Whoa! Hold on a second here. Don’t get me wrong, I had a riot tooling around in the Toyota 86, but is what Louka’s saying actually true? Does Nissan’s 370Z really cost about the same $30,000 as the Toyota 86?
Never mind the bucketful of additional horsepower (127) the Nissan packs under the hood, in my humble opinion the 370Z is also the hands down winner in the looks department.
It’s not as though the Toyota is unattractive, or overpriced — in fact it’s neither. But that Nissan looks killer from every angle and flat out hauls ass. Frankly, I’m a tad embarrassed at being unaware just how reasonably priced a 370Z is. In fairness it has been a few years since I drove one, but my best guess would have pegged the 370Z in the neighbourhood of more like $40,000. At $30K a 370Z is a real steal.
OK. Now back to the car in question. Like the 370Z, the Toyota 86 is indeed a sports car. I don’t necessarily agree, however, that a Chevrolet Camaro or a Dodge Challenger is a sports cars. Muscle cars for sure, sports cars, not so much. The new Mustang is inching closer to sports car status, and is definitely sporty, but I also think of it more as a muscle car. In fact, if you ask me, comparing those three American muscle cars with the Toyota 86 or the Nissan 370Z is akin to comparing horseshoes to hand grenades. I mean sure, they can all be thrown around, but the results when they land will be abundantly different. Don’t take my word for it; check out the bevy of brutal videos on YouTube highlighting Mustang owners fishtailing out of control and smashing into curbs and other vehicles at car shows. It’s actually quite entertaining.
Make no mistake, though: the Toyota 86 is indeed a sports car. Compared to the other portly rear-drive offerings on the market, this little Toyota is capable of ripping around town with the razor sharp cornering precision of a Jack Russell Terrier jacked up on Starbucks coffee — not that I’d ever give a Jack Russell Terrier coffee... but, you get the picture.
Fun and honest. Those are the two words I found myself repeating throughout my week behind the wheel of the 86, which by the way is pronounced eight-six, NOT 86 like agent Maxwell Smart, who would look right at home behind the wheel of an eight-six.
While I do sort of agree with Louka when he laments the 86 could use a bit more grunt, I’m also a firm believer in the riddle that it’s more fun to go fast in a slow car than it is to go slow in a fast car. The 86 has that fun factor very few cars possess, including the Nissan 370Z and those American muscle cars. You can really wring the Boxer engine and it won’t make you pay with scraped wheels, speeding tickets and embarrassing YouTube videos.
It will, however, put a smile on your face.
At least until someone tells you how much a Nissan 370Z costs.