The plaudits for the Toyota GT86 just keep on coming – and this week, Autocar magazine has named it Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2012.
The car was placed first in a field of 10 performance models, including three Porsches, the Lotus Exige S, the Ford Focus ST, the Audi RS4 and even the new Aston Martin Vanquish.
Our GT86 was tested on track at Bedford Autodrome’s west circuit. The fact that it was placed first in Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2012 – ahead of more powerful machinery – by four of the eight judges shows how much fun it is to drive.
Autocar’s Road Test Editor Matt Prior writes: “The victory is taken… not by the lightest car here, nor the most powerful, nor the fastest, but by a Toyota that impressed solely with the joy of driving it.”
He adds: “The GT86 has altered the sports car genre. It is the performance car made relevant again; it is the new supercar. And as such, it’s arguably the worthiest winner Britain’s Best Driver’s Car has ever had.”
The full test is available in the 24 October 2012 issue of the magazine.
The Britain’s Best Driver’s Car shoot-out is not the first time GT86 has received acclaim from Autocar – the magazine named it a ‘B-Road Hero’ in July 2012.
In that contest, the Toyota GT86 went head to head with a varied field, including models from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Lotus, Radical and newcomer BAC.
But even though our machine was one of the most affordable cars in the line up, it compared closely with the McLaren MP4-12C supercar.
Steve Sutcliffe, Autocar’s editor-at-large, tested the cars on the alpine hill route of the Millbrook proving ground – a specially-designed track comprising tight corners, fast bends and sudden inclines – to find out which was fastest, and which was the most fun to drive.
Sutcliffe wrote: “The Toyota is a long way from being classed as slow, but in this context it is nowhere next to the [McLaren] 12C for pure speed – and yet that matters not one iota to whoever is at the wheel… it is one of the most significant sports cars to go on sale in the past 10 years.”
He added: “There’s one very obvious lesson to be learned from this particular story: that pure speed across the ground may well be fun to experience once in a while, but it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to pure driving pleasure.”
“Truth is, on a favourite B-road, most of us will get more out of a car like the Toyota GT86 than we ever could out of a Radical or a McLaren.”
The B-Road Heroes feature appeared in the 25 July 2012 issue of Autocar. Read Autocar’s road test of the GT86 here.
Read our GT86 reviews round-up here.
Details in this article were correct at the time of publication.