Hot hatchbacks have dominated the market for practical fun over the last few decades. Loading a humble shopping car with a potent engine and uprated suspension is about as good as sensible fun gets, these days.
Front-wheel drive not your cup of tea? Our friends over at Car Throttle have come up with a different solution: The Toyota GT 86 Shooting Brake.
Toyotas rear-drive coupe was one of the hottest cars of 2012. Need proof? Just check out its outstanding buzzScore, generated from the cars positive press.
Even so, with two tiny rear seats and a so-so boot, it cant really challenge hot hatchbacks on practicality, even if it matches them for fun.
Thats until you lengthen the body by 70mm, as Car Throttle has done. On the outside, it gives the GT 86 the look of a budget Ferrari FF, and a practical liftback would make shopping trips or loading your loyal pooch a breeze. As a bonus, it also means theres nowhere to put the slightly naff spoiler usually attached to the GT 86s bootlid.
Its liberated some extra boot space, with 298 litres making the standard 243 litres look a bit pokey. The tiny rear bench has disappeared too, replaced by a practical 60/40 split layout. Long and awkward loads should be no problem with a seats-down capacity of 1,040 litres.
A weight increase of 86 kilos (natch) dulls performance a little, with manual and auto models completing the 0-60mph sprint in 7.8 and 8.5 seconds respectively - not that youd notice the extra 0.2 and 0.3 seconds.
You may notice the extra 1,950 over the standard models, but thats something youd forgive for the extra utility. So how about it, Toyota?
Priced from: 26,945 (manual), 28,445 (auto)
On sale from: Never, sadly!
Really, our conclusion here is academic - since Toyota wont be making it. Its a brilliant idea though, and would give us a real alternative to the usual turbocharged hot hatchbacks. None of those cars will grant you those fleeting moments of power oversteer like a GT 86 Shooting Brake would
If it were to exist though, there may be one other car tempting us away from the tidy Toyota - BMWs bargainous M135i hatchback. It too is practical and rear-wheel drive, but has over 100 horses on the Toyota and only costs a few thousand more