On­line 86 coupe back to basics

For the price of a pretty aver­age Toy­ota Corolla, you could be driv­ing an 86 coupe in­stead. Kyle Cassidy ex­plains.

South Waikato News - - MOTORING -

Toy­ota’s 86 sport­ster has been a sales suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to Toy­ota NZ at least, be­cause it has ex­ceeded its sales fore­cast with 274 sold so far.

Most buy­ers have gone for the $48k GT86, and opted for the auto. That has not de­terred Toy­ota from in­tro­duc­ing the man­ual-only, 86 RC strip­per how­ever. The RC, for Race Com­pe­ti­tion, is an in­ter­est­ing prospect. For a start you can or­der it only on­line.

You can have it any colour, as long as it’s white, and it comes with quite a range of op­tional ex­tras.

The car it­self is based on the stan­dard 86 and has the same 147kW/205Nm 2.0 litre boxer but is avail­able only with the six-speed man­ual gear­box. It has seven air bags and ESP, both of which you can switch off. It gets 16-inch al­loys, and dual ex­hausts and costs $33,986, drive away – $8300 less than the 86. It misses out on air conditioning, and a stereo, nei­ther of which can be op­tioned back in, and some of the sound dead­en­ing has been re­moved along with the lin­ing in the boot. It is about 20kg lighter, and we are the only RHD coun­try out­side Ja­pan to get it.

The RC can be bought as is, or Toy­ota is of­fer­ing a range of cos­metic and per­for­mance up­grade op­tions, which can be con­fig­ured on­line be­fore pur­chase.

You can add new wheels, paint the bumpers, add body kits, and de­cals or dip into the ex­pen­sive range of TRD sus­pen­sion and brake up­grades. Th­ese op­tions all add to the cost, which start to erode the value prospect of the RC.

Once you click the Buy Now but­ton, you need to place a re­fund­able $5000 de­posit, and you have three days to head to your pre­ferred dealer to sign the sales and pur­chase agree­ment. Op­tions that are se­lected will be fit­ted at Toy­ota’s Thames fac­tory, with de­liv­ery tak­ing be­tween five days for a stan­dard car to two weeks for a mod­i­fied ver­sion.

Toy­ota will ship the fin­ished car to the cus­tomer’s pre­ferred deal­er­ship for the fi­nal hand-over.

Toy­ota NZ has tried the in­ter­net sales route be­fore with the Prius i-Tech, which, with only two sold, can’t be con­sid­ered a huge suc­cess.

But one as­pect that we like about this con­cept is that Toy­ota NZ say that the in­ter­net price is a no-hag­gle, no-dis­count fig­ure, a unique thing for Toy­ota.

And it is a con­cept that the mar­ket leader will look to ex­pand on. It takes the sales as­pect away for the sales­man to let them con­cen­trate on de­liv­er­ing cus­tomer ser­vice, which in the end is how you make a buyer a re­peat cus­tomer.

SPORT­STER: Toy­ota’s 86 coupe.

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