This new FT-86 II concept moves Toyota’s rear-drive coupé closer to production

Toyota has confirmed that it will launch its new rear-drive coupé in 2012 — a car previewed by this latest version of the FT-86 concept at the Geneva show.

Dubbed FT-86 II, the concept is an evolution of the car first seen at Tokyo in autumn 2009. It is claimed by Toyota to be “the clearest indication yet as to the final design of Toyota’s next sports car”.

See official pics of the Toyota FT-86 II concept - now updated with Geneva show pics

The new concept confirms that Toyota’s European design team could not make the original’s ultra-low bonnet line comply with pedestrian impact regulations, despite it being fitted with a Subaru-developed horizontally opposed engine.

Other changes to the original concept include a more heavily sculpted front bumper, a more angular front grille and a deeper front splitter. Strips of LED daytime running lights also feature at the front, and a larger fixed spoiler is added at the rear. There is also a new design for the alloy wheels.

Toyota says the car “doesn’t rely on a heavy, large-displacement powertrain for its performance”. Instead, it has a 2.0-litre engine that is, along with the driving position, set back as far and as low as possible for a low centre of gravity and optimal weight distribution.

Subaru has been Toyota’s development partner in the FT-86 project and has displayed its involvement at Geneva with its Boxer Sports Car Architecture concept. It features a clear plastic body that hints at the car’s eventual design and allows its chassis, engine and suspension package to be showcased.

Mark Tisshaw

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