2012 Toyota GT 86 will be more expensive in Europe than in Japan

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 2, 2012

The sports car that Toyota will offer in Europe -- the rear-wheel-drive GT 86 -- has higher specs. This means that it has a starting price that’s about 10,000 euros higher in Europe than in its domestic market. The rear-wheel-drive GT 86 that starts selling on April 6 is priced from 1.99 million yen ($26,140 or 19,900 euros) in Japan.

Meanwhile, the starting price in Europe can be as high as approximately 30,000 euros when it touches down on showrooms in the early part of summer, a Toyota Europe spokesman has confirmed. He added that a low-spec version will be offered in Japan as an entry point.

The spokesman told Automotive News Europe that Toyota will launch a high-grade model with a set of 17-inch wheels and a high range of equipment in Europe where it will be sold as the GT 86.

Toyota expects sales in Europe to reach 15,000 a year but only 1,000 a month is expected to be sold in Japan. Toyota wants to appeal to a younger generation of customers and to accomplish that, President Akio Toyoda has decided to take up sports car making again. The 86 name is inspired from the iconic AE86 Corolla Levin sports car from the 1980s.

It also has some of that car's stripped-back appeal. After the 86 was introduced last December, Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada said that many of the current cars are controlled by computer chips and this “leads to a sense of the car driving you, instead of you driving the car.” He explained that they wanted to return to basics and so they chose to use few computer controls.

Powering the car is a 200hp, naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that’s co-developed with Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries, which will offer the car as the BRZ. It would be known in the U.S. as a Scion FR-S and it is set to arrive in showrooms "in spring", according further to the dedicated consumer website of this car. Pricing details will be announced later.

The Corolla Levin AE86 has a name that pays tribute to the car’s drivability as well as its one of a kind relationship with enthusiasts and owners. However, the 86 has an important contribution throughout the sports car’s development.

For instance, the boxer engine has a stroke and square bore configuration that measures 86 mm on all sides. This setup stays true to the carmaker’s lengthy sports engine history. The square bore and stroke setup you see on the 3M engine used by the 2000GT and the Supra’s 1G-G engine measured 75 mm. While the Celica’s four-cylinder featured an 86 mm square bore and stroke. The exhaust opening of the Toyota GT 86 has a diameter of 86 mm.

Ultimate enjoyment

GT86 is the most compact sports car with four seats measuring 4,240 mm long, 1,285 mm high, and 1,775 mm wide. It has a wheelbase measuring 2,570 mm. Meanwhile, extensive efforts to reduce weight resulted in only 1,200 kg of vehicle mass.

The front-mounted boxer engine has a flat-four format that works together with the lowest driver hip-point that is seen in a Toyota production car. The 400 mm hip-point gives the new GT 86 a very low centre of gravity at only 460 mm.

The driving position and the powertrain are both set as far back and as low as possible to ensure balance, while also allowing for the 53:47 front to back weight distribution. Engine power dictates the perfect weight distribution. A 150-hp engine needs a 51:49 weight distribution while a 300-hp unit needs 50:50 weight distribution.

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