The automotive enthusiast and the sports car are the most iconic pairing since peanut butter and jam. The sports car wouldn't exist without the enthusiasts that are willing to part with their hard-earned money to buy one. The same works the other way around, not many are excited by the newest Hyundai Elantra or Toyota Corolla.
Just like Skittles, sports cars come in all the flavors of the rainbow. Every available drivetrain paired with engines of all shapes and sizes. Diehard fans generally know exactly what they want and there is nothing others can do to convince them of another option. But for those of us that don't have their sports car of choice carved into Moses' stone tablets, the possibilities are endless. For first time buyers, it might even be overwhelming.
But fear not, this is exactly what we are here for. If you are in the market for your very first sports car, there is but one right choice. The all-time fan favorite, the Toyota 86. Read on to find out exactly why the Toyobaru is right for you.
No matter how good a car is, there is no point in adding it to your next purchase list if you can't afford it. It is a given that most enthusiasts dream of having a Ferrari but realistically there is very little chance of seeing one as your first sports car. Even if you were lucky enough and wealthy enough to buy one, it might not be the best choice as a first sports car.
This is where the Toyota 86 shines, not only is the starting price a very reasonable $27,000 but the used car market is filled with enough examples of the 86 and its cousins. From the original Scion FR-S to the Subaru BRZ, a used model can be found for as low as $12,000.
Taking into account a second generation of the Toyota 86 is on the way, the current market might see a nice price drop. If you are patient enough a used 86 might be a steal in the close future.
Amazing RWD Platform
Although sports cars now come in all kinds of drivetrain layout, the all-time enthusiast preferred one is the rear-wheel-drive sports car. Of course, there are advantages to both front-wheel and all-wheel drive cars but there is no better sensation than being able to make a rear powered car dance on the tarmac. The handling characteristic of the RWD car might be hardest to master but once you've ingrained into your muscle memory you will be able to handle all kinds of cars with ease.
Since the Toyota 86 has one of the best chassis available, it makes it the ideal companion for first-time sports car owners to learn the ins and outs of the art of driving.
The Goldilocks Of Power
The horsepower war has been going on for a while now and shows no sign of stopping any time soon. With high powered machines readily available everywhere you look, the temptation of grabbing a nice Mustang GT is ever-present.
But contrary to popular belief, more isn't always better. Realistically speaking, any road car with more than 300 hp is somewhat unnecessary. In the world of first sports car ownership, anything more than that might actually be a bit dangerous.
Too much horsepower might be a thing but when it comes to sports cars too little also isn't ideal. This is what makes the Toyota 86 perfect for newcomers to the world of sports cars. It's 205 hp is enough to get you into a little bit of trouble but not too much, otherwise known as the mama bear porridge of trouble.
For those who want a little bit more, the successor to the Toyota 86 is on the way and is rumored to offer a bit more bang.
Last Of The Manual Survivors
Like the RWD layout, the other all-time favorite feature of car enthusiasts is the good old fashioned manual transmission. Although automatic transmissions have improved leaps and bounds since its creation, nothing beats a manual sports car in the mind of purists.
Whether or not it actually makes the driving experience better is very much debatable. There is no concrete evidence that is better, it could simply be nostalgia or enthusiasts romanticizing the idea of shifting gear themselves. But at the very least, the availability of a manual gearbox in the 86 proves that Toyota was serious when they designed the car.
With the less and less manual sports car available in the market, the 86 might prove to be a future sought-after classic.