Fun to driveBy Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Coming from the motorsports industry, we have always believed there is a shortage of good quality and affordable sports cars. Especially, for a country that is known for its crazy driving, the choices are limited. We already know that Filipino’s are a sports car-loving bunch with the increase of high-end supercar ownership, the presence of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Audi and Porsche dealerships and the sophistication of the Pinoys in terms of taste and luxury products. A couple of years back, only the amigas from Forbes Park knew the difference between a prosciutto de Parma from sweet ham bought from the grocery. Now, with the onset of connectivity and cable television, Filipinos have developed the penchant for gourmet plus the fact that more affordable brands have come in. Now, why would only the amigos of Forbes Park enjoy the zippy runs on the skyway with their flashy sports cars? Thanks to Toyota, the regular car-loving Pinoy can enjoy it too.
Although anybody can be zippy, the difference of zippying in a Toyota 86 is that you are almost as privileged as the Porsches. Following the latest in design cues, the new sleek sports car is almost at par with high end ones in terms of looks and features. It has traction control, bucket seats, LED light park lights, 200 horsepower and an iconic badge. In fact, it’s so iconic that even before its official launch, urban legends are already sprouting. For example: all of the stock for this year is gone and there is a long waiting list; a head honcho of a company that is on an acquisition spree and is a known car enthusiast, has ordered a couple in different colors, etc.
The 86 is starting to validate its racing heritage and performance by joining the 40th ADAC 24 hours Nurburgring and winning in its class, and its twin (the 86 shares a platform with the Subaru BRZ and the Scion) has gone drifting in the Formula Drift in the United States.
With its price point (starting at about P1.5 million), the 86 is a game changer, and would probably remove the veil of conservatism from other car manufacturers and they will start bringing in more “fun” vehicles to the market. The number of options in the US and Europe is still overwhelming, making you think why do we only have the common product lines in the country? The success of this car would probably spell out: better options for us who don’t have P5 million to spare.
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