A cursory, showroom-floor introduction to the Toyota GT86 will likely reveal that the car’s cabin, while offering a concerted step up from the Subaru BRZ’s positively skeletal innards, still lacks the plush, polished look that has come to define a European expectation of what sports cars should feel like inside, even though its recent facelift has aimed to rectify this issue.
The Toyota is hard-edged and flinty to the touch, and it looks it, too. But there is a wonderful schematic rigour to the interior that only really becomes apparent once the model is in motion.
Most manufacturers talk a fine game when it comes to focusing their cockpits on the driver, but the GT86 is as nakedly purposeful as the tail-gunner seat in a B-52.
Characterised by a sublime seating position — offering the lowest hip-point of any Toyota production vehicle — the car trades gun sights for a large tachometer, and then brilliantly orbits every other facet of the architecture around that eye line.
The attention to a functional, instinctive level of detail — so often the subject of empty marketing rhetoric — is comprehensive and remarkably effective. The steering wheel is the smallest ever attached to a Toyota and a horizontal dashboard design has been used to help better communicate mid-bend roll posture.
Soft knee pads have been built into the door trim and centre console to offer support under high lateral loads and there’s a centre line mark on the upper edge of the dashboard that can be seen reflected in the windscreen… The list goes on and on.