QUICK DRIVE: Toyota 86RC

The Toyota 86 has been widely praised as one of the best Bang-For-Your-Buck packages out there and rightly so – there is little that possesses such a purity of handling for less than six figures and even less that looks as purposeful doing it.

But now Toyota has raised the stakes even further by releasing a stripped-out version of the 86 that drops pretty much everything not essential to driving quickly as well as quite a few dollars off the price.

The basic (very basic) 86RC is priced at a rather startling $33,986 and features the same 2.0-litre 147kW/205Nm boxer engine and six-speed manual transmission as the full-fat versions (that you can read our full Road Test of here!)

The biggest difference comes with the unpainted black resin front and rear bumpers, the black door mirrors, tiny 16-inch alloy wheels and the plain, chrome tip-less exhausts. But this is only the beginning…

Step inside and you will find there is no stereo, a cheap-looking urethane steering wheel and gear knob and no air conditioning. Just a basic grey cloth interior that really does look cheap.

But then, that is exactly what the 86RC is – cheap! Massively cheap, to be honest, and still every bit as much fun on the road as the fully-loaded versions.

Only available for purchase online, the 86RC has a range of customisations available that can be included, depending on what you want the car for. Our test car came with the $1,955 TRD exhaust, a $255 diffuser, the TRD body kit that included a front spoiler ($1,169 painted), side skirts ($1,169 painted) and rear bumper ($1,189 painted), the $2,000 18-inch TRD alloy wheels (with $986 for the 18-inch Bridgestone Potenza tyres), the $999 race decal, the $1,880 sports meter kit and the pricey aftermarket air conditioning unit that drops in at $4,589.85

That makes for a grand total of $16,231.85 on top of the 86RC’s base price of $33,986, putting it at $50,217.85. Although I am sure you could get that 85 cents knocked off.

This makes it more expensive than the absolute top of the range, fully-loaded GT86 automatic with the aero kit and you still don’t gets a stereo.

So as a “make your own 86” proposition, the 86RC makes little sense if you load it back up with equipment, however, as a pre-stripped out track or targa car, it is absolutely spot on. And this is exactly what Toyota are positioning this car as.

But if you REALLY wanted an 86 but suffer from a lack of funds and could survive without air conditioning and a stereo, then $33,986 is still an absolute bargain for one of the sweetest handling cars on sale today…

Price: $33,986

Engine: 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder petrol

Power/torque: 147kW/205Nm

Transmission: Six-speed manual

0-100km/h: 7.6 seconds

Fuel consumption: 7.8L/100km

CO2 emissions: 180g/km

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