We already know why the Lotus F1 team ended up not signing Kobayashi for the 2013 season while keeping the erratic Grosjean instead. Grosjean is french, Lotus F1 was formerly Renault F1 team, Eric Boullier who was Team Principal of the Renault F1 team (and also Managing Director) is now Lotus F1 Team Principal and yes... you have guessed... he is also french and, last but not the least, the Lotus F1 team uses Renault engines and... Renault is obviously french!
So…. where does it put us or what does this all mean?! Lotus is still a British brand, right?! Likewise, EVO magazine is also a British brand and, likewise, they always favour the french Renault instead of the japanese Toyobaru... one time is the Megane RS and the next time is the Clio Cup. Then, I am obliged to ask, where does this whole British-French connection come from?!
In effect, EVO does it again and managed to see what no one else sees...
So where does all this leave the GT86?
the only real criticisms of the Toyota are a) that the chassis is at times almost too talented for its own good and b) that there’s not enough feedback through the wheel.
In the GT86 you’re just joining the dots.
You sit markedly high up after getting out of the Toyota and you definitely reach down rather than across to the long gearlever. But as soon as you set off it is an instantly insatiable bundle of fun. The red needle on the yellow rev counter wants to be permanently on an upward sweep and the gearshift just encourages you to snatch each change as fast as you can move your hand. With feel right from the top of the pedal, the Brembo brakes are almost disproportionately powerful compared to the engine, but their ability to stand the Renault on its nose is addictive.
Largely because of its more performance orientated tyres, it paints a sharper, busier, more vivid picture than the Toyota as it travels down the road, willing you to pick off every last millimetre of tarmac through a corner. It also clings on harder; on the limit, where the treadblocks of the Toyota’s Michelin Primacy HPs simply fold, there’s a feeling of defiant tenacity to the Clio as its ContiSportContact3s merely scrub instead of really slide.
Whether stickier tyres and a bit more grip would, ironically, give it some of the Clio’s brio
And the insidious part of it is that EVO makes you to believe that this is a comparison between four cars whereas, in reality, it is a comparison ONLY between the GT86 and the Clio Cup simply because the other two (albeit VERY good) are VERY old and not readily available cars that you would seek for use on a daily-basis. It seems that some of the remaining Cup's stock has to go to give room for the next, already-here, Renault Clio RS/Cup.
Toyota GT86 vs Renault Clio Cup, Honda Integra Type-R and BMW E30 M3
You know business, right?! Unfortunately for F1, Kobayashi knows too...