepower base SE trim starts at just $27,995.

Read our full review on the 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack.

Subaru WRX STI


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 700139

Price: $36,095

Let’s switch things up by featuring one of the best performance imports to come out of Japan: the Subaru WRX STI. It’s not the range-topping model – that would be the WRX STI Limited – but it’s arguably the best value for a customer’s money. Power comes from a 2.5-liter boxer four engine that pumps out 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. That allows the performance sedan to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 160 mph. It may not be the performance treat that it once was, but with extra features like limited-slip differential and torque vectoring, it’s still good enough to make for a memorable ride without buyers having to worry about explaining how much they spent for it.

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.

Alfa Romeo Giulia


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 676912

Price: $37,995

Want something that’s new and different? Well, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is as good a choice as any. It may not have as much power and performance as the muscle cars on this list, but it still features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that produces 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. Those figures translate to a sprint-to-60-mph time of just 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 149 mph. The numbers back up what would be a solid purchase, especially when you see that the cars the Giulia directly competes against are much more expensive than the Alfa. Take the BMW 340i for example. It has the numbers edge on the Giulia –
320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque – but it’s also around $10,000 more expensive.

Read our full review on the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

BMW 340i


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 629373

Price: $47,900

Speaking of the BMW 340i, the performance sedan still falls under the $50,000 threshold so technically; it qualifies on this list. And why wouldn’t it? If you had the budget, this is the BMW to get. There are cheaper Bimmers available, but the value for money is best on this variant of the 3er. It carries a lot of the elements of the 3 Series and packages all of it with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine that produces 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. Those figures help carry the 340i to an acceleration time to 60 mph of just 4.8 seconds. Just as important, it’s quarter-mile time was clocked at 13.3 seconds at 106 mph, close to what the Mustang GT and Camaro SS are capable of. All of that for a car with a BMW badge at a price that barely reaches $50,000? Seems like a good deal to me.

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 3 Series.

BMW M240i xDrive


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 712206

Price: $46,450

If you’re itching for a version of BMW’s M division, the best you can do at this price range is the M240i xDrive. Don’t be disappointed though because this coupe is very capable in a lot of different ways. It features the very best of BMW design, has advanced safety and performance techs, and is crowned by a 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produces 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are a good way to get from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph. There is a way to get the price down to just $44,450 – a $2,000 savings – but that would mean opting out of Bimmer’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. That may be a good option for those who want a challenge out of their M240is, but I’d still suggest getting the xDrive unit just to make it worth the purchase of the sports coupe.

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M240i xDrive.

Audi S3


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 684998

Price: $42,900

For the record, if there was one model that I’d suggest a buyer gets from this list, it’s the Audi S3. I’m particularly impressed by how the S3 looks. Credit to Audi in that regard because it has managed to make its design language look applicable across its entire range. It doesn’t matter if its the S3 or the S7, the genetics of Audi styling is present in all of them. On top of that, the S3 is also a capable performance sedan, thanks in large part to a 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI four-cylinder engine that’s good for 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It’s a little short of what the BMW 340i can produce, but the S3 makes up for it with a sprint-to-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds, 0.1 seconds quicker than the 340i. Just as impressive is the fact that the S3 can also cover a quarter-mile distance in just 13.3 seconds, exactly the same as its BMW counterpart. Top speed is also rated at 155 mph, so the Audi sedan doesn’t suffer in that regard either. All that and you have a car that’ll only cost you $42,900.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi S3.

Infiniti Q50 Red Sport


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 672032

Price: $48,700

If power is the be-all and end-all of your purchase preference, there’s no better sub-$50,000 purchase than the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport. There’s a lot to like about the Q50 Red Sport. For one, it’s a range-topping model, which means that it boasts of every available technology that Infiniti is using for the Q50 line. There’s also something to be said better-than-expected design. It’s not as sporty-looking as the Audi S3, but there is a nice balance to its sporty design that also hints at a premium look without one trait drowning out the other. Oh, and as far as performance sedan goes, the Q50 Red Sport’s 400-horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque output puts it in a league of its own as it offers the most power for a car of its size that costs under $50,000. All those ponies waiting to be unleashed can moveQ50 Red Sport spring from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds on its way to reaching a quarter-mile distance in 13 seconds at 109 mph.

Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport

Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ


Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 694992

Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000 - image 682576

Prices: Toyota 86 ($26,255) / Subaru BRZ ($30,515)

I debated on whether I should put these two cars on this list because quite frankly, they’re still a disappointment to me. But I am compelled to talk about them regardless because they do return good value for the price. Both the 86 and the BRZ only produce 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque, but the catch is with these two is that they look like proper sports cars and they perform like one too. The 86, for example, can hit 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 147 mph while the BRZ can cover the same ground in 6.6 seconds before maxing out at a similar top speed. The best part about these two models though is that they’re cheap relative to the cars on this list. The 86, for example, sells for just $26,255 while the BRZ’s top-of-the-line 2.0 Yellow Series variant starts at just $30,515. As far as value for money, these two sports coupes are as good as anything you can get without having to pay a fortune for either one of them.

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota 86 and the 2017 Subaru BRZ

PostHeaderIcon Toyota GR HV Sports Concept

Meet the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept

Toyota is the largest automaker in the world, even outpacing Volkswagen this year with over 7 million units sold across a plethora of markets. But, despite the huge volume of automobiles Toyota pumps out annually, picking a true-blue sports car from its lineup is a little limited. Very limited, actually, with just a single performance model on offer in the form of the Toyota GT86. Don’t get us wrong – we’re big fans of the little two-door coupe, and we’re quite happy that it exists. That said, we think Toyota has the means to offer us at least a few more options, don’t you? Now, it looks like we might get just that, as Toyota appears to be gearing up for the release of the next-generation Supra. While details on that are rooted in rumor, Toyota could be offering a glimpse at things to come with this new concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the GR HV Sports Concept, it’s a compact two-door with eccentric styling, a hybrid powertrain, and an odd H-pattern automatic gearbox.

Intrigued? So are we. Toyota frames it as “a new way to enjoy cars by integrating the thrill of a sports car with the environmental friendliness of an eco-car.” We see it as a chance for Toyota to instill the brand with a little more adrenaline. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept.

Exterior


2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736612

The first thing that’ll strike you about this concept is the way it looks. The peculiar design was meant to mimic the Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid race car that runs in the World Endurance Championship, hence the GR HV (Gazoo Racing Hybrid Vehicle) letter lineup we see in the title. It’s an interesting tie-in, given the TS050 was designed entirely for going fast, rather than looking good. Still, it’s a nice reminder that although Toyota might not offer too many sports cars in its production line, its still got some very stout entries in the world of motorsport.


2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 - image 670823

2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736613
“Toyota’s latest concept car (pictured right) takes cues from the brand’s WEC competitor, the Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid (pictured left).”

The inspiration can be seen most clearly in the concept’s front-end design, where we find a downward sloping beak and rounded point, plus a set of tall LED headlights mounted on either side of the body. The concept’s wheels are made from aluminum and use the same look as the racer, while the concept’s rear diffuser, taillights, and lines also mimic the racer’s tail. Large fender flairs in front add a little extra visual beef.

While the allusions to the Toyota WEC competitor become obvious when seen side-by-side, it’s impossible not to see this concept is really just a re-bodied GT86, with slightly longer, wider, and taller dimensions. But that’s okay – after all, the GT86 is Toyota’s one-and-only sports car, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see it providing the bones for this new design study.


2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736610
“Another feature of note is the concept’s targa top, which the automaker says draws similarities with Sports 800 “Yotahachi,” a fun two-door coupe from the ‘60s, as well as the well-known Toyota Supra.”

Another feature of note is the concept’s targa top, which the automaker says draws similarities with Sports 800 “Yotahachi,” a fun two-door coupe from the ‘60s, as well as the well-known Toyota Supra. Obviously, this gets us very excited, as any and all official references Toyota might make to the Supra nameplate are enough to get us slobbering over thoughts of the release of a new-generation model. It’s like the Pavlov’s dog effect for fanboys.

Which begs the question – does the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept preview the styling Toyota has planned for the Supra?

Only time will tell, but for the time being, let’s assume that yes, this concept is what the new Supra is gonna look like as well. What do you think? Does it tickle your fancy? Personally, we’re not the biggest fans – sure it’s striking, but it doesn’t have the lovely curves and attractiveness we were hoping for. Regardless, we’ll take it if it means we can have the next-gen Supra already.

Finally, we find the exterior was covered in matte black paint to embody “power and aggressiveness.”

Interior


2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736617
“While the general look closely resembles the production GT86, there are a few features that make it stand out as unique”

Step into the cabin, and this new concept once again recalls the GT86. The look and layout aren’t all that different, with tight, form-fitting seats, a low-slung seating position, and three-spoke multifunction steering wheel.


2017 Toyota 86 - image 694997

2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736615

Note: Toyota GT86 pictured on the left, Toyota GR HV Sports Concept pictured on the right.

While the general look closely resembles the production GT86, there are a few features that make it stand out as unique. The most obvious of these is a series of buttons laid out horizontally across the dash and surrounded by brush metal-look trim. These provide inputs for selecting the various drive modes for the automatic transmission (Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive), and were designed to mimic the design of a race car.

“But wait,” you might say, “why is there a gear stick with an H pattern in the center tunnel?”

That’s where that red “M” comes in. Apparently, the GR HV Sports Concept allows drivers to row their own in the traditional fashion, despite coming equipped with a slushbox. We’re not entirely sure how that’s supposed to work, but we assume it’s like flappy paddles on the steering wheel, just with more control than a simple upshift/downshift operation.


2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736616
“We assume it’s like flappy paddles on the steering wheel, just with more control than a simple upshift/downshift operation.”

What’s more, Toyota put a push-button starter on the gear knob, which makes us think of the missile launcher system on a fighter jet. Is that the best spot for it? Probably not. Is it still pretty damn cool? We think so. More fighter jet references, please.

Finally, there are performance meters with digital readouts in the center console touchscreen, plus a full complement of digital gauges behind the steering wheel as well.

Drivetrain

Note: Toyota TS050 Hybrid drivetrain explained here.

While details on the GR HV Sports Concept’s powertrain are practically non-existent, Toyota did mention it would get a performance-oriented set-up with technology taken from the TS050 (hence the video above). And while we’d love to see a fire-breathing, high-revving, 500-horsepower 2.4-liter V-6 with 8 megajoules of electric assistance, we think something like an all-atmosphere 2.0-liter four-cylinder and single electric motor combo would be much more likely. Something around 250 horsepower would be perfect, actually.

The engine mounts in front and routes output exclusively to the rear wheels via that six-speed automatic/manual transmission already discussed. Meanwhile, the battery was mounted centrally in the body for better weight distribution. Fun noises exit via a single central exhaust pipe.

Again, this gets us thinking about the new Supra. Rumor has it Toyota is bringing hybrid power to the nameplate. And why not – the brand already has loads of experience when it comes to electrification, and the Supra was always a heavier, GT-style car, which means the added weight of a battery pack and electric motor shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

Conclusion


2017 Toyota GR HV Sports Concept - image 736608

While you’d be right to call the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept, well, odd, we like it all the same. Yeah, the styling is weird, but Toyota’s Le Mans racer provided the inspiration, and that gives it a pass in our book. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to mount the starter in the gearshift knob, but it’s still a cool detail. And yeah, mixing a stick shift with an automatic transmission doesn’t make sense, but at least Toyota is thinking about ways to keep the driving experience more interesting.

Now, about the Supra…

  • Leave it
    • Row your own on an automatic?
    • Not exactly pretty
    • Basically a re-bodied GT86

References

Toyota GT86


2017 Toyota 86 - image 669805

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota 86.


2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 - image 670823

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1.

PostHeaderIcon Jennings Motor Group Renders 10 Everyday Family Cars As Supercars

From wide body kits to free flowing exhaust kits, carbon fiber interior vinyl wraps to oversized rear wings, there’s no shortage of aftermarket options when it comes to making the family errand-runner as close as possible to looking like a full-fledged supercar. But what if we could snap our fingers and turn that commonplace commuter into a seven-figure eater of worlds capable of hanging with the best from Ferrari, Porsche, and Koenigsegg? That’s exactly what Jennings Motor Group did with these 10 everyday family cars, now rendered to supercar stardom.

Included in the list are favorites from the likes of Mini, Renault, Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen, Toyota, Smart, Kia, Tesla, and Lada, each of which was blessed with the traditional supercar stance and more sharp ends than a needle factory. Some make a little more sense than the others, but regardless, we think the renderings look badass, and wouldn’t mind if the respective automakers took the hint that more supercars are indeed always welcome. Of course, we want to know – do these renderings for it for you as well? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, but before you post, check out all 10 renderings after the jump.

Continue reading to learn more about 10 everyday family cars rendered as supercars.

PostHeaderIcon Australia Gets Exclusive Toyota 86 Limited Edition

Toyota 86 Limited Edition-1

While the Americans have the prospect of a new STI-tuned BRZ to look forward too, the Aussies are getting a new Toyota 86 Limited Edition with a number of really cool upgrades. This version is limited to just 60 units and is only available Down Under. But, alas, there is still no power boost.

Still, the 2017 Toyota 86 Limited Edition should outperform its ordinary siblings by virtue of all the dynamic upgrades it gets. The list includes Brembo brakes featuring rotors of 326mm x 30mm with four-piston calipers at the front and 316mm x 20mm rotors with two-piston calipers at back, lightweight Sachs dampers, and 17 inch wheels wrapped in grippy tires.

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But most of the 60 people who will get the Toyota 86 Limited Edition will do so because of the new and exclusive visual features. This model comes in a special Solar Orange paint work complemented with 10-spoke anthracite rims and metallic black rear spoiler and door-mirror housings. The car is also an ace in terms of kit and equipment, boasting leather-accented front sports seats with perforated Alcantara trim and contrast orange stitching also found on the steering wheel, gear shift, park brake and door trim, suede-like Grandlux dashboard with an 86 logo embossed with orange stitchwork, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, rear spoiler, privacy glass, satellite navigation and an upgraded multimedia system with a 6.1-inch display screen and Toyota Link connected mobility.

Toyota 86 Limited Edition is based on the AU-spec GTS model and costs down there $41,490.

Toyota 86 Limited Edition-2

The post Australia Gets Exclusive Toyota 86 Limited Edition appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon The Toyota GT 86 Re-Establishes Its Claim As The King Of Endurance Drifting

The Toyota GT86 has had a very interesting life since it burst onto the scene in 2012. It’s captivated and frustrated people from all corners of the world, and to this day, it still finds a way to make headlines. In fact, the 86’s latest news-grabbing episode has all to do with the Guinness Book of World Records, specifically the car etching its name into rarefied air by setting a new record for the world’s longest drift, going a distance of 102.5 miles with its tail out and eclipsing the previous record of 89 miles.

South African journalist Jesse Adams takes the distinction of piloting the 86 in the record slide, upending German racer Harald Müller’s record-setting attempt in 2014, which he set while drifting… a Toyota GT86. So basically, the GT86 beat the GT86 for the record, an achievement not lost on anyone who swears by the coupe’s ability to kick its rear out for extended periods of time. The record has yet to be verified by representatives from the Guinness world records, but all signs point to it getting the nod since the model that was used was largely stock in configuration except for the larger fuel tank that was put in place in the spare-tire well. So once more, all hail the Toyota GT86 as the kind of endurance drifting. I’d say it’s a title that the car isn’t too keen on giving up anytime soon.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Petrolicious Takes A Look At One Man's Passion For The Toyota 86, Both New And Old: Video

Some cars are just so incredibly good, they manage to transcend time itself. The Toyota AE86 is one such car. Made in the ‘80s using tin cans and old plastic bottles, the AE86 sought driving nirvana via an age-old formula – engine up front, power in the back, and very little weight in between. The recipe worked wonders, giving birth to one of the most iconic enthusiasts’ cars to ever hail from the Land of the Rising Sun. And that’s saying quite a lot. It was so good, in fact, Toyota decided to give it an encore several decades later. Southern California resident Ron Ng owns an example of both the new and old 86, and Petrolicious decided to highlight them both in this eight-and-a-half-minute video.

If you wanna be specific about it, Ng owns a 2017 Toyota 86 and a 1986 Toyota Corolla GTS. Both are finished in a classic white and black two-tone panda paint scheme, offer cog swaps through a three-pedal manual transmission, and equip high-revving four-cylinder engines under the hood.

But the similarities don’t end there. “Driving the new Toyota 86, it definitely has the characteristics of driving the older Corolla,” Ng says. And just like the old Corolla, the new 86 isn’t about burnouts and quarter-mile times. “It’s a momentum car. You always have to push it. You’ve gotta learn your brakes points properly to keep your RPMs up,” he explains, later adding, “The new 86 is a tool that teaches you how to achieve a high driving IQ.”

Which would you rather have? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to check out our review of the new 86 here.


PostHeaderIcon Top Gear Is Finally Getting A Proper Reasonably-Priced Car

It seems that the BBC is serious about wiping the slate clean with Top Gear, isn’t it? It feels that way after last year’s tumultuous season, and now, a new report indicates that even the car used in the “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” segment will also be new to the show. Yep, say goodbye to that ill-fated Mini rallycross car used in last year’s segment.

For the 24th season of the motoring show, British tabloid The Sun is reporting that the show will revert to the reasonably-priced car segment, doing away with the rally format that was reportedly the brainchild of departed host Chris Evans. Just as important, the segment will also have a new reasonably-priced car in the form of the Toyota GT86.

To be fair, Evans’ “Star in a Rallycross Car” segment had its share of laughs, but it steered so far from the spirit of the original segment that it felt a little too gimmicky, a word that could also be used to describe the whole Evans era of the show, short-lived as it was.

So now, we have the Toyota GT86 that’s reportedly going to be the new reasonably-priced car that the show’s guests will take turns driving. It’s a good choice on paper and an even better one when you consider that its predecessors included the likes of the Kia Cee’d, Vauxhall Astra, and the immortal Suzuki Liana, which to this day is still being used when the guests are Formula One race car drivers.

The Toyota GT86 is clearly a better representation of Top Gear and it can also be described as a reasonably-priced car. Even better, upcoming guests will not only have the Stig as their instructor, but also Chris Harris, who himself is considered a pretty good driver, even by motor racing standards.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon A Toyota Exec Just Confirmed The Second-Generation 86

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that the Toyota 86 sports car has been everything Toyota hoped it would be, warts and all. It’s never been the most appealing sports car of its market, but it did give the Japanese auto giant entry into a segment that it hasn’t been in since the last legs of the Toyota MR-2 back in 2007.

Good news then for fans of the 86 because Toyota has reportedly given the green light to develop the second-generation model of the sports car. Speaking with Autocar, Toyota’s European boss, Karl Schlicht, said that the second-guess 86 has been penciled in to arrive in 2019, slotting below the Supra successor that itself is on track to make its debut in 2018.

Details are still scarce on how Toyota wants to proceed with the development of the second-generation 86. At this point, it’s hard to expect anything in the way of details since the company is probably still in the process of hashing those out itself. Even Subaru’s involvement is still a mystery at this point and without a clear-cut response from either company, expect that to be one of the most talked-about facets of the second-generation 86, especially after the extent both companies co-developed the first-generation model, right do its styling and mechanical characteristics.

For his part, Schlict is hopeful that a partnership between the two Japanese brands continues, saying that there are “a lot of reasons to continue with Subaru.

However the dominoes fall, it is reassuring to hear a Toyota higher-up vouch for plans to develop the second-generation 86. Now it’s all about waiting for more details and hoping that a lot of the real or perceived issues of the existing model will be addressed by the next-generation version.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited

It seems like we’ve been down this road before, doesn’t it? A special edition Toyota 86 that’s exclusive to the Japanese market is nothing new and yet, as often as our friends in Japan get these limited edition 86s, we haven’t had as much luck in that regard. In any event, a new limited-run Toyota 86 is fresh from the oven over there in Japan, and it’s promising, among other things, improved braking, sharper handling, and a special edition paint color. It’s called the Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited and yes, it’s not coming to the States.

The upgrades themselves didn’t turn the 86 Solar Orange Limited into a full-blown performance car, but in the technical sense, they helped create a better driving experience for those who are willing to spend the money for the car. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to past special edition 86s that have made their way into Japan, including the 86 Yellow Limited and the curiously designed 86 Style CB. The latter is arguably the most unique of the three examples, but the Solar Orange limited is different too in some respects. The Creamsicle paint finish, for example, is exclusive to this edition, as is Toyota’s new High Performance package, which adds a number of functionally useful components that help improve the 86’s overall driving and handling experience.

Toyota didn’t say how many examples of the 86 Solar Orange Limited it plans to build, opting only to say that pricing starts at 3,251,880 yen for the manual transmission model and 3,318,840 yen for the automatic transmission model. Based on current exchange rates, those prices convert to around $29,400 and $30,000, respectively. Interested customers have only between January 31 to March 10, 2017 to place their orders, after which Toyota will likely stop production to retain its overall exclusivity.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota 86 – Driving Impression And Review

What’s it take to create a car for “enthusiasts?” What are the ingredients? Truth be told, there are plenty of four-wheeled recipes out there if you wanna stir up some excitement, but sometimes, what you really need is that classic combo of two doors, power in the rear, low weight, and faultless poise in the twisty bits. Considered traditional fare amongst those with a taste for gas-powered adrenaline, modern interpretations usually carry a price tag that’s out of reach for most. Not so with the 2017 86. Toyota frames it as an affordable sport compact coupe engineered for switchbacks rather than straightaways, taking aim at the kind of person who lives for canyon runs rather than stoplight drags. Tossable, controllable, and above all, fun – these are the things that make this kind of car go, and thankfully, Toyota hasn’t strayed from the original recipe.

I recently got a chance to drive the 2017 86 in its native environment – winding, deserted two-lanes stretching towards some far-flung mountaintop. But the question is this – will the new 86 satisfy, or leave a bitter taste in your mouth?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota 86.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota GT 86 By Street FX

The Toyota GT 86 is not the fastest and most powerful sports car in the world. It’s really far from that, but what it lacks in sheer strength, it more than makes up for in sheer accessibility to aftermarket companies. That’s been the case since the sports car broke into the scene back in 2012 as we’ve seen with the plethora of souped-up GT 86 models that have been unleashed since then. But as many as they’ve been, I can’t recall one as insane as the one Street FX is preparing for its owner Mark Trueno. This modification – you might even call it a full-on transplant – comes with a goal of giving the GT 86 an output in excess of 1,000 horsepower.

Those numbers don’t lie; that’s really what Street FX is shooting for. It’s ambitious, but history has shown that ambition is nothing compared to a tuning firm that’s determined to see its work through. That’s what we get here as Street FX is turning no stone unturned in accomplishing its objective.

Truth be told, this GT 86 is already tuned to deliver 545 horsepower. That’s been the case ever since Street FX added a Rocket Bunny kit and a turbocharger a few years ago. But as is the case with people who don’t settle, Trueno thought that he could get more out his already potent GT 86 by taking out its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and replacing with a twin-turbo V-6 from the Nissan R35 GT-R, on top of all the modifications that came after that.

The car’s tuning is not done yet and I can imagine that there will be more upgrades in place before Street FX finally celebrates its completion. In the mean time, let it all sink in. A Toyota GT 86 that can produce more than 1,000 horsepower is delightfully absurd in every which way imaginable.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Has BMW M And Mercedes AMG In Its Sights

Toyota has had a pretty wild and successful history and in 2013 the company fell just $20,000 shy of crossing the annual sales threshold of more than $10 million. The company is still doing well as of the time of this writing, but it did just recently absorb the Scion brand due to poor sales. Toyota has always been one of the go-to brands for economy cars like the Corolla and the Camry, so the Scion brand didn’t stand much of a chance, but what happened to the days when Toyota had a few exciting cars too? Well, those days might be coming back if Toyota’s lead engineer for the Toyota 86 – Tetsuya Tada – has anything to say about it.

In a recent interview with CarAdvice Tada admitted that he was on a mission to convince Toyota to create a performance division. I know you’re probably thinking “what about TRD?” right? Well TRD is so invested in trucks at the moment that Toyota needs something else. If you don’t believe me, just look at how little TRD did to the 2015 Toyota TRD Corolla, the 2015 Toyota TRD Camry, and the 2016 Toyota Yaris TRD Sportivo – all three were about as disappointing as finding out that your wife is cheating on you. The future may hold something better, though, as Tada wants to absorb Gazoo Racing just like BMW did with M Performance and Audi did with Quattro GmbH.

In the interview with CarAdvice, Tada said, “BMW has its M Division, Mercedes-Benz has Mercedes-AMG, Audi has Quattro GmbH, so they have a stance of a sports car, but Toyota hasn’t. So I would like to build that major sports car brand within Toyota, like BMW’s M. He continued, “BMW and M and Audi and Quattro GmbH used to be like the Toyota relationship with Gazoo—it wasn’t really one body, it was two separate things, but because of the time and the continuous effort, now they are together. So, I’m wishing that Toyota puts effort continuously, and then someday later, Toyota and Gazoo will be one body.”

How can you argue with logic like that? Toyota has become a dull company that provides your everyday family movers, but nothing exciting to brag about. Here’s to hoping that Tada gets his way sooner than later and Toyota either creates a new performance division or absorbs Gazoo.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota 86 Shooting Brake Concept

Initially a custom-built luxury wagon altered for use by hunters and other sportsmen, the shooting brake concept gained more modern meaning in the late 1960s by bringing practicality and sportiness under the same roof. The two-door wagon took many forms and adopted many badges in the last four decades, but the body styles became less popular in the 21st century, with only a handful of models available in dealerships. Toyota has just unveiled its very own shooting brake, but unlike the Ferrari FF (recently renamed the GTC4Lusso), it’s not yet slated to become a production car.

It’s called the 86 Shooting Brake Concept and as the name suggests, it is based on the Toyota 86 sports car. Granted, the Ferrari FF comparison is a bit out of line given that the concept car is just a regular 86 under the skin, but this is definitely the most important update this car has received since its official introduction in 2012.

How did this happen, you ask?

Well, Toyota says that the company’s Australian design team created a 1/4-scale clay model of the shooting brake and showed it to Tetsuya Tada, the father of the 86, when he visited in 2014. Tada was so impressed that he commissioned his takumi craftsmen from Japan to build a full size vehicle based on the Australian design. The shooting brake is not only fully functional, but has already been put through the paces on Toyota’s test tracks.

“The nicely weighted and direct steering of the 86 ensures the car retains the involving drive experience of the coupe with a slightly more neutral feel in tight corners on a driver’s favorite road,” Tada said.

“The silhouette is still sporty, taut and energetic, but it’s more practical as it allows the roof to be used to carry surfboards, bikes or storage pods for a weekend away while the larger opening of the new boot enables much easier loading,” added Nicolas Hogios, Toyota Australia’s design chief.

The company says the shooting brake is only a study built to “gauge reaction” and that there are no plans for production. On the other hand, Tada noted that “we never say never and I would love this concept to become a production reality.” At least there is some hope that the shooting brake will make it into showrooms sometime in the future…

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota 86 Shooting Brake Concept.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota 86

With the exception of the soon-to-be-released, limited production, Scion tC Release Series 10.0, and one final display at the New York Auto Show, Scion is pretty much history. Even though the brand will be no more, some of its cars will live on. The most exciting of the bunch – the Scion FR-S – will now wear a Toyota badge. The name is also changing, moving away from FR-S. Rather. The car is going to live on as the Toyota 86, and we’ve just received the first official information and images of the new 86, along with confirmation that it will debut at the New York Auto Show along with the Toyota C-HR Concept.

Toyota Division Group Vice President, Bill Fay, said, “When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86.” He continued, “Enthusiasts have a strong association with the front-engine, rear-drive heritage of the ‘hachi-roku’ and the dynamic performance it offers.”

So, will the 86 be all show and no go like the FR-S, or will Toyota step its game up and make the 86 the driver’s car it should be? Well, Toyota did mention some upgrades, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out more about that. The Toyota 86 will hit Dealership showrooms this fall, but before then – and before its debut in New York – let’s take a good look at the pre-release materials that Toyota sent our way.

Update 08/22/2016: Toyota has announced pricing for the 2017 Toyota 86. Check out the “Prices” section below for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota 86.


PostHeaderIcon Official: 2017 Toyota 86

2017 Toyota 86-1

Finally, after what seems like ages, Toyota is ready to release a face-lift version of the GT86 sports car at the upcoming New York Auto Show. They also seem to have dropped the ‘GT’ from the car’s name, calling it simply the 2017 Toyota 86.

That probably has to do with the recent abolishment of the entire Scion brand. The company is apparently simplifying its range and nomenclature. We like Toyota 86 better. It is less pretentious than GT86, especially as that car is not really a GT. What it is, is a pure and wonderful sports car that is good at many things but has very little GT qualities.

2017 Toyota 86-2

At any rate, the 2017 Toyota 86 comes with fresh styling elements designed to look more aggressive, including a larger center intake that gives the car more girth, re-configured LED front headlamps and turn signals, and revised bumper, and LED taillights. The highlights of the interior include “Grandlux” material used on the instrument panel surround, new seating material with silver stitching and a sporty steering wheel with integrated audio controls.

2017 Toyota 86-3

And… no, the engine has not changed. They have done bugger all about the flat-four engine, the one thing that needed upgrading. Well, the US-version gets an extra 5 horsepower for a total of 205 hp, but that’s rather insulting, don’t you think? What difference is that going to make? You do get, however, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC). So… yay!

The post Official: 2017 Toyota 86 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Track Test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

The battle between Mazda MX-5 and Toyota GT86 has sort of become like the battle between the new hypercars. If you like one better than the other, you just don’t care if objectively, your car is inferior. Still, for those who want to keep an open mind, here’s a head to head track test between the two greatest affordable sports car in the market right now.

The 2015 Mazda MX-5 is a bit newer than Toyota GT86, but the latter has some redeeming features that balances that out. It is more powerful and has a boxer engine, plus a solid roof. So yes, this is going to be interesting:

You really can’t go wrong with either of these rear-wheel-drive sports car as both of them are great driver’s cars. The thing is, it seems you will be getting more with the Mazda. It’s a nice looking, well-appointed roadster with sweet handling and decent economy. That just seems more on the line with the needs of the modern motorists than Toyota’s boxer-engined funster with a rubbish interior and overcompensating rear end.

The post Track Test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86 appeared first on Motorward.

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