The new GT86 has had its fair share of international thumbs-ups, and now the boffins at Toyota have decided it’s time to take the roof down, with this new convertible concept to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
This convertible, 2+2 Toyota GT86 has been built to tease the Geneva Motor Show-going punters into submission, as Toyota say that they will only build them if public reaction is favourable. Well, unless the Geneva show is taken over by several coaches full of Stevie Wonder wannabes, there’ll surely be endless happy nods in the topless GT’s direction. It looks great in these white-by-the-seaside shots, no?
Hailed as a driver’s car, the GT86 is all about giving us car lovers a rear-driving, 197bhp, cool-coupe for around £20k. The convertible variant hasn’t been priced as yet, but the extra style and sky access will surely add another £2,000 or so to the pricetag. It’s the same size as the coupe (length 4,240mm, width 1,750mm, height 1,270mm), but with a multi-layered fabric roof and glass rear screen replacing the tin top. The folded roof is said to have minimal impact on luggage space.
Of course, the engine is also shared with the chassis, so you’ll get as much wind in your hair as the near-200bhp, flat-4 boxer engine can muster, although many aftermarket firms are already offering a turbocharger kit for the GT86 to boost power to around 250-300bhp, with more torque, too. With a turbo and 300bhp, the GT86 drop-top would be a wig’s worst enemy!
That throbby boxer engine powers the rear wheels through a short-throw, 6-speed manual gearbox, or a 6-speed automatic; the auto with the world’s fastest paddle shift speed at a blink-beating two tenths of a second.
Chopping the roof off your coupe can be a bad idea from an engineering point of view, but, the ladies love them, so here we are. Toyota knows how to go topless with a coupe and have made the necessary adjustments to the new car’s chassis to take up the slack of losing the top, but these mods may well add a touch more weight to the convertible than the coupe’s 1257kg, and there are issues like the dreaded scuttle shake to deal with.
However, with features like the lovely frameless doors, the GT86 coupe was always ready to lose the roof, so rigidity shouldn’t take a huge turn for the wobbly worst, and Toyota has said that they will try and match the coupe’s weight as much as possible.
So far, so good then, and here’s to a reasonably priced and stunningly styled drop-top with a chassis to make our hair stand on end. Literally!
By Dan Anslow