Toyota will next year fulfil its promise to the world’s car lovers by recreating a range of affordable, sporty Toyotas that bring fun back to driving with its new Toyota FT-86.
In an as-yet unspecified Japanese factory in early 2012, the great grandson of Toyota’s revered founder, Akio Toyoda, will put a low-slung, rear-drive, European-developed 2+2 coupé, the FT-86, into production – in large enough volume to satisfy demand from Toyota’s many markets around the world, including Japan, the US and Europe.
The car will be available with many performance-oriented options, and could be involved in one-make racing, at least in its home country. Starting price in the UK should be close to £25,000 by the time first production cars reach our shores in the second half of next year, and full-house versions could reach the late £20,000s.
Soon after Toyota makes its move, Subaru will unveil a different-looking but mechanically similar coupé, called 086a; the two models are part of a co-operative deal that began with Toyota being allowed to use surplus Subaru manufacturing capacity in the US, and has blossomed into an agreement to create “several cars” together.