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More value, no price rise for Toyota 86

Value boost: Improved safety and a better audio system add to the appeal of the Toyota 86 coupe.

Toyota boosts equipment levels in 86 GT but holds the 2012 price thanks to FTA

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Toyota logo9 Mar 2015

TOYOTA’S entry level coupe, the 86 GT, just became more enticing with extra equipment thrown in without any price increase.

The Australia-Japan free-trade agreement created a price reduction that Toyota filled by adding a touchscreen audio system and a reversing camera as well as a full-size spare wheel as a no-cost-option.

The equipment upgrade places the base GT closer to its more lavish GTS sibling and holds the price at $29,990, plus on-road costs, the same as when the coupe was launched in June 2012.

Toyota said the features on the GT are worth about $1000 but are now included at no extra cost on the GT manual.

The price of the GT automatic version has dropped $300 to $32,490.

Including the full-size spare wheel as a no-cost option will give customers an alternative to the standard tyre repair kit, and ticking the box for the wheel also includes an embossed cover.

The FTA has also impacted favourably on the GTS variant, reducing the price of the manual by $500 to $35,990, and the automatic by $800 to $38,490.

This is the second revision to the 86’s equipment list, following the introduction last July of a revised suspension system aimed at fine-tuning handling response and steering feel, while enhancing the ride comfort.

The work, led by Toyota 86 global chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, concentrated on reducing body roll and increasing stability by using new suspension mounts and low friction oil, oil seals and guide bushings.

Mr Tada also re-tuned the shock absorbers and refined their characteristics, focusing on the initial movement and when the vehicle is operating at its limits or on wet roads.

There were also convenience upgrades, with the GT gaining the same instrument panel as the GTS, which included a digital speed read-out and a rev indicator light to warn of the approaching red line. The auto GT also added a shift-position indicator.

At the same time, the 86 GTS was upgraded with a reversing camera and a carbon-fibre look to the instrument panel surround. Both variants added a shark-fin roof antenna.

The GTS increased by $500 to $36,490 for the manual and up $800 for the automatic to $39,290.

The move this week to lower prices in accordance to the FTA reduction brings the GTS back to $500 more than their 2012 levels.

The 2015 changes give the GT a reversing camera image on a new 6.1-inch touchscreen monitor that doubles as the control centre for the upgraded audio system.

GTS variants, which are standard with satellite navigation, already have these features.

The audio system also has voice recognition and hands-free operation for a mobile phone, audio streaming, FM radio text, iPod control, USB input, SD card slot and a CD player.

The 86 is covered by Toyota Service Advantage’s capped-price service program costing $190 for each of up to four scheduled services in the first three years or 60,000km. The price represents an increase from the $170 per service announced when the 86 was launched.

Despite sales of the 86 slipping more than the downward trend of the sportscar sector, it remains Australia’s most popular car in that class.

Toyota sold 4257 examples in 2014, down 36.5 per cent on the 6706 cars sold in 2013. But the sportscar segment also fell, down 15.4 per cent in 2014.

This year, sales are down 46.6 per cent to 481 cars compared with the same two-month period in 2014.

Toyota said the 86 had become a cult hero since being launched in mid-2012.

“It has been Australia's best-selling sports car for the past two years with local sales topping 13,000 cars since June 2012 - the third-highest total in the world,” the company said in a statement.

Toyota has announced that the 86 will form the basis of a one-make race series to be known as the Toyota 86 Pro-Am.

“It will be an affordable, grassroots motorsport series to be raced exclusively at V8 Supercars events from next year,” the company said.

“Under the banner Toyota Racing Australia, it will be run as a pro-am. Up to five selected professional drivers will mentor and compete against a larger field of amateur drivers who will have to qualify to get onto the starting grid at each round.” The 86 race cars will be based on the GT manual with key specifications controlled to ensure their suitability and reliability while keeping costs as low as possible.

Toyota 86 pricing*
GT $29,990
GT (a) $32,490 (-$300)
GTS $35,990 (-$500)
GTS (a) $38,490 (-$800)
*Excludes on-road costs.

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