The long wait is over. After teasing us for months--with snippets of information being shared here and there and with a motorcade around the metropolis and to Tagaytay over one weekend--Toyota Motor Philippines is finally launching the 86 sports coupe.
The spiritual successor to the Toyota AE86, the all-new 86 shares the same driving dynamics as its predecessor by combining its lightweight design with responsive power and perfect balance.
The new-generation 86 is powered by a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated, flat-four boxer engine with its 200hp and 205Nm of torque†being transferred to the rear wheels with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic gearbox. Nice piece of trivia: The engine's bore and stroke are 86mm by 86mm. Adding more spice to the car's sporty flavor are the quick and responsive gear-shifting ratios and the short-throw shift knob for the manual transmission, while the automatic slushbox gets functionally aggressive, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The 86 is designed from the ground up as a true sports car, and its lightweight design and short wheelbase allow it to be quick and nimble in and out of every corner. Complemented by†front McPherson struts and rear double wishbones†and a front-to-rear weight distribution ratio of 53:47, and the 86's handling prowess becomes almost telepathic in nature. Then add the impressive drag coefficient of just 0.27 and you have a car that's really a hoot to drive.
If the sleek silhouette and the low stance of the 86 aren't enough to convince you of its sporting intentions, then getting into one should. You don't really step into it but rather drop yourself into the front bucket seat. The large center-mounted tachometer, red shift light indicator, center console-mounted start/stop button and 365mm-diameter steering wheel--the smallest yet fitted to a Toyota--further convey the car's capabilities.
We've had the opportunity to test-drive the 86 well before its launch, and it's safe to say that the car certainly brings the fun back into driving. You will read more about this in our July issue, the exclusive cover of which will showcase the newest rock star in the auto industry.
The new 86 is available in three different variants, with the†manual transmission-equipped Standard variant†priced at†P1.55 million, the†automatic gearbox-equipped Standard variant†at†P1.65 million, and the even sportier†automatic†Aero variant†with its wraparound bodykit pegged at†P1.875 million.
There are seven colors available: Satin White Pearl, Sterling Silver Metallic, Lightning Red, Galaxy Blue Silica, Dark Gray Metallic, Crystal Black Silica and the signature Orange Metallic. Both the Standard and Aero variants have 17-inch alloy wheels shod in 215/45 tires.
Inside, the Aero variant has†leather seats†with the front ones being equipped with a†heater. The Standard variants make do with†fabric seats. The Aero also has†red accents†on the steering wheel, the shift knob and the parking brake lever.
And in spite of its very sporting nature, the 86 isn't exactly devoid of practical amenities in the cabin. It has, among other things, a push-start button, cruise control, a digital clock, power door locks and windows, a door pocket that doubles as a bottle holder, a door courtesy lamp, two cupholders, an accessory power socket, dual-zone air-conditioning, and a six-speaker (and rather spartan) audio system with iPod connectivity.
For safety, both the Standard and Aero variants have antilock brakes, an abundance of airbags (dual front, dual side, dual curtains and driver-side knee), vehicle stability control (with the Aero variant having a†sport/snow switch, proof that its specs list is really designed for western markets), and side-impact door beams.
For more information on the 86, log on to its official website, www.area86.ph.
In the meantime, watch our Toyota 86 video starring our very own tofu delivery guy, Botchi Santos. There's also a photo gallery below, in case you're still craving for more of the car. See you at the track?
Photos by Mikko David
Video camera: Sony Alpha 77
If you're viewing this on a mobile device and can't see the video, please click here.