Toyota GT 86 strips for the purists

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IOL mot feb10 toyota gt

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Toyota GT 86 RC has been stripped down to the bone, but it is cheaper and weighs 40kg less. A perfect base for your race car, then.

Unless you're scraping the very bottom of the price ladder, long gone are the days when you could buy a new car with virtually no comfort features and sans any colour coding on the outside.

Unless you live in Japan.

Here you'll find a few purists (perhaps most of them actual racing drivers) who like to buy their cars without any creature comforts or stylistic features.

LIGHTER, CHEAPER

And now Toyota and Subaru are catering for them with stripped-down versions of their GT 86 and BRZ sports coupé twins.

Let's start with the good stuff - the cars are 40kg lighter and cost a bit less. In Japan, the entry-level GT 86 RC sells for the equivalent of R196 750, versus the R238 200 that Toyota charges for the next-cheapest model, and you'll find similar savings on the Subaru RA version too.

IOL Mot feb10 subarubrz a

Subaru BRZ RA gets a similar stripping but at least they painted the bumpers.

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Sure, it's easy to see the appeal of being able to buy a sports car without having to move back in with your parents, but first consider what's actually been done to these cars.

While we can handle those unpainted door handles and mirrors, those ugly unpainted bumpers (on the Toyota) and truck-like 16-inch steel wheels are rather hard to stomach.

Unless this car is the base from which you want to build your next racing car and you don't want to pay for any unnecessary features - in which case you'll also appreciate what they've stripped from the cabin.

Gone is the air conditioning and radio, the steering wheel loses its leather covering and Toyota's strippers have even gone as far as removing the central panel on the passenger side, leaving a gaping hole in the dashboard.

MOTOR UNSCATHED

Peek under the bonnet and you'll also report the plastic engine cover as missing, but thankfully that 147kW 2-litre boxer motor (the most important bit of all) remains unscathed.

Engineers did, however, replace the torque-sensitive torsen rear diff with a conventional mechanical diff and the rear brake discs are no longer ventilated.

Even though these twins make sense for those going racing, it's unlikely that the companies will offer the RC and RA for sale on international markets.

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Adrian, wrote

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12:42pm on 13 February 2012
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What's with the fascination that people have with painted bumpers??? One or two minor nicks on these black bumpers = NO PROBLEMO, whereas the painted cr*p on most jalopies needs to be fixed just about immediately, unless you have no pride in your wheels

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JDOG, wrote

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07:07am on 13 February 2012
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I really hope this car doesn't Cost the R350k that is to be expected from TSA... 147kw might be a tad weak compared to the other Cars in that price bracket, and it will be slayed at the lights by many a semi-hot hatch at altitude. But the Point of this car is the way it drives, which proves that absolute power is not equal to Absolute Fun. http:www.youtube.comwatch?v=romf-G6CZ7g

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:31pm on 12 February 2012
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These are sold entirely as a base for modifyingracing. This is the one and only reason they are built, really not intended to be driven as they are sold, think perhaps the point was quite badly missed here.

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Top Geariac, wrote

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06:03am on 12 February 2012
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Ill take the BRZ thank you

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