We’ve all dreamed of being a racing driver. And now, thanks to Toyota Australia and the Toyota 86 Racing Series, you can compete in your very own Toyota 86 racing car…
Based on either an entry-level GT or a flagship GTS, each T86RS race car is prepared identically.
This means every car in the field has the same rear seats stripped out of it, this full cage installed, along with these bucket seats. All cars also get the same Motec ECU, a new exhaust system, race-spec suspension and brakes, and are also running the same controlled wheel and tyre package, comprising 18-inch OZ Racing alloys and Dunlop tyres. Now, just before we jumped in this, we got to do a couple of laps in a standard Toyota 86. And as fun as that car is, the first thing you notice is the noise of this thing. It sounds fantastic.
Now, with the interior as stripped out as it is, apart from the noise, means that this is about 20-30kg lighter than your standard 86.
While realistically, driving like this, you don’t really notice that too much. What you do notice is just how much more planted this car is and how much more traction you’ve got - lateral grip but also coming out of the corners.
The engine itself, while it does gain a little bit more power and torque - a bit meatier in the mid-range thanks to that ECU - realistically it’s just that throttle response that’s even more immediate than the road car. Which is already pretty exceptional.
The turn-in is beautiful though. The feedback is still everything you’d expect out of a racecar based on a pretty sensational road car.
It just sits nice and flat, and you’ve got a really solid feeling brake pedal, which just inspires confidence.
It’s plenty fast too. It’s just an absolute joy to drive. It’s so much fun.
All I want to do is put number plates on it and drive it home.
Toyota Australia reckons you could be out there on the grid in your own T86RS for around $70,000. And while that might be a smidge more than the $30,000 you might pay for a base 86, if you’ve always wanted to live out that dream of being the racing car driver, it’s well worth a crack… especially given there’s $50,000 up for grabs for the winner of the series.