- The riddle pf the Toyota GT86- the car for purist drivers.

- The riddle pf the Toyota GT86- the car for purist drivers.

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Fastdruid

6,823 posts

110 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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dmitry said:
kambites said:
Well the mk4 MX5 and mk3 MR2 are both under a tonne, and the uselessness of the rear seats in the GT86 make them the same class, IMO.

I agree that numbers don't matter in themselves, but the GT86's problem is that it feels heavy and rather lifeless compared to its competition. At least to me.

Edited by kambites on Friday 13th January 08:57
Sorry, couldn't agree. In a bit more than a year that I've had my 86 it's been used to carry:
my wife and 10 year old son plus luggage for a few day holiday on a 500 mile round trip,
a set of four 17" wheels with tyres (a few times),
a Mk2 MX5 gearbox,
and even a 6 feet Christmas tree.
None of these would be possible in an MX5.

CABC

3,648 posts

59 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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RDMcG said:
I wasn't expecting this post to generate so much discussion but the reason I started it was because I was trying to understand why people buy very fast cars when most roads are speed limited. The usual reason given is that they are fun to drive. Manuals allow you to be engaged ,simple cars with no nannies sort out the real drivers from the posers. Thus the GT 86 should have been a mega hit. Practicality can't be such a big reason. Try loading an F type or a Cayman.

I was curious because I was thinking about my own motivations. I used to have a few manual cars but now have one. 9 year old GT3RS. Everything else is auto or PDK. When it comes to driving on fairly congested roads the RS in 50 mph traffic or stop and go stuff is far from being my first choice. So, in a way my PH credentials are slipping. Of course the odd track day is fun and a sporty car is rewarding ,though skilled track drivers do better than I do in more regular wheels. I will keep the old RS permanently just to have the option but I suspect I will not buy another. PDK works fine for me on road or track

Most modern high performance cars have recognized this and no longer offer manuals. I had all sorts of manual BMWs but even they got out of the raw performance car business. I recognize that there will always be Caterhams and the like and genuinely applaud those who drive them. However the GT86 for me is symptomatic of the fact that what people say and do is different.
you need to have circumstances that allow a 'purists' car. These include: having several cars; not having a drudge of a commute; being dedicated! Today's roads in the south lead many an enthusiast to at least have an auto daily driver.

When most people say their fast car is "fun to drive" that's at a very simple level of 'feelgood' and acceleration.

Horses used to be used for transport. Once the car came along some people kept using horses for a hobby. That's where we are with drivers' cars, and it isn't going to change.

dmitry

324 posts

120 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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Fastdruid said:
My son was in the passenger seat with the tree in the boot with rear seat folded. As for the MX5 carrying capacity, can't find a pic right now but I've once hauled an MTB bike tied to a rollbar in a Mk1 MX5.

Bennet

1,382 posts

89 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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hondansx said:
I would argue, if you were a die-hard car guy, you'd be booking yourself up for drift training and practice, as well setting your alarm clock at 3am so you can practice sliding around your local roundabouts.
That's probably true, but just because someone isn't so committed to improving their car control that they go drifting at 3 o'clock in the morning doesn't put them in the category of "wanting posing and bragging rights over everything else" (from earlier in your post.)

anonymous-user

12 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
dmitry said:
My son was in the passenger seat with the tree in the boot with rear seat folded. As for the MX5 carrying capacity, can't find a pic right now but I've once hauled an MTB bike tied to a rollbar in a Mk1 MX5.
I had a Christmas tree in my Caterham, was pretty useful keeping the snow off actually.

kambites

60,154 posts

179 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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dmitry said:
Sorry, couldn't agree. In a bit more than a year that I've had my 86 it's been used to carry:
Which is fair enough, people obviously have different definitions of these things. smile

Bennet

1,382 posts

89 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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CABC said:
You need to have circumstances that allow a 'purists' car. These include: having several cars; not having a drudge of a commute; being dedicated!
This is the reason.

It's not that "what people say and what they do are different", it's that people's circumstances force them to consider more than just a purist driving experience when choosing how to spend their money. Given plenty of money and sufficient garage space, I suspect lots of us would have a GT86.

V8 TEJ

375 posts

119 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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Lots of differing views as of course we all have different agendas when it comes to cars.

I think those who are the target market have bought them and are very happy. The GT86 forum shows this not PH. Many people wanted a manufacturer to produce a simple N/A RWD manual coupe 'like the old days' which Toyota have created, and it gets a massive thumbs up from many including myself.

We bought one in November for my Wife to replace the Celica (140 VVT-i) she had owned for 11 years. The Celica had been faultless over the years and was/is a very nice all rounder. The GT86 was the direct modern equivalent being a 4 seater coupe with a 4 cylinder engine. We have a 6 year old daughter (who is tall for her age) who fits in the back very nicely and can continue to do so for a good few years. The driving position is spot on and you do feel very connected to the road as the designers intended. I love the feel of the leather covered steering and gear knob, that have just the right weight. The chassis has that classic RWD feel to it but also modern at the same time. It's difficult to explain. I do agree with a previous post that it can feel a little too tail happy but you get used to putting the power down (as in any car) after putting some miles on it. I think the original wheels are too narrow (which was intentional) and fitting bigger wider wheels has definitely helped with traction, and they look much better IMO smile

The interior is nice enough, I can't understand why some feel it's a cheap n nasty affair. Sitting in various friends/family's German cars isn't always a better place as they too can look plasticy. Even sitting in a chums 2012 RS4 is very similar to most of the boring (to me) VAG stable. The GT86 often is compared to the likes of BMW 1 series and Audi A3/Golfs. The thing I like about the GT86 is that it isn't just a faster version of a diesel hatchback rep mobile that are 10 a penny. It's a purpose designed coupe which I think looks really good and there are not many about.

I'll admit that it's no rocketship but I wouldn't call it slow. It doesn't feel quite 200bhp fast but it's plenty for UK roads. It can be quite deceptive at times and you don't realise how fast you are going. You can actually redline through the gears down a twisty lane and have some serious fun, which you can't do in more powerful machinery. I'm lucky if I can hold full throttle in my E55 Merc for 5 seconds before having to brake. They could have given it more power but then it would have been too expensive and be compared to cars in the class above. A Nissan 350Z is a prime example of this. These started at £22k.

Ours is here to stay for the foreseeable. Well done to Toyobaru IMO.


kambites

60,154 posts

179 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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Bennet said:
This is the reason.

It's not that "what people say and what they do are different", it's that people's circumstances force them to consider more than just a purist driving experience when choosing how to spend their money. Given plenty of money and sufficient garage space, I suspect lots of us would have a GT86.
You may be right, but I'd always assumed the opposite was true - that the GT86 was the car you'd go to if you wanted a relatively involving driving experience without having to spend much money or run two cars. I suppose again it comes down to personal preferences and circumstances. About the only time I could imagine myself buying one is if I was single and could, for whatever reason, only run one, cheap(ish) car.

If I was 21 (and in the same position I was in when I was 21) now, I could imagine myself buying one. Now I'm in my 30s with a family and we need two cars anyway, I might as well run a proper sports car without the inherent driving limitations provided by adding two extra seats and a decent boot.

Edited by kambites on Friday 13th January 12:47

CABC

3,648 posts

59 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
kambites said:
You may be right, but I'd always assumed the opposite was true - that the GT86 was the car you'd go to if you wanted a relatively involving driving experience without having to spend much money or run two cars. I suppose again it comes down to personal preferences and circumstances. About the only time I could imagine myself buying one is if I was single and could, for whatever reason, only run one, cheap(ish) car.

If I was 21 (and in the same position I was in when I was 21) now, I could imagine myself buying one. Now I'm in my 30s with a family and we need two cars anyway, I might as well run a proper sports car without the inherent driving limitations provided by adding two extra seats and a decent boot.

Edited by kambites on Friday 13th January 12:47
Yep, the hole in the Venn diagram is quite small.
Lotus/Caterham are very pure and far better w/end cars
Nearly every other performance car is fast, easy and practical.
Cayman has the badge and the engineering, although a little less involving at road speeds through its competence.
The 86 isn't fast, isn't that practical and isn't easy (manual, low torque, 2 doors, limited space)
So you have to compromise to enjoy its handling and still be a fair way from a full-on sports car. Being cheaper in other markets means that university campuses are full of them apparently. I think it kinda fulfils the innocent role of the hot hatch 30 yrs ago, whereas today's hatches are far more serious.


nickfrog

12,636 posts

175 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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Conversely, if I ran an Elise I would only use it on track. Don't see the point on the road. I don't really fit in one anyway and I am not even big/tall at 6ft / 85kgs.

kambites

60,154 posts

179 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
I suppose everyone is different, I don't rate the Elise as a track car at all but it's the best road car I've ever driven. I'd actually rather take a GT86 or MX5 on track than an Elise. smile

nickfrog

12,636 posts

175 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
I didn't think you did track days ?

CABC

3,648 posts

59 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
kambites said:
I suppose everyone is different, I don't rate the Elise as a track car at all but it's the best road car I've ever driven. I'd actually rather take a GT86 on track than an Elise. smile
??? why?
i own both, the 86 has only had a scary couple of laps at the Ring but is going on track this year. I'm taking it on for the experience but on track the weight, despite being 'light', will hinder it i think. It'll be fun, but Mr Palmer doesn't like drifting on track days!
By contrast, i find i can let the Elise slip a little with warm tyres on track, something i'd poo myself doing on the road as i'd feel more confined and at risk and the tyres aren't as warm.
A third answer is a mk1 mx5, lightened, stiffened, tuned. FR layout is the most playful and fun.

kambites

60,154 posts

179 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
nickfrog said:
I didn't think you did track days ?
I don't any more (partly because I don't have a car that I consider particularly suitable for it, but mostly because I don't really have time) and indeed I've never taken my Elise on track but I've driven others both on open track days and at "driver training" type events.

Sadly, I haven't actually been on a track in nearly ten years now.

CABC said:
??? why?
Probably mostly because I'm not a particularly good track driver - the Elise is too soft on standard suspension and if you stiffen it up it ends up either too snappy for my tastes or too understeery depending on how you set it. I've always been a big fan of mid-engined cars on the road, but on track I have a strong preference for a lighter, more playful rear-end.


If I was going to do track days, I'd buy a cheapish seven type car or if my budget was more limited, as you suggest, an MX5. I haven't driven an GT86 on track but I'd imagine it'd be more to my tastes than than Elise.


Edited by kambites on Friday 13th January 13:17

underphil

1,114 posts

168 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
Bennet said:
CABC said:
You need to have circumstances that allow a 'purists' car. These include: having several cars; not having a drudge of a commute; being dedicated!
This is the reason.

It's not that "what people say and what they do are different", it's that people's circumstances force them to consider more than just a purist driving experience when choosing how to spend their money. Given plenty of money and sufficient garage space, I suspect lots of us would have a GT86.
Very true, I had a GT86 for 18 months or so as a daily driver, great car when thrashing it - enough power for me, but noisy and not very comfortable the rest of the time and would also like some low end power for 'normal' driving


Venturist

3,093 posts

153 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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hondansx said:
Venturist, fair play for admitting it, but another fallacy is that being into cars makes you a good driver. Sadly, a day on a skidpan will not turn anyone into a driving god. Being a genuinely skilled driver requires constant seat time and investment - it's an expensive hobby.

I would argue, if you were a die-hard car guy, you'd be booking yourself up for drift training and practice, as well setting your alarm clock at 3am so you can practice sliding around your local roundabouts.
Absolutely and the GT86 has made me acknowledge that just because I'm a petrolhead it doesn't make me a driver. I always thought of myself as a decent (but not talented) driver but I suppose a better description would be good roadcraft which therefore lends itself to faster driving safely, rather than pure driving talent.

I have friends who try and talk me into joining them on track days, and it just doesn't interest me. I would much prefer a weekend away driving in the wilderness on good roads somewhere. For me it's the overall experience.

So if the GT86 has struggled to find its market - which arguably it hasn't anyway - it's because it's a car that appeals to not only a niche audience (enthusiasts) but not even all of that niche.

Conscript

1,318 posts

79 months

Friday 13th January 2017
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daemon said:
The GT86 doesnt. Its only fun if you're driving it at 95% and beyond
Couldn't disagree more with this. In fact, exactly the opposite - I find it fun to drive even at pretty mundane speeds, and that was the whole attraction.

CABC

3,648 posts

59 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
Conscript said:
daemon said:
The GT86 doesnt. Its only fun if you're driving it at 95% and beyond
Couldn't disagree more with this. In fact, exactly the opposite - I find it fun to drive even at pretty mundane speeds, and that was the whole attraction.
these two comments might be resolved by understanding which gears are used. The 86 chassis is alive at low speeds and needs a lower gear to be enjoyed compared to most modern cars. A lot of misunderstanding and under-appreciation stems from this.

nickfrog

12,636 posts

175 months

Friday 13th January 2017
quotequote all
CABC said:
??? why?
i own both, the 86 has only had a scary couple of laps at the Ring but is going on track this year. I'm taking it on for the experience but on track the weight, despite being 'light', will hinder it i think. It'll be fun, but Mr Palmer doesn't like drifting on track days!
By contrast, i find i can let the Elise slip a little with warm tyres on track, something i'd poo myself doing on the road as i'd feel more confined and at risk and the tyres aren't as warm.
A third answer is a mk1 mx5, lightened, stiffened, tuned. FR layout is the most playful and fun.
The track was the only place where I truly enjoyed the GT86 because the engine is less of an issue there, you're always where is (almost) works in the rev range.

It's beautifully resolved on the limit and the excellent steering helps. I was running on GY F1s and they were OK for a road tyre, bar the expected outer shoulder wear.

Only issue being the road brakes - it needs more aggressive pads and fluid.