Toyota GT86 meets the rivals
Welcome to part one of Top Gear Speed Week - can Toyota's new coupe live up to the hype?
Posted: 24 Aug 2012
Oh, but Vauxhall has done a good job with its engine, too. It’s not as overtly charismatic as the ST’s, but there’s this noise – a gushing roar, as huge quantities of expelled air are forced down the exhaust – that just sounds so mean.
However, it occasionally seems out of place in what is otherwise a rather sophisticated motor. And here’s my problem with the GTC VXR. Those two sets of letters don’t sit perfectly happily alongside each other, the Astra being like a bridging point between Focus and GT86 – it seems to see itself as more sophisticated than a traditional hot hatch and so leans towards its coupe alter ego. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t play with the wild abandon of the Focus. Maybe instead we should just admire it for what it can do.
Because don’t think I’m down on this car, I’m just unsure of its positioning. It has a front end that makes the Focus’s feel dozy. Turn-in is fantastic, there’s little roll, the clever HiPerStrut suspension keeps things perfectly stable, and when the time comes to get back on the power, it has a proper diff that puts you exactly where you want to be and lets you use as much torque as you care to. It’s very able.