There’s no overstatement in suggesting that we were waiting years for the Toyota GT86.

By that we don’t just mean enduring the interminable period of delays and introductions as journalists before finally getting our hands on a UK-spec Toyota GT86 (although we have had to do just that).

We mean ‘we’ in a broader sense, as in the wait that every car enthusiast with modest resources has had to tolerate before a manufacturer summoned up the necessary gumption to build an authentic, low-weight, low-cost, compact sports car.

The front-engined, rear-drive 2+2 is powered by a 2.0-litre flat-four engine that churns out 197bhp and 151lb ft. A six-speed manual is standard; there's also a six-speed automatic on offer as well.

Despite boasting a heritage that contains the Celica, the Supra and the MR2, Toyota has passed through a period of recent history that has been so mundane that the GT86’s potential place close to our hearts seems almost to be a novelty. 

However, the manufacturer’s three stated criteria for the GT86 (which has been developed in conjunction with the Subaru BRZ) read like a purist’s manifesto: rear-wheel drive, no turbocharging, ordinary tyres - much like the Mazda MX-5.

The objective, it gloriously affirms, was driver-focused fun. No further introduction is necessary.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Affordable sports cars

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar F-Type Convertible 2.0 i4 on the road
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Having been previously impressed by the agile four-cylinder F-Type, now is our chance to try it in the UK and in open-top form. But can this entry-level Jaguar sports car hold off the impressive Porsche Boxster?
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR
    The Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR is a swansong for the Vantage - but the first model to sport the AMR title
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Aston Martin's swansong for its venerable Vantage sports car allows it to bow out with its head held high, yet the performance AMR sub-brand's first outing leaves you feeling short-changed
  • Range Rover Velar 2.0D
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Can the newest Range Rover deliver the goods when it's being powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0L diesel engine? We tried it on UK roads to find out
  • Audi RS3 Sportback
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Audi Sport's firebrand hatchback gets an even more brilliant engine, but still falls short of the dynamic finesse and driver involvement necessary to make it a true performance great
  • Sin R1 550
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Bulgaria’s first supercar is aggressive and unapologetic. It can be tricky at the limit, but it’s as engaging as they come