It’s hard not to be a fan of the Toyota GT86. What’s not to like about a back-to-basics sports coupe with all the robustness of a Toyota and the brio of a junior Cayman? So our eyes were opened wide when we saw this – the new GT86 CS-R3 rally car, with extra raw fun dialed in.
Due to make its debut at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland in August 2014, the race-spec GT86 is designed to be a cost-effective rally car for privateers and teams alike. It’s not so much grass roots, as subterranean.
The inspiration? The Toyota Celica TA64 Twin-cam Turbo of the 1980s. The CS-R3 GT86 is part of Japan’s biggest car maker’s push to make itself edgier – under the global catchline ‘fun to drive, again’.
Sounds good to us…
Toyota GT86 CS-R3 rally car (2014)
Toyota Motorsport (TMG) developed the CS-R3, which is designed to be ready to participate in ‘all levels of the sport’. The FIA’s R3 classification means Toyota is able to tune the 2.0-litre boxer four – a total output of around 240-250bhp is expected from the horizontally opposed Subaru lump.
Exact specs are not known yet, since the car is not competing at Rallye Deutschland; instead, the GT86 CS-R3 is being showcased there ahead of a full launch in 2015. It’ll be available in kit form next spring – prices are tipped to comparable to rival R3 racers.
But we do know the rally GT86 has a sequential shift six-speed gearbox and a limited slip diff. That’s right – there’s no namby-pamby four-wheel drive here, just the GT86’s tail-happy layout.
Light weight is key here – FIA rules state a minimum kerbweight of 1080kg – and TMG has stripped out unnecessary kit to pilfer the pounds. Race wiring looms, fuel tanks and ECUs are fitted, as well as a rollcage and suspension kits for racing on different surfaces; brakes, wheels and dampers can all be specified for racing on gravel, tarmac and other surfaces in between.
The race engineer speaks
Nico Ehlert, TMG lead engineer in charge of Toyota’s customer motorsport division, said: ‘It’s important to say that the GT86 CS-R3 which [double women’s world rally champ] Isolde Holderied will drive is not the finished article; we need the data from Rallye Deutschland to finalise our development programme. But it does represent a significant step in the GT86 CS-R3 story and gives a clear indication to our future customers that this project is progressing quickly.
‘The fact we are testing our prototype on a very public stage, the FIA World Rally Championship, shows what confidence we have in this project. Interest in this car has already exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to customer and fan feedback from the rally.’