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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

My names Paul. Joined the forum recently and thought i'd put a post up to say hi


I'm a complete car bore and spend my free time reading message boards, researching mods, fitting mods and driving my cars.

Being a complete serial car buyer I've been through over 50 cars in my 13 years of driving and around 95% of those have been Japanese cars and around 70% of them have been Hondas.

Our current cars are:

59 FW MK2 Focus Rs
57 FN2 Civic Type R
55 EP2 Civic Sport

Up until recently I have been using the Rs as my daily because I love it bits but my commute has went from 3 miles to 23 miles each way so I'm not really wanting to hammer the miles on it and depreciate it. Couple this to the fact I've had it 5 months and that's me started to get itchy feet again I feel it time to move it on.

All the way back those many moons ago when I first seen those concept pics of the frs/gt86 I knew i had to have one in my life. Fast forward to now and even the actual car still looks as sharp as the concept art so I'm still a massive fan.

I popped into my local T dealer and arranged to go out on a test drive in a manual red with black leather. Thankfully the salesman was a young enthusiastic chap about ages with myself so I knew it was going to go well. The first thing I noticed when I got in was just how low you feel to the ground and that for me is a massive plus point. Sitting so lofty in the Rs bothered me a fair bit to begin with but I got used to it. The steering wheel/ pedals are set 100% bang on for me and it all adds to the special feeling you get when sitting in a sporty car such as the 86.

The Car has around 1800 miles on it which is basically still a new car. I really like the start up procedure and the instrument binnacle sweep. The dash board looks a tad cheap and the gimmick heater controls are pretty funny. Love the old school LCD clock tho.

Once the car was started I noticed the engine sounds a bit gruff. It's not a bad sound but it's not at all characterful either. Once out on the road the first thing I noticed was how intrusive the noise generator is and thankfully that can be deleted with aftermarket parts. The clutch pedal is a tad light but once you get used to it then it's fine. The pedal action is smooth and the pedal returns very quickly on full throttle gear changes. Ah yes, gear changes. I found this one of the great parts of the whole car. You can really go hell for leather all the way through the box and it just keep asking for more. I can best describe it as like a bolt action rifle. Very direct, very solid and very satisfying. I loved hearing the chirp from the back wheels when changing gear at 7k rpm on an uneven b road.

The initial press of the accelerator pedal gives this immediate response from the engine and I was surprised with just how urgent that car started to pull. Sadly that was all that seemed to happen for me. After that initial surge the power seems to dissipate and it really didnt feel like I was in a particularly fast car. This left me somewhat perplexed as I was really expecting it to feel on par with the FN2 and it just didn't in this department. It felt like a Honda without vtec.

I'm no driving god and will not pretend to be the last word in handling testing. I found the 86 very composed in all but the worst road surfaces but also very playful when asked to be. The steering felt very direct like I was able to feel exactly was the front wheels were trying to tell me through the wheel. It's perfectly weighted to give you confidence when pushing on but not to an artificial level which is uncommunicative.

After being out for a time the only thing that was bothering me was the lack of pace. One thing I, like most of you will notice is that it always feels faster in the pass seat than the drivers seat. I think it has something to do with the fact you are braced against the the steering wheel and pushing the pedals as opposed the just sitting relaxed in the passes seat not knowing when the power is about to be put down. So I decided to ask the salesman to swap seats with me and drive all the way back that I had just driven and in the same manner that I had so I can make further conclusions. He of course obliged as he could see my disappointment clear as day. This was to prove a wise decision as i was able to feel the cars pace and it's effortless change of direction from a whole new perspective. I'm still not gonna say its a fast car but I can appreciate where the power lies within the rev range and how best to access it and it did feel a lot faster than from the drivers seat I thought.

After getting back into the Rs I decided that it wasn't fair to compare the 2 cars. The Rs is a powerful car and it's not the fact it has over 130bhp more it also has near 200 ft/lbs more.

Conclusions

The gt86 is a fantastic all round car.
Poor boot space/ slight lack of power
fantastic gear change
Direct, feelsome steering
Looks absolutely fantastic.

I've decided that I am going to have myself one of the cars in white with leather and nav.

BUT

I will be holding off for a while. The reason is the Rs. If I jump straight out of the Rs into the 86 I will sell it within 6 months to a year due to the power frustration. I also don't want to drive my car in the winter with it being RWD and the snow we can get up here. I've done it twice in S2000's and it's not much fun. I am in the process of having my private plate removed from the Rs and I will put it up for sale. I will then wait till new year and order my new car for a march 13 plate so it's as new as it can be for the whole 6 months. Hopefully by that time there will be a fantastic choice of power mods by then also.

Thanks for taking the time to read my first post and I look forward to chatting to you all on here and possibly coming to a local meet

Cheers
MellyEdited by: Melly82
 

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Hi Paul
Welcome and thanks for your view of the test drive. Do you think you will ever have a stable long term relationship with your car? Some of the greatest loves only become so once you past the initial lust phase, you may miss out if you abandon to soon. I'm glad you are not dumping the R immediately, but it is inevitable. I hope the GT 86 will be the start of something new, and lasting.
 

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Welcome mate. Good review you did there. I've actually moved from an EK9 to an 86 so know all about being used to VTEC. The 86 is different, and the annoying torque dip does seem somewhat intrusive in the rev-range. But I feel once you're out of that it picks up again. It's just not quite as obvious as the cam change in a Honda though, and the dip is more pronounced than the pre-VTEC ones.
 

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Welcome to the house of fun!

I just want to point out that RWD doesn not necessarily mean that driving in snow is awful. I had a Sierra Sapphire 2.0i Ghia for 12 years and it was brilliant in snow. Always well behaved and fun to play with. Then again, I had a Supra Mk3 3.0 na automatic. The one and only time I used it in snow was a nightmare. Every time I fed power to the rear wheels, they would slip sideways as if the back wanted to overtake the front. I put it down to the auto box initially, but after inspecting the rear tyres a couple of days later, noticed that the tread on them was ancient history.
I suspect that the GT86 will be better behaved in snowy conditions due to the 'low' power at lower revs and the narrow tyres. You'll be able to control the power feed to the rear wheels so much more delicately and those 'narrow' tyres will dig into the snow for better purchase.
I'll be off to my local supermarket carpark as soon as some snow settles down here, for some low speed drifting.
 

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GT86Owner said:
Nice review. Do you think I doesn't feel as quick as the type r because its low and as you say you are held well in place and also the car handles the power so well. On paper they are similar..
I actually think it's the way that VTEC works that will make it feel different. You can feel the sudden urgency and the extra noise in the 2nd half of the power band in VTEC and the pickup is great. The GT just doesn't have this in the same way, it feel alot more linear.

My old Honda wasn't very exciting until 6k RPM, then it went beserk
Personally I feel the GT is just a different package, and hence I'm seeking a small amount of extra power to add a bit of extra ooph through-out. VTEC is quite addictive, a bit like boost. I'm a Honda head through and through so I'm still getting used to the lack of an obvious cam change
For me though, the move is definitely the right one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys


Musketeer I know what your saying about having fun in the snow. The s2000 was fun at times but with zero weight over the back wheels like the 86 will have it was notconducive to making any real progress. The fact it has skinny tyres as opposed to the 265's the s2k had could be the factor that changes that tho. 20 of my 23 miles trip to work are country roads tho so it might be a bit dicey in heavy snow lol. On the flip side of that in all other weather conditions the 86 will be a fantastic companion on these amazing winding roads.

GT86Owner I felt the similarities more from the passenger seat than the driving seat. The thing with the type r is that just before the vtec change over there is a slight dip in power and when the change over happens the noise and change in power seems a lot more than it actually is but the urgency in which it seeks the redline seems much faster. The recaros in the fn2 hold me in even tighter than the 86 seats but I find the 86 a much more pleasant place to sit.

I really only drive the fn2 maybe 2 times a week at most as I drive the Rs most days. If I had only been driving the fn2 the change of vehicles to the 86 would have felt seamless as there are a lot of similarities between the 2 of them to include power delivery, gear change and snazzy jap interior. Like I said the only thing getting in my way is the difference between the 86 and the Rs. It's just such a hoot to drive and the 5 cylinder warble and chatter from the turbo on lift off is immense. I really want to keep my 86 for a long time so getting rid of the Rs soon and just reacquainting myself with NA power by using the fn2 and EP2 will all help to get me in that mind frame. I don't know what you lads think about a super or turbo charger on the 86 but I think I will be addressing that subject after I've had the car for around the 6 months to a year stage. Been doing a lot of reading on these kits on the frs forum and I think it sounds promising.

I will pop on here most days and contribute to the forum in what ways I can until the day I pick up my 86 and become a proper part of the squad.

Cheers,
Melly
 

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Kodename47 said:
GT86Owner said:
Nice review. Do you think I doesn't feel as quick as the type r because its low and as you say you are held well in place and also the car handles the power so well. On paper they are similar..
 
I actually think it's the way that VTEC works that will make it feel different. You can feel the sudden urgency and the extra noise in the 2nd half of the power band in VTEC and the pickup is great. The GT just doesn't have this in the same way, it feel alot more linear.
 
My old Honda wasn't very exciting until 6k RPM, then it went beserk
 Personally I feel the GT is just a different package, and hence I'm seeking a small amount of extra power to add a bit of extra ooph through-out. VTEC is quite addictive, a bit like boost. I'm a Honda head through and through so I'm still getting used to the lack of an obvious cam change
 For me though, the move is definitely the right one.
That would make sense as the torque curve is almost flat from 2.8k-7k with about 5% drop between 3.5-4k which on one really knows why yet. Either way it makes in gear acceleration better this way. Doing 60 in 6th I found I goes pretty well...
 

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Paul,
Welcome, and great review, liked it!


I too am ex Honda S2000, but this car is on another level altogether.

And it changes direction even better when you dump the stupid, nasty Michelins for some proper tyres, (I have fitted mine with Contisport Contact 5's) - sliding & drifting around is all well and good on a track, but a on a chilly autumn night you want poise and grip, - my tyre change has transformed the GT86 to equal a Porsche Cayman R in the bends!

Edited by: Senna
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Time for a thread revival.

Following on from my original post a whole year ago I did as I said I would and sold the Rs in the October of 2012. Since then I got a tad sidetracked with a new house purchase and a project car resurrection lol.

I just couldn't get on with the fn2 and ep2 so I sold them both on and bought myself a 2005 facelift DC5 integra type R to use as my daily. It's an absolutely fantastic car and I've loved every minute of the 4k miles I've done since purchase.

I also purchased myself a 95 Celica GT4 ST205 that was a little rough around the edges but having had 2 already I love them to bits and decided I had to save it. By total chance I was looking for a car for a friend of mines and stumbled across it. A phone call and a trip in the car later and it was mines. I've slowly been brining it back to health since last November and put it back on the road in August this year. As much as I jump in and out of cars all the time I can't see myself ever selling this one.

Recently I've been thinking about getting into a newer car again. My first thoughts were a nissan GTR and tbh once I had it in my head it felt like the only option for some reason. I went to alex f nobles in Edinburgh to view and test drive one they had in stock. To cut a long story very short it was the most capable car I have driven in my life (yet!!) the speed at which it covers ground is phenomenal. The main thing I took away from the test drive was that all the driver really has to do is put your foot down and turn a steering wheel. The car does pretty much everything else for you when in a forward motion. From 0-140 leptons in a straight line on a typical Scottish b-road it felt like I was wafting along on a magic carpet. At no time did I feel the car was travelling overly fast. The bumps and cracks in the road were dispatched seamlessly and the steering wheel never so much as twitched or tried to pull me off course even with all that power and at 100% acceleration and the same happened when I attacked some corners. I turned around to the salesman and said one word "effortless". At that precise moment I knew I wouldn't be making a purchase that day.

Fast forward a few months and I felt I had the gtr out my system and it was time to look again at a new purchase. I wanted a 2 door modern coupe with extras such as cruise, BT, USB, keyless entry and start, manual gearbox and RWD. Top of the list was the 370z and of course the GT86. After weighing up all of the pros and cons the lack of rear seats, fuel consumption and road tax costs knocked the 370z out of contention leaving the GT86.

Went back to my original Toyota dealer where they actually remembered me which was a good start. They had a black 86 in the showroom which looked mega and also a ginger demo car. After talking over the car, finance options, extras and discounts I had a deal in front of me that I was more than happy with and it came down to the small matter of a test drive.....again.

If you've made it this far you'll have already read my first impression so I won't cover the same ground again. Having been running the DC5 for for a while now the power difference doesn't feel as large like it did with the Rs but it's actually more than just that. I had an epiphany after driving the GTR. It doesn't matter if you have the fastest most capable car on the planet. It all boils down to how the car makes you feel when your driving it. No matter what I buy there will always be something faster or more capable so I decided that if the 86 made me smile even when I was consentrating hard on giving it a damn good workout then it would be the one for me.

My pearl white 86 is now ordered. Expected delivery is around January due there being absolutely no white cars on the system. After reading a few posts on here I now know why. It may seem like a long wait but I've already waited 14 months so a few more won't hurt to get the perfect car in the perfect colour.

Cheers,
Melly
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys. I know I have a bit of a wait in front of me until delivery but if it starts to get to me I can always go back to the dealer for another test drive to refresh the memory.

Cheers,
Melly
 

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What a great thread!! Welcome, and enjoy when it arrives!!
 
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