Toyota 86 wins Drive Car of the Year Award

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Toyota 86 wins Drive Car of the Year Award

Toyota's "unashamedly focused sports car", the 86 GT, has been judged the Car of the Year in Australia at the annual Drive awards.

The 86 GT was also named Best Performance Car under $60,000 and won the People's Choice vote.

In a first for a petrol-electric hybrid car, Toyota's Australian-built Camry Hybrid was announced the Best Family Car.

Camry Hybrid and the 86 GT were among just four "stand-out" cars considered in the final judging for the main award.

Drive said the 86 GT has the "perfect amount" of power to exploit its nimble rear-drive chassis and is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone driving it.

"Judges loved the fact that it hit the brief of being a really fun-to-drive car - and it's also impressively affordable," Drive editor and chief judge Toby Hagon said.

"It really is a fantastic little sports car - one that can be fun on the right road, but also make the drive home that little bit more enticing.

"At about $30,000, it is a bargain - a worthy Car of the Year winner for 2012."

Camry Hybrid was praised for its drivetrain with its 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor producing impressive acceleration and real-world fuel economy.

Judges said Toyota has achieved "something special" with the Camry Hybrid and, along with its affordable price, it made a compelling case for families.

"On balance, we believe it is the best family car on the market right now," the judges said.

Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said the awards for the 86 GT and Camry Hybrid were a great tribute to the passionate people who engineered and produced them.

"The 86 was designed for driving enthusiasts to deliver maximum driving pleasure, lively yet accessible performance and highly engaging dynamic abilities - and all at an affordable price," Mr Callachor said.

"It builds on Toyota's 50-year history of creating exciting, driver-focused sports cars that have proven popular with the public and successful in competition," he said.

Development of the compact four-seat sports car stemmed from the vision of Toyota's global president Akio Toyoda to create a more emotional connection between car and driver.

"Mr Toyoda is driving the company to embrace the concept of 'waku doki' - designing and engineering cars that really get your heart pumping."

Mr Callachor paid tribute to Toyota's development partner, Subaru, saying the collaboration had brought together the technical know-how and shared passion for sports cars of two great companies.

Accepting the Best Family Car trophy for the locally built Camry Hybrid, Mr Callachor said the award was a boost to the local car manufacturing sector, especially to more than 4,000 Australians employed by Toyota in Australia.

"This award reinforces Toyota's pride in developing hybrid technology globally and, in particular, bringing hybrid manufacturing to Australia.

"It really is a win-win for motorists: Camry Hybrid is not only a great car to drive with strong performance and on-road dynamics, it also achieves impressive fuel economy and excellent value for money," he said.

Three other Toyota vehicles were finalists - the Corolla for Best Small Car, the Prius c city car for Green Innovation and the seven-seat Prius v for Best People Mover.

Read more about Toyota 86

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