The Top Gear magazine Car of the Year
My lords, ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding and raise your glasses to the Toyota GT86
Posted: 17 Jan 2013
Yes, it's more of a faff, and you end up with a smaller boot and less space in the cabin, but these things should not trouble the genuine petrolhead. Because when you have rear drive, you have balance. You have a division of labour. The front wheels to the steering. The ones at the back to the propulsion.
Also, when you have rear-wheel drive, you can do better skids. And to make sure you can do those skids at low speeds - so it's nice and safe if (when) something goes wrong - the GT86 is not fitted with fat, grippy tyres. Instead, it sits on the same rubber Toyota uses on the Prius.
Of course, there's no point going to all the trouble of fitting rear drive if you then put the engine from an electric screwdriver under the bonnet. See the original MX-5 for details on this. And, at first, I thought Toyota had fallen into the same trap.
Two litres in a modern heavy car doesn't seem like enough. But it is. Just. And ‘just' is enough. Because it means you can get the car into a slide and hold it there. Well, you can't, obviously, because you are on a road. But you could, if you weren't.