Toyota 86 rekindles brand's passion for athleticism
AUSSIES love to drive and they are voting with their right foot via a passion for sporting models.
Our market is one of the biggest for the Volkswagen Golf GTI and about one in five sold down under are the hot hatch version.
And the trend has continued for the popular Toyota 86 coupe, with Australia snaring almost one out of every 10 examples sold worldwide. The 86 was co-developed with Subaru, which calls its version the BRZ.
It's been a remarkable return to sporting success for the Japanese brand which had focused on the passenger car market in recent times. Last year the 86 found its way into 6706 driveways.
The last time a Toyota sports car sold more than 6700 in a year was in 1980 with the Celica.
The highest Supra sales were 707 in 1984 and the best year for MR2 was 483 sales in 1990.
This week the 10,000th Toyota 86 was sold since it first went on sale in June 2012.
Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb said the 86 was Australia's best-selling sports car due to its style, performance, balance, handling and affordability.
"The 86 has helped rejuvenate the company's brand with an influx of young new customers who may never previously have considered a Toyota," he said.
"The Toyota 86 has become a halo car that demonstrates Toyota's commitment to designing and engineering cars that really get your heart pumping.
"Importantly, the passion inside Toyota that led to the 86 is also resulting in more emotional styling and greater driving enjoyment in other Toyota vehicles such as the latest generations of RAV4, Corolla and Kluger.
While the he manual GT variant of the four-seat sports car starts from $29,990, the more expensive GTS grade has been in hottest demand, accounting for two-thirds of sales. About 40% of the GTS models have been with manual transmissions.