It’s been more than a year since Toyota unveiled the concept version of the FT-86 Coupe at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. During that year, we’ve heard so many reports, rumors, and whispers about the car, that we’re beginning to think that this could very well be the second-coming of Toyota’s iconic Celica line.
We already know that the Toyota FT-86 will come with a Subaru version as a direct result of the collaboration between the two Japanese brands. We’ve also received reports that the FT-86 will come with it’s own factory modified G Sports version. Then there were reports that the Toyota version of the FT-86 will be badged as a Scion.
All these reports have generated major buzz on the sports coupe and we haven’t even talked about it’s release date yet - it’s expected to come out in November of 2011, setting the stage for what promises to be a very busy holiday season for both Toyota and Subaru.
Now, the production version of the FT-86 has yet to be revealed, but the many people that fell in love with the design of the concept version, will be happy to know that, according to Toyota, the production version of the FT-86 will look a whole lot like the concept version with only a few minor modifications to its aerodynamic package.
UPDATE 10/27/2011: With almost two months before its official debut in December at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the first images of the production version FT-86 have surfaced on the internet. The images, some prints of a Japanese magazine, show a car with a slightly less radical front bumper, headlights, side skirts, and rear bumper. The rest of the FT-86 remains pretty much faithful to the concepts we have seen. (AutoBlog.nl)
UPDATE 10/31/2011: Another leaked document has brought us new details on the production version FT-86. It seems that the model will get a 2.0-liter flat-four with a total output of 197 HP at 7,000 rpm and 150 pound-feet of torque at 6,600 rpm and will weight only 2,667 lbs. The model will be offered in two version: High Specs and Low Specs, with the top version featuring a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED accent lighting, a six-speaker audio system, sport pedals and 17" wheels. (FT86Club)
UPDATE 11/27/11: Toyota has unveiled the production FT-86, but under a new name: the GT-86. Check out the full review for the model by clicking here!
More details on the Toyota FT-86 after the jump.
According to the British magazine, Autocar, the production version of the FT-86 will bring the Celica name back to the European and Japanese markets, while coming forth as a Scion in the USA. When talking to the magazine, a Toyota insider said: "86 is likely to be retained in its name somewhere, however, as the car has been conceived as a tribute to Toyota’s classic AE86 Corolla."
Exterior and Interior
Although complete specs and details on the FT-86 have yet to be announced, we’ve pieced together enough information to have an idea of what it’s going to look like. For starters, the car’s overall shape and design was inspired by the Corolla-based AE86 sports coupe that was unveiled in the 80s. The FT-86 is going to be a compact rear-wheel-drive sports coupe with an aerodynamic body that rides low to the ground to improve handling and allow it to cut through the air with ease. The fascia is completely aggressive with long slit-looking headlights giving it a mean and intimidating look.
The FT-86’s interior is as sporty as its outside with a flat-bottomed leather-covered steering wheel with its very own red stitching. In addition to that, it also has aluminum pedals, a navigation system, gauges that light with red neon, digital readouts, and a gray instrument panel that seamlessly molds into the darker dash.
The Toyota FT-86 is powered by a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-four engine, the result of a joint development between Subaru and Toyota. The engine will be combined with D-4S technology (direct injection combined with port injection) that will help increase the output and torque, but will deliver an impressive fuel consumption at the same time. The engine will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual will offer quick and precise shifts with a short-throw, while the automatic transmission will feature sporty shifts controlled by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifts. Power will be distributed effectively to the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential.
The pricing for the car has varied just about every time news about it comes out. It was first reported that it was going to have a price tag of somewhere around $20,000, but recent reports have come out stating that the sports coupe could come at slightly more than $25,000. Either way, 25 grand for a revolutionary new sports coupe from Toyota sounds a lot like a bargain. We’re still going to wait for the performance figures, but all signs point to the car being a popular sell.
The obvious competition of the Toyota FT86 Coupe is its alter-ego with the Subaru badge, the Subaru FT-86. Both cars are expected to look a little different from each other, but performance specs are expected to be right around the same neighborhood. Even if there have been no official debuts for either car – they’re scheduled to have their unveilings later this year at the Tokyo Motor Show - we’re sure that the competition between these two will be heating up with every day that passes.