Ballooning development costs will result in a more expensive Toyota FT-86 when it arrives late next year, according to an insider close to Toyota.
When the concept was unveiled at last year’s Tokyo motor show, a Toyota engineer said that the company was aiming for an entry-level price in Japan of around £13,000.
But the R&D team is now more focused on minimising fuel consumption and producing the cleanest engine possible; the Subaru boxer engine planned for the car is not considered to be that clean or fuel-efficient. That could force the Japanese price up to around £15,000, with the range-topper costing £17,000.
The hike in the cost moves the FT-86 further away from the original concept of a cheap, entry-level sports car and will no doubt be a disappointment to the people within Toyota who fought hard to get the project approved by bosses.
The car is also likely to be marketed to older buyers than originally planned, too. The head of Toyota’s newly created sports vehicle department, Tetsuya Tada, told Autocar that his team had increased the target age group by 10 years, from the 30s to 40s, after market research revealed that fewer younger buyers would opt for the sleek coupé than first thought.