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Old 05-07-2013, 10:21 AM   #1
Dazza
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Reflections on my first day with my new 86 GT

After a wait of some 8 months, my 86 GT (manual) finally arrived today and although its quite late tonight I had to take it out to my favourite road in the hills for a spirited drive. I've only just returned home and felt the need to sit down and write about my 1st impressions. Bear in mind that the test drive before ordering my car was in an automatic and about 5km's long around the city, so I didn't really get much of a feeling for the car (though obviously I didn't hate it) and ordered one more on reputation than anything else.

1st thing I'll say is the directness of the steering really surprised me, this thing is very quick and sharp. Feeling through the steering was about as good as I had hoped, not as good as some of the cars I have owned, but better than others that when new, cost a lot of money (still not cheap today in fact). I'd even go as far as to say it felt very similar to my old e46 M3, significantly down on power of course, but the balance and composure of the car felt not a lot different to my memory of the M3. Same with steering feel and seat of the pants communication regarding what the front and rear ends of the car were doing. Although the turn in of the 86 is much sharper than my memory of the M3 (and they say the BRZ is even sharper). Pity I still don't have the M3 for a back to back test of whether my memories match the real world driving experience.

BTW comparing the e46 M3 to the 86 GT is not as ridiculous as it sounds as the costs (to buy, obviously not to own and run/maintain) are roughly the same here in Oz for a new 86 vs an early model e46 M3 with high mileage.

What did strike me though was the accessibility of the 86GT, driving the car through the winding roads in the hills did not make me rue the well documented torque dip (ok maybe a little ) or relative lack of power compared to other cars of this ilk. In fact I was even further hamstrung by the desire to keep the revs under 4000rpm until I have run it in (manual suggests 1000miles/1600km). So I can't wait to be able to drive the car, keeping the revs up, in an attempt to try and ride the "right" side of the torque curve.

The ride was firm (I would love to compare it to a GTS riding on 17" wheels) but not uncomfortable unless the roads were particularly badly chopped up, which unfortunately we do have a few of those here in Adelaide, although my run through the hills was quite good. Finally I found the gearchange to be nice and firm though a little notchy and this didn't seem to improve very much as the car warmed up, perhaps that will get better and feel smoother with a few more miles under its belt (after all it has only done 120km's all up)?

All up a very satisfying day. I can't believe how cheap this car is in comparison to its competition here in Australia, it is unbelievable value.

Next stop (after I have run the car in) will be the track....I can't wait to test the limits of this car properly....and safely
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry too dark tonight, but I will do so tomorrow
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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I also traded in my E46 for my FRS.

I've never been happier.

Scott
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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I share a lot of your sentiments about the car, even at the 9 month point. Great car for the money.
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"I love this car. I think we wimped out when we didn't name it Best Driver's Car." -Randy Pobst on the BRZ
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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8 months... what's the reason why you don't just wait for 2014 skew at that point, or would that require another 8 months?
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
Dazza
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8 months... what's the reason why you don't just wait for 2014 skew at that point, or would that require another 8 months?
That was the waiting period here in OZ
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