With a little help from Subaru – supplier of the boxer-four engine – the same firm that gave us the Prius and the idea of white goods motoring suddenly launched a back to basics, rear-wheel drive coupe packed with features intended to delight those who reckoned the joy was being sucked out of driving. Apart from one – horsepower.
Because, ungrateful lot that we are, having been given a car that prized balance, feedback and low-speed thrills over outright pace a good number of us then lambasted it for not being fast enough.
Not long after the GT86's launch, I was lucky enough to spend some time driving it here in the UK with project chief Tetsuya Tada. In that wonderfully gracious Japanese way, he was politely dismissive of those moaning that 197bhp isn't enough for a sports coupe, saying people who thought it too slow simply "didn't understand the concept".
I've been enjoying the last few days in the mildly updated 2017 GT86 and his words seem more relevant than ever. Here is a car that is heavier, slower, more expensive and less powerful than most B-segment hot hatches. For those who judge a car by the spec sheet stats, it makes no sense whatsoever. It offends them even.