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Toyota 86 rewards sports car enthusiasts

Toyota New Zealand has a new halo car, the compact and sporty 2.0 litre rear wheel drive 86.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Product Planning, Neeraj Lala says: "The 86 is a game changer for us. It's the perfect embodiment of Toyota's commitment to 'waku doki' - designing and engineering cars that get your heart pumping."

"We're out to show New Zealand once again that Toyota knows how to have fun with a car built with passion. Our range is comprehensive with the best range of cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles. With the 86, we're heralding the return to Toyota's sports car heritage."

"We're offering something special, something that we know customers have wanted for a long time - a compact, light, sports car with the balance and handling to challenge high-end performance models."

"The 86 is going to reward drivers who demand maximum driving pleasure. It's lively, accessible and highly engaging without the electronic intrusion of other sports cars. This is a car for sports car enthusiasts, and sports car purists."

The 86 is the result of a joint development between Toyota and Subaru, bringing together the best of each company's technical know-how and their mutual passion for sport cars.

Toyota New Zealand is offering the 86 in three grades at launch - 86, GT86 and the highly anticipated and fully loaded TRD86 - all powered by a newly developed 2.0 litre flat-four engine. With an 86mm x 86mm bore and stroke, this engine lies at the heart of Toyota's 86 naming strategy.

Toyota's D-4S direct injection technology increases throttle response, power and torque over a wide range of engine speeds without sacrificing fuel efficiency and environmental performance. The maximum power of 147kW and peak torque of 205Nm ensures engaging performance.

Comprehensive weight-saving measures have resulted in a kerb weight as low as 1,222kg, improving handling and economy as well as a power-to-weight ratio of 120kW/tonne.

Fuel economy is impressive for a sports car - 7.8 litres/100km for manual variants - and even better for automatic versions at just 7.1 litres/100km (combined cycle). CO2 emissions are 181 grams/km for the manual and 164 grams/km for the automatic.

The Toyota-designed six speed manual transmission provides quick, precise shifting through closely stacked ratios and a tactile, short throw gear lever.

The six speed automatic transmission is highly responsive with a direct shifting feel. A blipping downshift control revs the engine for smooth and rapid changes down through the gears. Shift paddles on the steering wheel for GT86 maximise the enjoyment of the manual gear shift mode.

A first for Toyota, the 86's smooth-revving engine sound is channeled directly into the cabin for added driver enjoyment.

Power is distributed to the rear wheels using a Torsen limited slip differential for manual transmission and GT86 automatic versions, optimising traction and grip under all driving conditions.

The 86 has an aerodynamic and styling body design built around a low, highly compact chassis. It has a well-planted, sporting stance for optimum handling and performance. The 86 has an ultra-low centre of gravity of just 460mm - only 15mm higher than the Lexus LFA super car.

Standard equipment for the 86 includes seven airbags, vehicle stability control with sports mode, traction control, anti-lock brakes, 16 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, CD audio system with Bluetooth and iPod integration, daytime running lights (DRLs) and a multi-information display.

The GT86 has 17 inch alloy wheels, auto-levelling HID headlights, LED DRLs, leather and Alcantara accented front sports seats, dual zone climate control air conditioning, aluminium sports pedals and red stitching highlights.

For drivers who really want to stand out, Toyota New Zealand is offering a Special Edition Toyota Racing Development (TRD) package. Only 20 examples of the TRD model will be created initially, with customers able to choose their preferred transmission and colour before the vehicle is built to order by Toyota trained engineers.

The TRD86 has a Toyota Racing Development front spoiler, side skirts, rear lower bumper spoiler and boot spoiler. Forged aluminium 18 inch alloy wheels are TRD designed, with a black finish. It is further enhanced by a TRD high response muffler with four tip exhaust and TRD sports air filter. A Brembo brake package completes the TRD86 package.

"We're not holding anything back with this Special Edition TRD car. It's our flagship for sports car fans and a showcase of the best bolt on equipment developed for the 86. This car will sport top line components from Brembo and TRD. The custom made body kit, exhaust and diffuser have all been specifically developed by Toyota Racing Development to make this a stand-out car," says Neeraj Lala.

A unique T-mesh pattern has been created for the 86 and is used in several places around the car as a subtle link to Toyota's heritage. It is used in the front grille, door switch bases, instrument panel, sun visors, meters, triangular rear centre fog light and the spare wheel cover.

The 86's logo incorporates a piston design, hinting at the car's front boxer engine, rear-wheel drive powertrain layout. It also represents the vehicle's tyres sliding in a four wheel drift, highlighting the impressive balance of the 86. This unique logo features on the front fenders of all models.

The 86 is available in seven exterior colours, all new to the Toyota range: Pegasus White, Tornado Grey, Lightning Red, Midnight Black, Molten Silver, Galaxy Blue and Burnt Orange.