The Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ have jointly taken a clutch of awards at the 2012 Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.
The global panel of specialist engineers, technologists and journalists have named the sports coupes jointly Car of the Year, and honoured Toyota's chief engineer Tetsuya Tada as Dynamicist of the Year, alongside Toshio Masuda, his Subaru counterpart on the project.
Toyota's commitment to producing cars that are more rewarding to drive, championed by its president Akio Toyoda, has also earned it the accolade of Dynamics Team of the Year.
GT86 arrives in the UK this summer as a standard bearer for a revival of Toyota's sports car heritage, a machine that Toyota has set out to design as a true driver's car. The GT86 and its BRZ cousin feature the classic front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration and the use of a compact, lightweight, free-revving 2.0-litre "boxer" petrol engine, to provide alow centre of gravity, low inertia and overall light weight, for optimum road handling and performance.
This approach has helped the GT86 and BRZ earn their Car of the Year status, as Graham Heeps, Vehicle Dynamics International magazine's Editor, explained: "In the face of rising power outputs and ever-greater levels of complication in the drivetrain, suspension and steering, cars from major manufacturers that take a less-is-more approach and offer fun at legal speeds have been thin on the ground. That's why we believe the Toyota GT86, and its twin sister the Subaru BRZ, are deserved recipients of the 2012 VDI Car of the Year Award."
Among the judges' comments on the Dynamicist of the Year title, Matt Joy, the Press Association's Motoring Editor, said: "By sticking to a tried and tested formula, Tada and Masuda have created a car that enthusiasts have been crying out for: one that eschews the never-ending quest for ultimate grip in favour of balance, response and driving pleasure at realistic road speeds."