Autocar tours the rear-drive FT-86 concept; plus exclusive photos
23 February 2010

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.

See Autocar's exclusive Toyota FT-86 pictures

In the metal, says Sutcliffe, the charm of the FT-86 is achingly apparent. For starters, it's no more than two-thirds of the size you'd expect it to be. The Audi TT - not a big car - dwarfs it.

Beyond that, the most striking aspect of the car is how low the bonnet line is and how snugly the whole car seems to hug the ground as a result. This is because the engine is derived from Subaru's famous flat-four 2.0-litre 'boxer' unit.

See Autocar's exclusive Toyota FT-86 video

Senior Toyota designer Cech estimates than the bonnet is around 100mm lower than it would be with a conventional four-cylinder engine in place, but cautions: "It won't be quite as low for the production car. Unfortunately, we have to raise it maybe 50mm to meet pedestrian crash protection legislation."

Mechanically, the car is fairly conventional. Suspension is probably wishbones at the front and almost certainly multi-link at the rear, transmission a six-speed manual and the chassis conventional rear-wheel drive.

What will make it special, claims Toyota, is the ultra-light kerb weight, which may be as low as 1250kg in production trim, its purity of response, its handling agility and the fact it will have a proper limited slip differential.

Q&A with Jaromir Cech, Toyota senior designer

Steve Sutcliffe blog - Toyota FT-86 - what you see is what you'll get

Another distinguishing feature will be its interior, and in particular its dashboard, which may even include software that provides data acquisition for a host of circuits.

Sutcliffe concludes that the FT-86 is a deadly serious attempt to take a slice of the lucrative affordable coupe market , as well as recapture and repackage the DNA that made Toyota's cars so popular in the past. "The sooner it goes into production, the better," he says.

For the full Toyota FT-86 story, buy this week's Autocar magazine, on sale now.

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Toyota reviews, news and video

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Comments
55

19 February 2010

[quote Autocar]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.

See Autocar's exclusive Toyota FT-86 pictures...Read the full article[/quote] 1250kg is lightweight? My old MK11 Scirocco went well, and it could seat 4 or two and carry a bike. What did the GTI weigh? 830kg. One gets the feeling Toyota have a long way to before creating a true drivers car. Time to call in the folk at Lotus me thinks (well they are using their engines - surely some dialogue about lighweight could be started).

19 February 2010

Is this supposed to be the spiritual successor to the MR2?

For some reason I just cant get on board with Toyota's styling - Concepts are supposed to have design flair but I even find this rather bland - The "toned down" production model would just be another blend into the background toyota.

I guess it might be good competition for the MX-5? TO be honest though I'm not really a fan of these micro sports cars. Granted, they handle well but they just seem a bit Girly. If I wanted a sports car, I'd want somthing real sized like an SL or maybe a mustang :)

19 February 2010

With both Toyota and Subaru taking a crack at this, there's some hope for a good outcome. But I don't "feel" the Toyota version yet; there's still too much show car gimmickry in these latest pictures.

And what's with the zippers on the dashboard cover?

19 February 2010

What a gorgeous car, sleek, low and lightweight by modern standards, if the drivetrain and handling are somewhere close to the class best then this will be an absolute cracker!

With the TT moving towards 30 grand it will also have a place in the market and a good chance to sell in numbers.

Hyundai Coupe instead anyone??? No, I thought not!

19 February 2010

haha I wonder if the brakes will work!

19 February 2010

[quote Mr£4worth]1250kg is lightweight? My old MK11 Scirocco went well, and it could seat 4 or two and carry a bike. What did the GTI weigh? 830kg. One gets the feeling Toyota have a long way to before creating a true drivers car. Time to call in the folk at Lotus me thinks (well they are using their engines - surely some dialogue about lighweight could be started).[/quote]

Yeah yeah yeah . . And your old MK11 Scirocco had all the crash protection

of a damp paper bag. . . That's why the new one ( the 2.0 TSI GT ) weighs 1298 kg.

Sounds like Toyota are to be congratulated

19 February 2010

It is a really pretty car but I'd question whether there is a market for a really small coupe, certainly in the UK. Part of the point of a coupe is that you can throw a weekend bag in the boot, place your partner in the passenger seat and head for the hills on a Saturday morning, and a modern coupe has to be big enough to do that. There was, apparently, little market enthusiasm for the Smart Roadster/Coupe while Toyota itself will probably remember that sales of the last MR2 were hanstrung by it not having any luggage space to speak of at all.

19 February 2010

Small. Light. Front engined RWD. A real LSD. What's not to like? A welcome addition to the current wide choice of umm, an MX5.

19 February 2010

I do not want to unzip my dashboards, thank you, Toyota. Knowing you, it'll only get stuck at the wrong time sending me piling off a bridge.

The days when zips in cars were the new whiz-bang technology are long gone. If manufacturers wish to zip-up anything, zip-up something under the bonnet.

This would greatly reduce servicing costs as a quick zip-down-brake-lining-in-zip-up would make the whole thing so easy that even that man off Sky News who was interviewed by Evil Kay Burnley could do it.

'Course, you won't, will you, Toyota? No. Because that'd give the power back to the little person, wouldn't it.

You make me sick.

19 February 2010

Looks good, but what was once excitement has turned into complete disinterest having read the outrageous claim of 1250kgs weight being ultra light. I was hoping for 1000kgs.

This toyota tub of lard needs burning.

the last celica 4 seat coupe was 1145kgs, and they didnt claim that to be ultra light, so how can it's special design replacement be far heavier and be called ultra light? pathetic.

I wish i could be more scathing in how bad i think this car is now.

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