2017 Toyota GT86 adds track mode to a new faceWhen the original Toyota GT86 arrived, it impressed with great handling. Now for 2017 it looks better than ever.
[NOISE] [MUSIC] When we got our hands on the original GT86. It felt great to get behind the wheel of a simple inexpensive real drive sports car that just happened to be awesome. More of its power meant it could all be used and its skinny tyres made it a real joy out on the road. Five years later and Toyota have revisited its only current rear wheel drive sports car and given it some updates for 2017. There's improved suspensions, a more rigid body, and an optional wing to increase the downforce and improve your lap times if that's your kind of thing. A new track mode has been added to give you the performance to go quick. And just enough intervention from the safety systems to keep you safe, without denying you the pleasure of gently kicking the back outs if you're a bit eager on the throttle. For me the biggest and best change though is on the styling. The GT86 already had some handsome lines. But for 2017, it feels tighter, sharper, and more aggressive. The car always looked good in motion but now it looks great standing still too. I was given the keys to one up in Finnish Lapland to try it out on ice to see how well the handling could hold up in these tricky conditions. Track mode made a notable difference Difference to the handling. While traction was at a premium, the car would let the rear slip only so far, before gently coaxing you back in line. If you're trying to keep the car pointing in the correct direction, this will definitely will save you from the occasional trip to the [UNKNOWN] So track mode, is for those who want to push their car to the limit, but don't quite have the honed track skills of a Formula 1 driver. With everything turned off though, I was reminded just how fun this car is to play with. The power was enough to keep the car in line, but the balance shone when trying to negotiate tight turns or navigating slaloms out on the ice. Without the mild interventions of the new track roads, you can fully determine the quality of your driving skills, and the GT86 provides the perfect car for learning real car control. I could have driven it all day, but in winter in lap land those days last about 25 seconds so soon it was time to head home. Hopefully,we'll get some time on a less frozen track with the car later this year, to see how it handles in more conventional situations. The GT86 reminds us that Toyota can be a real player in the sports car world when it wants to, and every opportunity should be taken to drive one. With a location like Finland where activities can range from snowmobiling to jumping into frozen lakes. **** me. I'll take ice driving in this thing any day of the week.