Video: Modified Toyota 86 in Cape Town, South Africa

Hot Lava Scion FR-S / GT-86 with Optional Factory Sports Aero Kit

Although its local market introduction is still a few months off (mid-year), the first example of Toyota’s new affordable sportscar, the GT 86, has arrived for Toyota South Africa’s evaluations. It was displayed at a Toyota function in Cape Town on Sunday, and Hannes Oosthuizen managed to sneak an exclusive “private showing”.

It is often written that cars look better, or different, in the metal compared with photographs, and this is certainly the case with the 86. Sleek, muscular and quite a bit wider than anticipated, this sportscar looks at least twice as expensive as it will be when it goes on sale. It’s a stunner. The car on these photographs is fitted with an optional sports kit, and by the sounds of it there will be a number of optional extras buyers will be able to choose from, including the massive rear wing, TRD parts and Brembo brakes.

The interior is suberb, featuring mostly soft-touch materials on the upper facia, stitched leather inserts and a spot-on driving position. The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach. Stepping on the clutch and playing with the gearlever revealed a very meaty and mechanical Subaru-like shift action. By the way, when the car was started it made a very nice, typically boxer sound. Although there are rear seats, space is very limited in the back. It is a 2+2 in the same way that a Porsche 911 is a 2+2. The boot, however, is of a decent size.

The car will be sold as the 86 (not GT 86) in South Africa and the pricing will be in the R300 000 to R350 000 bracket. At the price there is nothing that looks as exciting and exotic. Worldwide demand is already very strong and Toyota SA expects demand to significantly outstrip supply. So if you want one of the first cars, you better make sure your name is on a list somewhere.