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86 rockets to Number 1 with Kiwi sports car fans

The arrival of the celebrated Toyota 86 sports coupe in New Zealand has been met with unprecedented enthusiasm, making it the country's number one selling sports car.

With a continually widening lead over its nearest rivals in the performance car segment, the 86 has enjoyed huge popularity with a diverse Kiwi audience since its launch 12 months ago.

Toyota's headline-generating, rear-wheel drive sports coupe has established itself as a credible performance car boasting mass appeal. High spec GT86 models are proving most popular, with buyers opting for a relatively even mix of both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions (46 percent versus 54 percent respectively of sales to date).

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell says, "Since launch, the 86 range has exceeded all expectations. By December last year we were 36 percent ahead of our original sales target. Jump forward to today and we've put over 270 enthusiastic owners into their very own 86.

"Make no mistake; this is an exceptional performance car that has totally reinvigorated the sports car market in New Zealand. Now with the arrival of the super affordable, fully customisable 86 RC, we're upping the ante and extending the range further, giving its growing fan base even greater choice. The 86 has comprehensively established itself as a genuinely dynamic car for a fantastic price."

Following on from the 86's proven sales success, Toyota has announced competitive pricing and an innovative online customisation programme for the new entry-level 86 RC (Race Competition) addition to the award-winning line-up.

Retailing exclusively online throughwww.the86.co.nz at an affordable internet-only base price of $33,986, customers can spec their 86 RC within a completely virtual showroom. Choosing from an extensive range of colour accent options, sports decal profiles, factory TRD performance components, body kit enhancements and instrumentation, customers can design and own a uniquely styled 86 unlike any other example on New Zealand roads, fully backed by Toyota's extensive dealer network and top quality after-sales support.

The 86 RC gives Kiwi sports car fans the chance to create their own statement with a brand new Toyota 86 that arrives ready for customisation; a sports-orientated 'blank canvas' to tune, paint and accessorise in any way desired.

In addition to numerous international plaudits received since its launch, the Toyota 86 capped off its first year on sale by winning the title of 2012 New Zealand Car of the Year. The model topped voting across 10 finalists assessed by the New Zealand Motoring Writers' Guild, who partnered with the New Zealand Automobile Association in the awards for the first time in 2012. The 86 also won the Sports/Performance category award.

Further details on the 86 range, including the new 86 RC and the full spectrum of customisation options, can be found atwww.the86.co.nz.