TOYOTA FT-86 'TOYOBARU' REVEALED
Toyota-Subaru joint venture coupe gets rear drive and 2.0 boxer power
Although officially still a concept, the FT-86 is said to be very close to the production version of Toyota’s half of the joint-venture sports coupe project.
Reports say the compact rear-drive Toyota will be built by Subaru alongside the latter company’s own version of the project. Both cars will share a Subaru-sourced 2.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-four engine.
The production version of the FT-86 will be the first genuinely sporty Toyota since the demise of the MR2 in early 2007.
Design-wise, the FT-86 owes a great deal to the FT-HS hybrid concept from the 2007 Detroit show, although it is much smaller. The FT-HS was conceived as a spiritual successor to the larger Toyota Supra and, although the FT-86 shares the same front-engine rear-drive layout, it is a whole class of coupe lower.
Although Toyota says the car is indeed close to the production version, you can expect smaller wheels and a more subdued interior (which Toyota says ‘expresses modern feel with minimal coverage of the highly refined structural components evoking enthusiasm for cruising’) by the time the Toyobaru hits dealers.
The Toyobaru’s diminutive stance and an anticipated sub-£20k price should put it directly up against the new Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe, which is due in the middle of 2010.