The long-awaited production versions of the co-developed Toyota FT-86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes will finally be revealed at next month’s Tokyo motor show, ahead of their UK launches next summer. Power for both models comes courtesy of a Subaru-derived flat-four engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed automatic will be optional.
Power outputs, however, will differ with a Subaru-spec ECU liberating the BRZ’s power to “less than 300bhp,” compared with the FT-86’s 200bhp figure.
The coupes will use a limited slip-differential and will be almost mechanically identical. External differences between the pair will remain subtle and centre around different wheel designs and small changes to the front grille.
The FT-86 is designed to rekindle Toyota’s appeal among enthusiast drivers and inspired by the rear-drive 1980s Corolla AE86 favoured by drifting experts. Toyota is promising a low kerb weight; the target is 200kg lighter than a Volkswagen Scirocco, which suggests it will be close to 1100kg.
Key components such as the dampers will be of a higher specification than is usual at its £20,000 price point, and the handling is being tuned with a European favour. The stability control system, for example, will allow a degree of drift before intervening.
Subaru has confirmed to Autocar that there won’t be a turbocharged version or an all-wheel-drive BRZ and a convertible version has been ruled out. Prices are still unknown, but expect a price tag of £25,000 given its extra power and the fact Subaru sells its cars in the UK through an importer.
After the FT-86’s launch, Toyota will switch its attentions to developing even more sporting models given there are signs that sales in its key US market are recovering. There are suggestions that Toyota is dusting off plans for a new Supra.
Toyota floated the idea of a new flagship coupé with the FT-HS concept at the Detroit show in 2007, but the global recession put the idea on hold.
In addition, with Toyota’s sales in the US still lagging behind Ford’s, there are suggestions that the two-seat MR2 could be rejuvenated to add some sparkle to the brand. However, insiders say there are no immediate plans to revive the MR2, which hasn’t been on sale for six years.