The Toyota FT-86 concept will be a production reality by 2012, arriving in the UK with a target price of less than £20,000 for the entry level model.
To find out more about the car, which rumours suggest will be formally confirmed for production at the upcoming Geneva motor show, Autocar sent Steve Sutcliffe to meet its designer, Jaromir Cech.
What was the design brief for the car?
The first ideas we had came after some feedback we got from the engineering people. They told us they’d been testing this car, and that it drove just like a go-kart on the track. And so we thought, ‘Well, we need to make a car that looks like it drives like a go-kart.’
So when did you first start designing it?
A little over two years ago, since when the idea has been refined, obviously, but still with those same themes at the centre: driver focus, purity of form and functional beauty.
Were there any influences apart from the original rear-drive Corolla?
The Corolla represents a lot of the FT’s basic design influence, but really there are a number of cars that we looked at, from the Supra to the original MR2.
You were primarily responsible for the interior; which bits are you most proud of, and which aspect do you think will make it into production?
I’m proud of the interior. It’s deliberately extremely driver-orientated and contains quite a few fresh ideas, especially within the modular dash design. I’m not sure whether the zips idea for the doorbins will make it into production — it may prove too difficult to mass-produce — but I hope one day we’ll see something like it in a production Toyota because it’s a simple but also functional solution.And like I say, that’s the key design theme for the whole car: functional beauty. That came right from the very top.