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Toyota GT86 to get lightweight RC stripper model

Toyota plans on the new GT86 on helping the massive Japanese automaker grab some attention in the sports car world and to bolster the race-readiness of the new GT86, the least expensive of the new models will be the a lightweight stripped-out model with the trimline designation RC.

The Toyota GT86 RC begins on the outside, where buyers will receive an unpainted front and rear bumper, door handles, and side mirrors while black 16 inch steel wheels replace the standard 17” aluminum wheels and the RC will also not include foglights. Next, Toyota removes the stereo system and speakers, the entire air conditioning assembly, the glove box assembly, the cup holder console inserts, the trim pieces from the steering wheel and shift console, and the footwell lamps. The result is a Toyota GT86 RC that weighs roughly 88 pounds less than the next least expensive GT86 models – and those markets that get the stripper model can expect it to cost quite a bit less with the exclusion of pricey items like the stereo, the wheels, the foglights and the air conditioning system.

The idea is that Toyota expects that many of the GT86 buyers will strip the low-priced sports coupe down in preparation for racing so the GT86 RC does some of the work for the buyers, while also lowering the sticker price. Although we don’t really understand what good not painting the bumpers, mirrors and door handles do as there is very little weight reduction and if the expectation is that buyers will also paint the FT86 RC right away – why not sell the whole car in primer? In any case, the lack of all of those unneeded items makes a substantial reduction in the curb weight while also saving buyers the money on the components that they would tear out anyway.

With the current engine options, the Toyota GT86 lineup won’t be much of a quarter mile missile but with a near perfect weight distribution and a curb weight of just 2,623 pounds for the RC models and starting at 2,711 pounds for the next model up in the trimline list – Toyota expects for this new sports coupe to be very popular with drifting, autocross and road racing.

It looks as though Subaru will also offer a stripper model of the sports car developed jointly with Toyota, although the Subaru BRZ will likely sport the RA designation. We can expect that the BRZ RA will look a little more finished, with painted bumper and items like trim pieces to complete the interior but it will likely do away with items like the air conditioning system and the radio/speakers. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that Americans will get a chance at either of these models, which are currently only intended for the Japanese market. With any luck, Scion will offer a lightweight version of the North America-bound FR-S for those who wish to do more racing than street driving but there has been no official word as to if or when that will happen.