Hello, Toyota GT86 Shooting Brake
Tiny wagon perfection.
Apparently no longer content tempting Yankees with forbidden fruit like this snorkel-specced Land Cruiser, Toyota of Australia has created a GT86 shooting brake concept car guaranteed to send car nerds' jaws plummeting earthwards.
To be fair, calling this GT86 a "shooting brake" is stretching an already fairly elastic term. While the car satisfies the basic conditions of the term—it's a two-door car with an extended cargo bay—the final result looks more like the Honda CR-Z hatchback than a traditional shooting brake like this boner-ific Aston Martin DB5 Radford Shooting Brake Estate.
Still, it's a handsome package. The concept started out as a one-quarter scale clay model, carved up on a whim by Toyota of Australia's design team. The project might well have stalled there, if not for the timely entrance of Tetsuya Tada, the mastermind behind the Toyobaru project. After catching a glimpse of the clay during a tour of Toyota of Australia's design studio in November 2014, Tada was so smitten he ordered a carefully-selected team of engineers and designers in Japan to turn the design into a real car.
The modifications needed to turn the basic GT86 into this svelte shooting brake were reportedly pretty minimal. None of the mechanicals were harmed in the car's transition, and Toyota says the only body panels that changed were the roof, hatch, and rear quarter panels. It's basically a more elaborate version of Callaway's C7 Corvette wagon.
This isn't the first time the Toyobaru's corporate parents have fooled around with the concept of a wagon-like GT86. Back in 2013, Subaru taunted the world with the Cross Sport Design Concept, which resembled an Outback-ified BRZ wagon. That car, however, was clearly pie-in-the-sky conceptual dreaming. The new GT86 Shooting Brake, on the other hand, looks more or less ready to roll down to Malibu, surfboards mounted to a (Toyota-approved) roof rack.
Not that you'll see that anytime soon. Toyota says the GT86 Shooting Brake is just a concept for now—but Tada clearly has a soft spot in his heart for the idea of a wagon-oid version of his baby. “While we never say never, and I would love this concept to become a production reality, it is very much a concept that demonstrates the passion within Toyota for cars that are fun to drive,” he said, according to Car and Driver. Considering his enthusiasm, we wouldn't be shocked to see the second-generation Toyobaru incorporate a shooting brake variant into the lineup when it arrives in a few years. As the New York Lottery announcer always says—hey, you never know.