Iconic name may be revived for rear-wheel-drive sports coupe
Steve Cropley Autocar
22 October 2009

Toyota's new rear-wheel-drive sports coupe could be called the Celica, autocar.co.uk has learned.

The concept version of the car, which is being co-developed by Toyota and Subaru and is due to go on sale in 2012, was unveiled at this week's Tokyo motor show.

The concept, badged FT-86 in homage to the Toyota Corolla AE-86 GT, is being developed to increase the company's credibility among young Japanese buyers.

As a result, the Celica name is reported to be being evaluated by Toyota as its history resonates with its target audience. However, no final decisions on the name have bene made.

Toyota has charge of the car's concept and design, while Subaru is supplying hardware including the engine, six-speed gearbox and possibly suspension. The car will also be built at Subaru factories, as it has spare capacity at present.

However, the car, which engineers describe as front mid-engined because the engine is so short and can be cited so far back, sits on a new rear-drive platform, which can be adapted to four-wheel drive, an option Subaru is said to be evaluating.

The short, low engine has other benefits; designers suggest that it will allow them to apply a radically low bonnet line on the car, giving it strikingly different looks.

Speculation at the Tokyo motor show suggested the car will be powered by both normally aspirated and turbocharged versions of improved Subaru engines, and be priced to undercut the rival Nissan 370Z at a starting price of around £22,000.

Join the debate


22 October 2009

I thought low bonnets were illegal these days?

22 October 2009

[quote beachland2] I thought low bonnets were illegal these days?[/quote]

Not necessarily with a naturally aspirated boxer engine under the hood!

22 October 2009

[quote beachland2] I thought low bonnets were illegal these days?

You’re referring to pedestrian protection right? Low bonnets aren’t illegal it’s just that you need a certain amount of room under them before the headform (yeah right!) hits something. Flat-4s are lower. It’s more complex than that anyway. I can’t work out the various target areas just by looking at it I’m afraid.

22 October 2009

Low bonnets aren't illegal, as mentioned above they just make it harder to meet the new pedestrian requirements. Manufacturers like Citroen (C6), Jaguar (XK/XF) and Nissan (GTR) use pyrotechnic bonnets that raise if an impact is detected; allowing them to design less space under the bonnet and have it lower.

22 October 2009

[quote Autocar]Toyota's new rear-wheel drive sports coupe could be called the Celica,[/quote]

Dont care if they call it Celica , Semootha , or Sa nice a , as long as they make it. A rose by any other name ....

22 October 2009

It seems like a cross between an MR2 and a Celica... .... Its nearly mid engined according to the article (front-mid), so surely MR2 is closer to being correct.

Its much more similar to the MR2 two generations ago rather than the last gen one.... hmmmm.

22 October 2009

[quote Nigelo] It seems like a cross between an MR2 and a Celica... .... Its nearly mid engined according to the article (front-mid), so surely MR2 is closer to being correct.[/quote]

How many 4 seat MR2 were made?

MR2 is a lightweight car, celica and are bigger and heavier just as this new car is. its 1200kgs, thats family car weight.

There will be something smaller and 2 seater for an MR2 replacement. About 1000kgs or so...

23 October 2009

Must be a VERY clever engine if it can be 'cited'

23 October 2009

I'm sorry, but the name "Celica" just reminds me of middle of the road 4 seat coupes... This thing looks brilliant. They should have the balls to give it a new name.

23 October 2009

[quote beachland2]How many 4 seat MR2 were made?[/quote]

Hence the fact I said it was a cross between an celica and an MR2. More haste to be cheeky, less speed to be clever.

looking back through the previous generations of celicas, its been interesting looking at how its evolved... Quite a few generations show very big changes in direction for the car.

I don't see an MR2 coming... this new coupe seems more like a catch-all. If it was heavier, say 1400kg, like a RX8, then maybe there'd be more room in the model range. But look at the mazda mx5, its still weighs in at around 1100kg.

Still, you never know for sure!


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