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Toyota FT86 first impressions

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As the missus and I were looking for a new vehicle we checked out the new much hyped toyota ft86.


I admit I was keen after looking at the photos, I even bought into the hype and was very enthusiastic.


That all quickly disappeared after some very bad customer service from the toyota dealership on Port Road and went downhill fast. Damn my preconceived notions and falsely high expectations.


The cocky young salesman starts by dropping that they have a 12 month waiting list, then goes on to advise we might be lucky if we want an auto gt. Contradict yourself in 5 mins- great start ! Hard sell an auto perhaps..and its a bog standard traditional hydraulic auto - no twin clutch wonder tech here - just plain camry/lexus fare. Boo.

We then proceed to wait while a string of older bleach blonde women (over 50s club) test drive the car, followed by a couple (gay guys). Target audience springs to mind.

Our time arrives - and I must admit the FT86 looks MUCH better in pictures - where you dont notice how damn small it is. Bit of a hairdressers car stock i think, definitely suit the previous few drivers.

In the "flesh" its quite tiny, and with tiny wheels and empty wheel arches, I always hate that 4WD look of a sports car up on tippy toes. At least it looks shapely - much like a small version of the american genesis coupe - similar lines but the rear side windows are different.



The car feels very solid. Good visibility in front. The eye naturally looks down the bonnet and the seating position is upright and straight. The headrest means you have good support and when cornering hard there is ample bolster support.

The turn in is sharp and responsive. The ride is compliant and rather soft. I can feel that as is (stock) that body roll will be an issue at the track. Given its softness compared to what I drive (evo) I assume under load that the car will understeer predictably followed by predictable oversteer till the oversteer ends due to a complete lack of anything resembling power. No wonder the TV advert shows it drifting in the sand - it was the only way to keep it sideways without its congested engine dropping the skid. Bit woeful stock.

Unfortunately I was unable to induce either of these given its decided total lack of power or torque - and given the short drive i was able to have. Seriously underwhelming for the dollars!


There is no fun engine note. No lovely boxer tone. Its sounds like a friken camry whining through a straw. Sure I can hear the mechanical engine sound - but I want a sports car note.


The motor was very linear - I was expecting a little more push, like driving a Vtech/mivec or similar. Once again I felt underwhelmed.


All in all if I was going to drop around 40K onroad (GTS) I would expect a lot more. Given its extremely tame, its going to need another $10K+ dropped on it to make it trackable.


I will keep an eye out on what willall racing do with theirs - or maybe by that time the 2013 genesis will be out and we shall see - or just grab the 135i..


The engine is an unknown - I see more tuner parts coming daily but not much data yet as to cams. EM etc. And this car NEEDS to stay NA (to keep it in the under 2L na group catagory) - as if you add a turbo or s/charger it changes the category it races in and suddenly you are up into the "big boys" proper modded turbo league. It will need the same treatment as the old AE86 but as yet lacks that long term development.

The motor will need to be given the N/A treatment, balanced, cams, computer "broken" into to manage the engine systems, water cooling on the brakes etc. BUT why bother when at around $50K there are so many other choices of quality new/near new cars that will just eat it alive.


But then I see it through my eyes. I would aim it at regularities, supersprints and local time attack etc where the racing rules and CAMS dictate certain limitations due to class regulations and keeping it OEM configured..


A conundrum.


Anyone else driven it and got an educated opinion?

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I think you might be looking at the 86 in the wrong way. The 86 to me a sports cars car that the older generation of import owners will get, because they had the fast silivas ect but are growing older and want something new, nice and wont get defected so they get an 86 and have a track/project car. unless you already have a daily you might be better off getting an 86 as daily and siliva, skyline, ae86 as track car.

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Took one for a drive last week @ noble toyota.


I agree extremely underwhelming preformance, Just like the RX8.


Handling is alright for a factory car, But for anyone like us that sit on coilovers 24/7 it still doesn't tick all those boxes, But I don't blame them for that one. They ain't making track cars.


As said, The real life product is alot more underwhelming than the pictures. It's alot smaller and has that cheapness feel that the late model celicas had.


My drive with the car has really let me down as I was ready to put a deposit down on the day.


@ 40k for the GTS model I would rather ad the extra 3k and get a ex-demo FPV GS. 315kw at the wheels and room for your mates too.

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Thanks man, do you have a direct number for him or should I just call the shop?

Epic thread revival!???

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