Toyota Australia recently pulled the wraps off the 86 Shooting Brake concept, which adds a new hatchback styling to the rear of the GT86, and it certainly looks like an enthusiast’s wish came true!
The prototype was conceived and developed by the Toyota Australia’s design team and has been hand-built in Japan. It was unveiled in Sydney by GT86 Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada himself.
Brad Cramb, Toyota Australia’s Divisional Manager National Marketing, said the concept’s shooting brake name reflected how the design gives the GT86 more rear head room and luggage space.
“The Toyota GT86 lends itself perfectly to a concept that expands its appeal with added versatility, while retaining its sleek and sporty coupe styling and sharp, responsive driving character,” he said.
“Equally suited to weekends away as well as the track, it’s a car you could buy with your head and your heart.”
Tetsuya Tada said he was inspired to support the project after being shown a one quarter-scale clay model of the concept during a visit to Australia in November 2014.
“I was totally surprised and liked it so much that I arranged for my expert takumi craftsmen to hand-build the Shooting Brake concept, based on the Australian design,” he said.
Although it is a prototype, this GT86 Shooting Brake Concept is totally functional, too, having turned some laps on the tracks.
“It is a fully functioning, driveable vehicle that has been put through its paces on Toyota test tracks. The GT86’s nicely weighted and direct steering ensures the car retains the coupe’s involving driving experience with a slightly more neutral feel in tight corners.”
Tada-san said Toyota wanted to gauge reaction to the concept, although it has been produced as an internal design study and there are no plans for production.
“While we never say never, and I would love this concept to become a production reality, it is very much a concept that demonstrates the passion within Toyota for cars that are fun to drive,” he said.
Nicolas Hogios , Toyota Australia’s design chief, said his team engaged in enthusiastic debates about just how far they should go in making changes to the GT86 coupe design, eventually remodelling only the rear quarter and roof.
“Like kids in a lolly shop, we thought about restyling more of the car; however, like a good parent saying ‘no’ to too many sweets, we made the conscious decision to keep as much of the original GT86 as possible, only changing what was absolutely necessary.
“The silhouette is still sporty, taut and energetic, but it’s more practical as it allows the roof to be used to carry surfboards, bikes or storage pods for a weekend away while the larger opening of the new boot enables much easier loading.
“As a result, we have expanded the appeal of the coupe while intentionally retaining the purity of the GT86’s style,” he said.