Toyota will build a small sports saloon as "insurance policy" in case its FT-86 coupe fails

Toyota plans to spin a new small sports saloon off the rear-drive platform that will underpin its FT-86 as an “insurance policy” if the coupé never makes it into production.

The FT-86, co-developed with Subaru, has been postponed until 2013 due to “economic reasons”.

See exclusive pics of Toyota FT-86

Toyota is looking at ways of applying the FT-86’s platform to a sports saloon to cover any shortfall in FT-86 sales while, at the same time, making the most of the rare rear-wheel drive platform.

Industry figures in Japan have suggested that the sports saloon project is a safety net, just in case the FT-86 fails.

One source told Autocar that the saloon would get the same 197bhp Subaru 2.0-litre boxer engine and six-speed manual transmission (or CVT) as the coupé.

Read more on the Toyota FT-86, including pics and video

The saloon is expected to slot between the BMW 1-series and 3-series in size. It should cost about £20,000 in Japan when sales start in 2013.

Toyota also has the option of bringing the Subaru Outback’s 3.6-litre flat six engine to the saloon.

But by the time the sports saloon and FT-86 appear in 2013, Subaru will have launched its own hybrid boxer powertrain.

This will create yet another opportunity for Toyota. Petrol-electric versions of the RWD pair would be far more exciting to drive than any of Toyota’s current hybrids.

Peter Lyon

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Join the debate


14 September 2010

2013? What next for the FT-86? I'll be drawing my pension by the time that thing eventually comes out. My money is on the project dying in late 2011 and scaring Toyota off ever building anything fun again when they should have had this in the market this year with a cheap, 2.0 4 cylinder boxer and a low price tag - 35mpg is fine as long as the sticker price is low.

14 September 2010

I really like the look of this, and for once it appears to be a sports model with good visibility.

Will current pedestrian impact considerations allow such a sleek front end, though?

14 September 2010

This concept should be in production now!!!! a company with this much resources should be able to move things along much quicker.if the final car and saloon look this good they have a winner

14 September 2010

[quote Flash Harry]This concept should be in production now!!![/quote]

Yeah Toyota! Put the pedal to the carpet! Erm, well, maybe a little more time then...

But the name - what is FT-86? Just call it Celica and be done with it.

14 September 2010

[quote MHanna]But the name - what is FT-86? [/quote] First Thought of in 1986

14 September 2010

The "86" comes from the original 1986 Toyota Corolla AE86 coupe, which was a very popular drift car owing to its RWD setup, low weight and pricing. It has iconic status in Japan, like a Capri or Mustang. Wikipedia it for more information.

14 September 2010

That looks as if a corporate grille in the making ...

14 September 2010

3 years is a long time and will look aged by that time and the technology will be very old hat by then and will be outdated and get out performed by everyone else.

Sod the economic climate bring it out ASAP see what the reaction is and if it fails have the saloon body ready to bolt on.

2013 is a long time to wait to see if the car will be a big hit or a sinking ship.

14 September 2010

This is the car Toyota should use, if and when they re-enter the WRC. Rather than the boring Auris/Yaris hatch.

14 September 2010

Good news from Toyota.

Come back in WRC!

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