While all the Heritage GT86s have their own Motor Mode vinyl graphics and Rota wheels, the other modifications are identical; namely a Milltek Sport stainless steel exhaust and V-Maxx lowering springs, dropping the car by 40mm.
Yes, that Shelby
That drop is key to the entire experience with the car. The Heritage cars looked great as a collection at Goodwood but out in the real world of A6s, Qashqais and Golfs the Shelby seems impossibly low, hunkered to the ground and noticeably more aggressive than standard. The retro Rotas work a treat also, proving that Toyota really can pick good wheels for the '86 when required. For those aghast at the arch gap of a GT86 Primo, this more muscular and confident car will really appeal. It looks ace.
Furthermore, on the right bit of road the Heritage car changes direction with a sharpness that makes the standard car feel like an Avensis. Perhaps that's extending the point a bit far, but the combination of that much lower ride height and wider, grippier Conti SportContact 3 tyres means this '86 absolutely scythes through bends. All the weight feels below your ankles and so well controlled, the car egging you into ever greater entry speeds until it relinquishes. Which then highlights the lack of power...
On a dry road in the standard car it's difficult to adjust on throttle so it's damn near impossible in the Heritage car. It's more susceptible to being deflected by bumps as well. In this car it's much more about marvelling at the speed it will carry, then being left a little frustrated that there's not much to gain down the next straight. Even more than standard it's key to maintain momentum.
It's a mixed bag for the Heritage GT86 then, the incredible looks and boisterous soundtrack undermined by the fact a standard car might be more enjoyable to drive. But then this was never intended as more than a promotional vehicle so it seems harsh to be too critical. What this car does show is how well the GT86 responds to some light tuning; the car's character was significantly altered - and in few ways improved - by a few relatively minor changes. Imagine a car that looked like this with a supercharger and maybe some track upgraded brakes too. The tuning scene is buoyant for the GT86, BRZ and FR-S as more and more take the plunge, and will grow further as the first cars come out of warranty in 2017. Tuning is often a divisive issue, but on this experience it could easily make a very good car even better. Just be careful which suspension kit you pick...
Engine: 1,998cc boxer four-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential
Power (hp): 200@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 151@6,400-6,600rpm
Top speed: 140mph
MPG: 36.2mpg (NEDC combined)
Price: None quoted for car as tested; standard GT86 from £22,495