Less than two months after Subaru dropped the price of its BRZ sports car, Toyota has followed suit with the GT86.
Prices for the boxer-engined, rear-drive coupe now start from £22,995, a cut of £2115. Subaru’s BRZ, built in the same Ota-city plant in Japan, kicks off at £22,495.
The price drop comes courtesy of a new entry-level GT86 ‘Primo’ model, which misses out on the regular GT86’s rear spoiler, keyless entry, cruise control and the option of an auto gearbox but still gets all the bits that matter: a limited-slip diff, air-con and the Toyota Touch multimedia system with Bluetooth. A limited £500-off introductory offer sees the Primo’s price tag temporarily set at £22,495.
Has anything else about the Toyota GT86 changed?
Nothing major, but there are a few trim and equipment tweaks. Tyre pressure monitoring is now standard throughout the range, as is a shark-fin aerial and a dubious new faux carbon finish for the dashboard.
There’s now a total of four GT86 models offered in the UK. Alongside the Primo and the regular GT86, there’s a newly added GT86 Aero and limited-edition GT86 Giallo.
The Aero is equipped with the outlandishly spoilered bodykit previously offered in other countries, together with a set of 18-inch OZ alloys but despite the go-faster styling doesn’t include any performance upgrades to make it actually go faster.
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, the Giallo edition comes with yellow paintwork joined by heated black leather seats and gloss black mirrors, while those who want to make the car stand out even more can add stripe decals across the bonnet and roof as a no-cost option. Giallo versions will be limited to a run of 86 cars (GT86, geddit?), all with manual gearboxes.
Why has Toyota dropped the price?
In Toyota’s words, the range has been extended both up and down to design a broader price structure. But it's hard not to look past the need to give sales of its rear-drive coupe a shot in the arm. The GT86 shifted 1772 units in Britain in 2013, but 873 in 2014 (year-to-date figures to September).
That’s a shame, because while it’s not perfect the GT86 is a great sports car. If it’s not selling strongly despite the critical acclaim it received upon its initial launch (we’re fans – read our first drive here), that’s worrying news for the sports car species as a whole.
As the new November 2014 issue of CAR magazine explains, sports car sales globally are reported to have dropped by 28% from pre-recession levels. If a really good, and really affordable, one isn’t catching on, what hope for the rest of the genre?
New Toyota GT86 prices
GT86 Primo £22,995
GT86 £24,995 (automatic version £25,995)
GT86 Aero £27,495 (automatic version £28,495)
GT86 Giallo £27,495