Delving into the detail typically reveals the devil in Toyota’s vast and intricate economies of scale, but in the case of the Toyota GT86, the use of common parts shrunk to just nine percent. If proof were required of the manufacturing giant’s enthusiasm for the project, it exists first and foremost in that figure.
The next number to consider is 86. Just a hat-tip to the AE86, yes? No. The ‘square’ 86mm dimension of both the bore and the stroke of the 197bhp 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine previously featured in the in-line four that powered the Celica and MR2. Even the car’s prominent, chrome-tipped exhausts are 86mm in diameter.
Toyota’s anally retentive pursuit of numeral significance may seem somewhat trivial, but it’s indicative of a wider effort to get everything on the car just so.
Subaru’s boxer engine was selected because its configuration meant that it was compact and light, and could be mounted closer to the ground (and further back) for an ultra-low 460mm centre of gravity.
A high-revving unit was specified, so the boxer was modified to allow it to spin to 7400rpm. Desperate to get the flick-of-the-wrist changes right on its reworked six-speed manual gearbox, Toyota went through five separate prototypes.
Underneath, nothing was permitted to muddy the virtues of the classic front-engined, rear-drive layout. Thinner, lighter body panels were used to keep the GT86’s burden under 1300kg.