It isn’t often that the staff over at Toyota GB’s fleet garage let somebody loose with their cherished sub-10k mile, pearlescent white GT86 TRD. As soon as I took it out of its heated warehouse, I saw that this was going to be a good weekend. I then did my best to use it non-stop over five days – visiting friends in three UK counties and running every possible errand for an excuse to drive it.
My first destination was Reading, Berkshire via the south-western quarter of the M25. This is a car many people don’t count as either a motorway commuter or a city run-around – but it effortlessly took both extremes of the familiar stop-start daily drive in its stride. Cruise control and sixth gear made the long distances covered easier to handle, while overtaking at speed became totally addictive when I discovered blipping down into fifth…
On the B-roads between Reading and Oxford, the TRD turned almost as many heads as it did corners. Its low stance, perfect driving position and racing design cues meant that not only did it look the part, but it showed my friends and I how the GT86 model range as a whole has brought driving pleasure back to UK customers. We pictured it paused on ‘Quiet Lane’ where it successfully disturbed the peace.
Despite our best efforts to get it totally filthy, the GT86 stayed looking pretty fresh on camera throughout the weekend. At the end of this muddy track in Oxfordshire it joined a convoy of friends’ cars so we could go dog-walking in yet more mud. But the real fun was getting there, the car’s driving position and balanced controls encouraging me to enjoy each section of road.
With the threat of heavier rain outdoors, what better excuse for a photoshoot with the TRD parked inside a horse-riding school? The temptation to tear up the sandy surface and try out an indoor drift was palpable, but I overcame this for the sake of the nearby horses and the building’s owners! Next our GT86 proved the perfect car to drive to lunch at the aptly named Muddy Duck in Oxfordshire.
Handing this car back was never going to be the best moment of the five short days, but knowing that every possible hour was spent driving it, where it acted every role from the delivery van to the out-and-out sports car, I couldn’t fail but be completely impressed by the GT86’s varied capabilities. Even this limited edition, track-inspired TRD took all the abuse I could throw at it with no problem at all, truly an everyday sports car.