The latest iteration of the Toyota FT-86 Open concept has been unveiled at the Tokyo motor show.
Although officially a concept, Toyota is gauging reaction to the idea of an open-top GT86. The production-ready looks of the concept suggest that a fabric-roofed GT86 should soon become a reality.
The firm says "further engineering evaluation" must be undertaken on the FT-86 Open concept - FT standing for Future Toyota - for it to become a production reality. Rigidity, balance, weight and aerodynamics are the areas that require additional work.
Toyota hints that the GT86's transition from coupé to convertible should be relatively straightforward, because the coupé was 'package protected' in its design and engineering, through parts such as frameless doors, to be turned into a convertible.
“There is an inevitable loss in rigidity when you take the roof away,” said a source, “but it’s not pronounced.” Structural reinforcements have been employed in the car’s rocker panels and around its A pillar and front bulkhead.
Final production versions of the convertible derivative of the Toyota GT86 should carry less than 100kg in overall weight penalty, the firm says.
At the same time, chassis rates will be reappraised for a smoother, freer-flowing ride. “It’s not as simple as just lowing spring and damper rates,” said our source, “but we’re confident we can achieve a more laid-back compromise, as well as slightly less reactive handling, which convertible customers will want.”