If you have seen our feature on the Tesla Model S P100D a couple of weeks ago, you’d know what an insanely capable zero-fuel-drinking, no noise making, earth saving acceleration monster that thing is. This week, we have something very different, something that emphasises pure driving pleasure combined with above average handling dynamics, despite being low on power.
This week, we are going to talk about a globally loved platform—the Toyota GT86. This car has been dubbed “the national sports car” of Bangladesh—obviously, because there are so many of them. What else can you buy that looks this good and performs like it does under 50 lakh Taka? After Toyota halted production of the Celica, there was a gap in Toyota’s lineup of sports cars. Bangladeshi buyers are very loyal to Toyota, and it is proven by the massive number of Toyota GT86 imports once Toyota took help from Subaru to develop the boxer powered RWD coupe.
Amongst the hundreds of units that zoom across the streets of Dhaka, there are only a handful that have been turned up to eleven. The Jackson Racing supercharger casually wrapping itself around the manifold of this beautiful green unit suggests that this has indeed been turned up to eleven.
The exterior of the car is adorned by original Modellista front lip, side skirts, rear body kits and a TRD spoiler. The car is coated in British Racing Green, and no amount of automotive literature can tell you how majestic this color looks in person. The 86 looks absolutely stunning from a design standpoint—long hood, short deck, perfect wheelbase that just makes it look right. The car sits on 17 inch Volk TE37s wrapped around 245 section Zestino semi-slick tyres.
The exterior is great, but it doesn’t tell you how well set up this car is on the inside. In stock form, a majority of the people complain that this car doesn’t have enough power, but the owner Shafquat feels the car finally has the power that it looks like it should have from the factory. Under the hood lies a Jackson Racing Supercharger, the only forced induction GT86 project that has been successfully completed locally. All of the boosting is managed by an aftermarket engine control unit from EcuTek, and has been tuned by DeliciousTuning, famous for all things modern Subaru.
On the interior, not much has been changed visually, but the ergonomics have been improved massively. The owner has upgraded clutch springs that give much better feedback than its stock counterpart, and almost every bushing in the shifter and clutch assembly has been replaced to give an overall tighter feeling.
For suspension the owner has Tein Flex-A coilovers with EDFC motors, which can adjust the dampening on demand with an interior mounted controller. The driver’s side AC vent has been removed to support a gauge to show the car’s vital parameters like engine and oil temperature.
The car is immensely capable on the road. No matter how much wrinkled laundry the owner manages to throw at the car, they all come out of the other side pressed and neatly folded. First, second, third gear and we are already well above speeds that will get me grounded if my mother finds out. The EDFC system makes the suspension adapt very well to our road conditions. One press of a button, and it feels like a comfortable economy cruiser. Another press, and your back is ready to give out from being in proximity to a set of race tuned, ultra-stiff coilovers. It adjusts the stiffness of your ride on the go, and should be very convenient on the track in different conditions. The owner has found a sweet spot, where it is soft enough to soak up bumps yet stiff enough to effortlessly glide through a corner. It makes for a moderately comfortable ride that does not misalign the discs in your vertebrae but still brings out all the fantastic handling characteristics of the 86 on the road.
“I want a car that is capable of being a perfect daily driver, even if I don’t drive it daily.” Shafaquat’s philosophy stood out to me, because it is a very unique way of going about the game of automotive customisation. Shafaquat is so serious in this philosophy that he hasn’t moved to an aftermarket exhaust system yet. He does plan on getting one eventually though. The car is calm and composed, tranquil, even. The best compliment I can give the car is that it feels like it should have come like this from the factory. There’s no way of telling that the car is supercharged—on idle and across most of the rev range, the centrifugal supercharger makes little to no noise. When the owner steps off the throttle, the rattle snake-esque blow-off sound and the amount of grunt this car has on throttle is the only way to tell that this car is far from what originally came out of Gunma, Japan. And there you go, we managed to feature a Toyota GT86 without its famous predecessor, the AE86 Trueno, or the anime that made it famous, Initial D. You’re welcome. Wait…
Photos: Ahbaar Mohammad