Top Gear has once again switched cars for celebrities to drive – but this time, the car show has opted for something with a little more performance than the previous Kia Cee’d or Chevrolet Lacetti (and thus ditched the unsuccessful Star in a Rallycross Car format). Celebs now get to lap the course in a mildly modified Toyota GT86. The new Reasonably Fast Car thus almost guarantees some more exciting runs than the old cars.
Toyota has removed the rear seat, took out some of the carpet, added a racing bucket, and installed a roll cage. Taken together, the tweaks probably don’t change the coupe’s weight too much over standard. The powertrain remains stock with a 2.0-litre boxer four-cylinder under the bonnet, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive is the important bit: celebs will find the margin for ham-fisted error now much reduced...
Motor1’s Jake Holmes came away reasonably impressed with the upgrades for the mildly revised 2017 GT86 in the American market during a recent review.
“Push the 86 through corners and it takes a solid, stable set, with predictable and modest amounts of roll and dive. The steering weights up progressively as you dial in more speed and angle, without any dartiness off-centre. Looking through corners and trusting the relatively skinny tires, you can easily position the car and carry big speed on a rippling back road,” he said.
However, there is still a burning question about how much longer the Top Gear Test Track at the Dunsfold Aerodrome can exist. In December 2016, the land’s owners announced the local government’s consent for building 1,800 homes there and for the expansion of the existing Dunsfold Business Park. The builders haven’t said when construction might begin, though.
Source: Top Gear, Dunsfold Park