And so with little fanfare, save for a passing social media post mentioning it, the last Toyota GT86 has been sold in the UK. Until they introduce the next one, of course.
The GT86’s end follows the withdrawal of the Subaru BRZ from the market last year; they’re the same coupé bar a few badges, colours and, crucially, quite a lot of manufacturer marketing and dealer support. Possibly, although never confirmed, also a slight difference in rear suspension geometry that gave the Subaru marginally less comedic levels of oversteer than the Toyota.
Anyway, I’ve written it before and I will write it again: this is a great (pair of) car(s). Probably my favourite car(s) from the past decade, in fact. There have been ‘better’ cars, it’s true – cars that are faster, more capable, more relaxing, quieter, cleaner and, sure, actually even more fun.
But that’s not quite the point. The GT86 weighs 1235kg when full of fuel, 53% weighted to the front; it has a naturally aspirated engine mounted low at the front, a six-speed manual gearbox, a limited-slip differential and rear-wheel drive; and it runs on 215-section tyres.
Even if Toyota and Subaru had screwed up the rest of it, which they didn’t, those factors would still be compelling in a way that, for me, no hot hatchback can be. They’re pure.
Six years ago, I drove 32,000 miles in 12 months in a GT86 as my long-termer and concluded it would be what I would buy if I had a proper job. Next week, I’ll drive one again to see if, nine years after its launch, I still feel the same way. A fitting obituary, then, to come in a few weeks.