The JDM GT-86 RC base model. Bring it.
Today in the national papers’s automotive supplements, Toyota announced the pricing for the upcoming GT-86 for Finland. While the US market will get the FR-S for 25k USD and the UK market will get theirs for 25k GBP, the Finnish out-the-door price has been set at a bold 46 624 EUR – for starters. That is around 62 000 dollars. Well played, I say – aggressive pricing should not mean you set the base price around 10 000 EUR too high.
The aforementioned price is for the well-equipped, so-called base model which includes a dual-zone climate control, keyless go, 17″ alloy wheels, LED DRL:s and an electronic touchscreen kitchen sink. This is completely wrong. As a nation, we’re accustomed to properly base base models. We need nothing. We require nothing except a block heater plug and studded winter tires – the rest is costly flab.
So, Toyota should start the pricing with the pictured Japanese market RC model, designed to be stripped anyway. As it’s a racing car starting point, it’s delivered with black bumpers and 16″ steel wheels. This matches the Finnish buyer’s mindset completely; what matters is there and nothing else. One can buy a set of aftermarket wheels for the summer; the 16″ steelies are perfect for wintertime use.
Here’s a photo of the interior of the completely standard Subaru BR-Z RA model, which corresponds to the RC GT-86. It looks exactly how a Finnish-specification car should look like, all hard-wearing cloth and no-nonsense trimmings. It should come without a radio, so the buyer would spec an affordable single-CD player himself; A/C should be part of a separate package but the car should also be offered without it. One thing is crucial, though; heater controls absolutely must be sliders, not turnable knobs – and the windows should be manually cranked.
But to be honest, Toyota (and Subaru) already make the base-base RC/RA model. It suits the Finnish gravel-road mindset better than well. If the GT-86 only comes overly well specified, it’ll remain a rarity and it’ll never match the Celica, let alone the revered AE-86 that was gloriously base when sold here. Bring the stripper special here, I say. Price it properly and it’ll shift units.
[Images: Revivalsportscars.com, AutoSmug.com]
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