What's it like to drive?
Once pinned into the tiny, low-slung racer with five wide straps, the T86 starts to feel like a racer... though turning a key isn't exactly F1! The exhaust noise, though, is pure race car – loud, shrill and urgent inside the cabin, it's intoxicating.
It feels more lively and wired, too, once on track. The grippy Dunlops are quick to respond, and come up to temperature within a couple of corners. They're grooved, too, so they can be used in the wet.
In a nutshell, the modifications to the T86RS bring the little car to glorious, entertaining life.
It's easy to get the T86RS up to speed, and it's a wonderfully engaging and forgiving track toy. It could use a little more mid-range torque; it can fall out of its powerband easily, and needs to be driven at the top of the rev range to get the most out of it.
In a nutshell, the modifications to the T86RS bring the little car to glorious, entertaining life. The DMS suspension is surprisingly supple and responsive; Neal Bates says it's deliberately softer to help the grooved tyres grip better and live longer.
The relatively huge four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and bigger brake discs also provide loads of feedback through the middle pedal, and the upgraded clutch is no more difficult to use than the stocker.
The trick to eking out the last few tenths of a second from a lap time, according to our co-driver and rally ace Harry Bates, is being smooth and precise, and not letting the rear end slide around too much. The relative lack of power means that if you waste forward momentum by sliding, you'll burn seconds on the stopwatch.