What is it?
This is the Toyota GT86, formerly known as the FT-86, and created to lure young, fun-loving drivers back to a Toyota brand that has become dominated by big-selling but ultimately bland models.
The front-engined, rear-drive 2+2 has been created in a close collaboration with Subaru, in which Toyota owns a 16.5 per cent share, and will spawn three mechanically identical but differently styled cars: the GT86, the Subaru BRZ and, for the American market, the Scion FR-S.
All three will be powered by the same 197bhp, 151lb ft flat four engine. Based on the Subaru FB20 block but fitted with a Toyota-designed head, the 2.0-litre engine has been reworked with a shorter stroke and wider bores, allowing it to rev higher. Maximum power arrives at 7000rpm, while peak torque is at 6600rpm.
In total, 91 per cent of parts are bespoke to the GT86 or its counterparts. At £24,995 when it goes on sale in June a relative bargain should it deliver on its promised fun.
What’s it like?
At this juncture it’s worth noting that our drive was conducted at a test track in Japan, where the silky smooth surface made any conclusions about the ride impossible to gauge accurately. Also, this is a pre-production car, set up to almost launch spec save for the fitment of details such as the audio system.