I came to Geneva rather worried about the fate of the ‘Toyobaru’, the joint sports car project from Toyota and Subaru that made its European debut here a year ago as the FT-86 concept.
Back then, I stood for a good 10 minutes just drooling at the Toyota show car (and how often does that happen?), imagining it with a low-slung, Subaru-sourced boxer powerplant and rear-drive.
But as 2010 progressed, the problems mounted up. First, the price was going to go up. Second, it was delayed. Third, it appeared that Toyota’s designers were struggling with pedestrian impact regulations, forcing up the ultra-low nose of the FT-86 (and making you wonder whether a boxer motor would still be necessary).
Then Subaru, having promised its version of the car for Geneva, turned round and elected to show just the powertrain instead (thanks guys). And last week, the first pic of the revised Toyota looked, er, awkward.
So here’s my verdict. Does the FT-86 II look as good as the original concept? No. There’s something odd about the way it falls away at the tail-gate, and that bulked-up front end looks like a slab compared with the original concept’s super-slim nose.
But do I still want them to build it? Damn right I do.