In May this year, the Toyota GT86 coupé scooped three awards in as many weeks, so the time feels right to look back over the impressive haul that the model has garnered thus far, in reverse chronological order.
Telegraph Motoring Best Sports Car 2014
Telegraph readers voted GT86 their favourite sports car in May, as part of the newspaper’s Festival of Motoring virtual car show.
In an earlier review of the model, Telegraph journalist Andrew English awarded GT86 five stars. He was complimentary about the car’s unique character and handling characteristics.
English said: “The GT86 is beautifully balanced and neutral, either drifting with all four wheels, or waiting for you to push the tail out with a judicious prod of the right foot. With the brilliantly communicative steering, you instinctively know what the wheels are doing and how much grip you have to play with.”
He added: “You’d have to fork out almost twice the price to get something to rival the GT86, and then you’d have to be going at twice the speed to feel the adjustability of the chassis.”
Honest John Performance Car of the Year 2014
The second of May’s wins was courtesy of honestjohn.co.uk. The GT86 picked up the Performance Car of the Year award for the second year running, garnering more page views on the site in the past twelve months than any of its rivals.
Dan Harrison, honestjohn.co.uk editor, spoke of the car’s excellent road manners and sporty driving experience, saying: “With a genuine sports car feel, superb handling and the ability to always put a smile on your face, the GT86 is the car we’ve been waiting several years for Toyota to build.”
Autocar Star award 2014
In the inaugural year of the Autocar Star awards, GT86 was one of only a handful of cars to be awarded a coveted five-star rating in one of the publication’s famously thorough road tests.
In summing up GT86, the Autocar review said: “It’s an accessible sports car – one which won’t break the bank to run either – and it’s a refreshing alternative to the likes of the Mazda MX-5 for those seeking lightweight rear-drive fun.
CarBuyer Coupé of the Year 2014
For the second consecutive year, CarBuyer named GT86 its best coupé in the 2014 awards.
The publication explains its choice on the model’s detailed product page, which reads: “The Toyota GT86 was the winner of the 2014 Carbuyer Best Coupé award, thanks to its precise handling, responsive and powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and reactive brakes. It has sleek dimensions that demand to be driven rather than looked at – and it doesn’t disappoint.”
Auto Express Performance Car of the Year 2013
A second consecutive AEPCOTY award win for GT86!
Explaining the publication’s choice, Auto Express senior road tester Owen Mildenhall said: “In an age when many performance cars filter your interaction with the road in the pursuit of meaningless lap time, the Toyota GT86 stands out. Drive on the limit, and you can feel the effect of every input from the steering, throttle and brake pedal.”
Fleet World Road Test Editor’s Award 2013
Proving that GT86 is a car that appeals to both the heart and the head; the model took Fleet World’s Road Test Editor Award in 2013 – almost unprecedented for a performance car.
Fleet World road test editor, Alex Grant, explained: “While the GT86 is unlikely to be the backbone of Toyota’s fleet sales, it’s been an incredibly effective brand builder for the carmaker in the UK.
“Offering an intoxicating mix of high thrills and low pricing, it’s a reminder that a love of cars runs deep through Toyota’s DNA, while spearheading an instantly recognisable new family style which can be drip-fed into the rest of the range.
CarBuyer Coupé of the Year 2013
Carbuyer named GT86 as the winner in the coupé catergory of its Car of the Year Awards. The website placed the car ahead of the exotic Porsche Cayman, as well as the Peugeot RCZ and Vauxhall Astra GTC.
Describing the win, CarBuyer editor-in-chief Steve Fowler said; “With only 197bhp, the GT86 is not the most powerful car, and, at a smidgen under £25,000, nor is it the most expensive. But its beautiful balance between power and weight means the GT86 is one of the most entertaining cars money can buy.”
Pistonheads Car of the Year 2012
Pistonheads is renowned for being a hotbed of automotive discussion among petrolheads the worldover, so it was significant that in the year of the car’s launch, the GT86 stormed to victory in the website and forum’s awards.
Recognisning what a conversation starter GT86 is, Pistonheads commented: “The result will inspire more chat and PH is the place to have it. But for now let’s raise a glass to our car of the year…it’s a deserving winner.”
Top Gear Car of the Year 2012
Top Gear couldn’t sing the car’s praises enough at its launch in 2012. Jeremy Clarkson chose GT86 as his personal Car of the Year, and Top Gear Magazine named it their Coupé of the Year.
Charlie Turner, Top Gear editor, said: This is a fantastic achievement, for a car to win a Top Gear Award is recognition of a truly exceptional vehicle. Only the remarkable are considered for a Top Gear Award and this year the GT86 has proved to be the stand-out machine.”
Auto Express Performance Car of the Year 2012
The GT86 really showed its potential in 2012, when Auto Express awarded it the performance car of the year award – leaving cars as broad as the Porsche Boxster, Ford Focus ST, Suzuki Swift Sport, Audi RS4, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, Lotus Exige S, Mini John Cooper Works Roadster and the Morgan Plus 8 in its wake.
The publication said: “Body control is superb, the brakes have plenty of bite and the manual gearbox slots happily from ratio to ratio, while the boxer engine relishes hard work,’ the magazine stated.
“Better still, the affordable price tag and five-year warranty mean Toyota’s new sports car appeals to your head as well as your heart. It’s a very worthy performance car champion.”
Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2012, Autocar
Seeing off no less than three Porsches, the Lotus Exige S, Audi RS4 and even the Aston Martin Vanquish, one thing’s for certain – GT86 is a gamechanger, as Autocar road test editor Matt Prior confirmed.
He said: “The GT86 has altered the sports car genre. It is the performance car made relevant again; it is the new supercar. And as such, it’s arguably the worthiest winner Britain’s Best Driver’s Car has ever had.”
Best Coupe, Scottish Car of the Year Awards 2012
Members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers voted in their droves for GT86, and helped the model walk away with the Best Coupé Award at the Scottish Car of the Year Awards 2012.
John Murdoch, association president, said: “The new coupé 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.”
He added: “Not only is the GT86 incredible to drive, but for a sporting coupe it’s surprisingly frugal on fuel.”
Vehicle Dynamics International Car of the Year 2012
Automotive industry magazine Vehicle Dynamics International named GT86 car of the year in 2012. A panel of engineers and journalists announced the results and said: “Toyota has succeeded in its aim of recapturing the classic sports car experience in its new GT86.”
Further information about the GT86 range is available on the designated section of the Toyota UK website. Fancy a test drive? (We know you do), leave a comment below, and we’ll be in touch shortly.