The new Toyota 2+2 sports car, the GT86, arrives in Ireland next month at a price just short of €40,000 and is set to offer dealers here a halo car the like of which they haven't seen in 12 years, writes Brian Byrne.
That's how long since Toyota dropped the Celica and got out of the sports car arena, one in which they previously had a highly respected heritage.
The GT86 (top car in the collage above) is powered by a 2.0 direct injection petrol engine in boxer opposed-cylinders format. It outputs 200hp and offers a 0-100km/h sprint performance of 7.4 seconds. It is available in manual and automatic forms, with one grade, at the same price.
The car is the spiritual successor to the Sports 800 of 1962 (above left), a diminutive car which also had a 'boxer' engine, though with just two cylinders instead of the four of the GT86.
It also reflects on the gorgeous 2000GT from 1965 (above right), which established Toyota as a world-class sports car maker even though only 337 units were built.
The GT86 has been in development since a joint venture agreement with Subaru was signed in 2005.
We have been driving the new car today in the hills behind Barcelona, and will offer a first view soon.