Toyota has started work on a low-cost rear-drive hot hatch

Toyota has started work on turning a hot hatch concept into a low-cost, rear-wheel-drive coupé.

The car is being made in tribute to the firm’s chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse, who was killed recently in a road accident near the Nürburgring.

See pictures of the GRMN Hot Hatch Concept

The new model, based on the GRMN Hot Hatch Concept, revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon at the start of this year, is designed to offer more affordable performance and desirability than the FT-86, which has been delayed and given an inflated price since being approved for production.

The idea of a front-engined, rear-drive model for young enthusiasts was said to be a pet project of Hiromu Naruse, who died at the wheel of a Lexus LFA he’d been testing.

When asked at the Auto Salon what his young engineers wanted to build, he said, “A car that is a blast to drive and rear-wheel drive. And priced low enough to get younger buyers into it."

See the pictures from the Tokyo Auto Salon

The Hot Hatch Concept was developed on existing platforms and engines, in a bid to keep down its costs.

Based on the Aygo, it features a Daihatsu-sourced 1.5-litre engine that drives the rear wheels, and it weighs less than 1000kg.

It has relatively sophisticated double wishbone rear suspension but is expected to sell for less than 1.4 million yen (£10,250).

Toyota has now decided to slot a model based on these principles into its range beneath the FT-86.

The GRMN team has been given the brief of ‘fun to drive’ and ‘cheap’ for the car, which could be built at the same factory in Osaka that makes the 660cc Daihatsu Copen.

It could well beat the FT-86 to market, too. Insiders suggest it will go on sale in 2012, priced £8000-£10,000 less than its bigger brother.

Peter Lyon

See all the latest Toyota reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
15

10 August 2010

wow, a lot of good news for me in terms of nice new cars coming out with just my style, small, fun, lightweight and cheap.

with the concept already declared a tribute, that means its a certainty to be built and sold and made available to as many youngsters a possible, and rwd!

amazing gift from toyota, as its actually a very brave company action to take.

but an action that is, to me, a great one. and i think it can achieve good success in sales.

i have been wishing for this for many years, and now it seems Hiromu Naruse had the same wishes.

10 August 2010

My car ( vw lupo gti) is 975kgs standard with a 1.6 125bhp engine with 6spd manual close ratio gearbox. ace!

the only thing i would like better is for a more sleeker coupe shape and of course rwd. and a bit more power and a bit less weight as standard.

but i realise wanting that bit extra can push the price up and insurance pressure for young drivers, but what do you call young?

i just hope at least its lighter and more powerful than my lupo, which came out over 10 years ago after all. (shows how good it was though)

there is something i need to know, do young japanese drivers absoloutely demand air condiitoning, even if it meant paying a lot more for their new car?

i hope air con is against the ethos of Hiromu Naruse.

10 August 2010

[quote beachland2]just my style[/quote]

You must be confused, Toyotas dont have style.

They are unsure of the meaning of the word. Its offten to be confused with Mind Numbingly Bland by Toyotas design team.

10 August 2010

Excellent news! Maybe this car can have the success the Smart Roadster would have had (had it been equipped with a functioning gearbox).

Look how the MX-5 has sold in droves and reinvented Mazda's image over the last 20 years. This could do the same for Toyota; along with the FT86, finally taking it away from its recent reputation for making drab "white goods" cars.

10 August 2010

2 new sports cars with engines under 2.0. finaly after all the trouble they have had with them, they have given the two fingers to the american market. seems like they are calling the shots now?

or are those pre-emptive words, will the American market version not have a 1.5 engine but a 3.0 V8?

PHB

10 August 2010

there have been track oriented cars sold without aircon before like Honda ep3 or dc5, but good luck trying to sell such a car now. Actually good luck surviving a Japanese summer of both insane heat and traffic jams without aircon. Being stuck in traffic for five hours or more is still common.

10 August 2010

Both an ep3 civic and dc5 integra would sell in a heartbeat - very desireable cars that are still worth a bit now considering their age and initial selling price - so that point was a bit rubbish tbh.

10 August 2010

[quote Autocar]The car is being made in tribute to the firm’s chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse, who was killed recently in a road accident near the Nürburgring.[/quote]

Died how?

PHB

10 August 2010

[quote rodenal]rodenal wrote the following post at Tue, Aug 10 2010 9:04 AM:

Both an ep3 civic and dc5 integra would sell in a heartbeat - very desireable cars that are still worth a bit now considering their age and initial selling price - so that point was a bit rubbish tbh.

[/quote]

my post was in reply to the comment about aircon being a requirement in the Japanese market. No aircon would pretty much be a killer and that was meant in that context. I'd buy either one if available new.

10 August 2010

Excellent news - compare and contrast with Honda's abandonment of cars with any hint of desirability, as epitomised by today's announcement.

And fhp11, shut up, will you ...

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week