Additional 50 pictures of 'Toyobaru' concept leak on to the internet
21 October 2009

More pictures of the rear-wheel-drive sports coupe that Toyota and Subaru have been co-developing have leaked on to the internet.

In this unusual joint venture, Toyota and Subaru will each produce their own versions of the car, with sales kicking off in late 2011. Subaru will build all the cars at its Gunma factory in Japan and Subaru’s naturally aspirated 2.0-litre flat four will provide the power for both cars.

See the full hi-res Toyota FT-86 RWD sports car concept picture gallery

See the 'Toyobaru' spy photos

See the hi-res sketches of the Subaru coupe

Toyota's new RWD coupe revealed

This concept car, badged FT-86, is the Toyota version and is very similar to the proposed production car. The company will be relying on it to restore driver appeal to the Toyota line-up, something that’s been missing since the demise of the Celica and MR2.

It’s also a car Toyota sees as rekindling the spirit of its one of its old 1980s stars: the similarly codenamed AE-86 Corolla GT, whose easily driftable rear-wheel-drive chassis and eager 1.6-litre twin-cam engine has made it an enduring hero in Japan.

This is a project Toyota has wanted to do for some time now, in order to improve its image and increase its credibility with young Japanese drivers, who have become increasingly less interested in cars in recent years. But for a number of reasons, including the lack of a suitably sporty engine, Toyota’s money men kept it in limbo.

Toyota also wants to keep the car affordable.A target price of ¥2 million (£14,000 at current rates) is the ideal, but with two years still to go until production that could yet change. A price of about £18k is more likely in the UK.

The car’s styling is credited to Toyota’s ED2 studio in the south of France. The profile shows the clear influence of the FT-HS, Toyota’s 2007 hybrid show concept, with elements of the Nissan 370Z visible in the roofline.

Toyota is keen to push the car’s driver appeal and what it terms ‘emotional performance’, describing the car as small, light and easy to control. At 4160mm long and 1760mm wide, it’s slightly shorter and narrower than an Audi TT, and at 1260mm high it’s also lower.

Under the bonnet is the current Subaru 2.0-litre flat four, as used in the Impreza, but by the time the coupé goes into production it may use the next-generation boxer unit. The current engine produces 146bhp and 141lb ft of torque, but the new engine could go up to 160bhp, with lower CO2 emissions. A turbo would increase performance but would also increase the price.

The Subaru engine has several advantages. It’s compact, light, smooth and nicely balanced. But more critical for Toyota is the structure of the unit, which allows engineers to keep the car’s centre of gravity low. The gearbox will be a conventional six-speed manual.

Toyota says the coupé is based on “an all-new platform”, although there has been speculation that this will be a shortened Impreza chassis converted to rear-wheel drive.

The FT-86 has struts at the front with rear double wishbones, as does the Impreza.Keeping the weight down will be crucial. Toyota was able to build this car’s antecedent, the Corolla GT coupé, to weigh 960kg, but this time it will be nearer 1200kg. The FT-86 officially seats four, but in reality it’s going to be a 2+2. The show car’s interior, decked out in grey, has some unusual touches, such as a big, oval instrument panel, with minor controls and unusually slim air vents mounted on the console and dashboard.

Toyota won’t confirm that the final production car will look exactly like the FT-86, and things may change in the next couple of years. But the car is already at the running prototype stage, and if development goes according to plan it could be unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo motor show, with an on-sale date in 2012.

Peter Nunn

See the full hi-res Toyota FT-86 RWD sports car concept picture gallery

See the 'Toyobaru' spy photos

See the hi-res sketches of the Subaru coupe

Toyota's new RWD coupe revealed

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Comments
18

16 October 2009

If you live anywhere where it snows in the winter time or ices up, this car will be absolutely useless.

16 October 2009

"Lack of a suitably sporty engine"....

Really? I would have thought that the existing high reving 1.8litre unit (190bhp natural; 217bhp with mild supercharging) would have been far more suitable than the not particularly powerful natural aspirated boxer unit...

16 October 2009

Maybe the reason is because that 1.8 is not economic enough, and perhaps the boxer is low centre of gravity giving it the sporty edge, will have more torque too from the 2.0

16 October 2009

I'm sure toyota will want not want to stop at this celica replacement, they must have an MR2 type car on the way?

16 October 2009

[quote HyundaiSmoke]

If you live anywhere where it snows in the winter time or ices up, this car will be absolutely useless.

[/quote]get real buy a 4x4 if you need it that bad.

Really nice design hope the production version isn't to watered down from this.

16 October 2009

it looks like a hyundai coupe

16 October 2009

Most definitely could have been better. Let's just hope that next iteration would be an improvement.

One thing which has been bothering me lately is the ever increasing size of Toyota's logo, or what ever they are called, on their new vehicles. Of all the companies which use logos/emblems on the front and back end of their cars, at least presently, Toyota's logo would most definitely come out as winner in terms of size compared to that of the vehicle. Is some sort of identity crisis fueling this desire to make it ever more visible or some other psychological disorder at play?

16 October 2009

Volkswagen have increased the size of their logo quite often and no one seems to mind.both these manafacturers are numbers one and two worldwide.identity crisis??i think not!!!!

17 October 2009

A Plain Front Wheel Drive Sub Compact even from a Chinese manufacturer with the right tires will hand the snow just fine.

You Brits know little of snow, Four Wheel Drive in a plain jane snowstorm is overkill, unless it is a Blizzard dumping a Meter (3 feet 1.5 inches=37.5 inches) or more. Still, Most Front Wheel Drive Sub Compacts can stand even up to that with the right tires.

17 October 2009

I saw many Mustangs, and Chargers banged up in the ditch last winter. The Interstate was quite deadly last Winter, and behind every problem was a Rear Wheel Drive car or Truck. Never fails!!!! RWDs from American, Japanese, and European brands lived in the ditch on the side of a Cold Snow Covered icy Windy Interstate. 50 MPH winds Blowing off the Vehicles, blowing at -30C. Could you Imagine your Girl your Wife being stuck like that on the side of the highway while being cut and bruised up?

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