Meet the brains behind the Toyota GT 86
A blast along Scottish highland roads with Tada-san and Sasaki-san in the slidey ‘86
Posted: 03 Jan 2013
"Of course," notes Sasaki-san, "rear-engined, rear-driven cars - and even mid-ship designs - are OK. But if you want to make an enjoyable sports car, it should be front-engined, rear-drive. Like the Toyota Sports 800. That car had a flat-two engine, and we liked the low centre of gravity. But Toyota didn't have this kind of engine. Around the same time we were planning the 86, our relationship with Subaru had just begun. Both sides were thinking hard on a collaboration..."
Can you see where this is going? Thankfully, Toyota's history in rear-driven sports cars - and that dinky 800 - helped shelve the collaborators' initial plans to build an SUV together, which they very nearly did. "Tada-san thought it a good chance to get Subaru's flat-four boxer engine for the new 86. Discussions started and we finally agreed. This was really the start of ‘Team 86' - not two different companies, but one group of people."