The Toyota 86 (called the GT86 in Europe) has received its first UK honour, being named best coupe in the 2012 Scottish Car of the Year awards.
The 86 followed up its debut success on track in the recent Britcar 24 Hours race by winning its category in the Scotland’s premier new car awards, voted for by members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers.
John Murdoch, association president, said: “The new coupe category produced some cracking contenders and, for most of the year, it looked as though the voting would go one way. Then Toyota returned to the segment with a vengeance and amazed everyone. Not only is the GT86 incredible to drive, but for a sporting coupe it’s surprisingly frugal on fuel.”
Launched in July, the 86 was conceived from the outset to be a pure driver’s car, with low weight, a low centre of gravity and responsive, rewarding handling as design and engineering priorities.
Inspired by great Toyota sports cars from the past, notably the 2000GT of the 1960s and the Corolla GT/AE86 of the 1980s, the 2+2 coupe has a front-mounted, free-revving 2.0-litre ‘boxer’ engine driving the rear wheels. Toyota purposely specified standard tyres – the same as those used on Prius – rather than performance rubber, ensuring drivers can fully exploit the GT86’s handling potential.
John Murdoch presented the 86’s award to Scott Brownlee, Toyota General Manager Press and Public Affairs, at the ASMW’s annual awards dinner in Glasgow this week.
In South Africa the 86 has been very favourably received. Local motoring scribes have been effusive in their praise of the newcomer and the fact that the 86 has graced the covers of all the country’s top motoring publications is further testimony to its popularity.