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by Tim Beissmann

The Toyota FT-86 II Concept has turned heads as the star of Toyota Australia’s stand at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.

The FT-86 II Concept provides us with the best look yet at Toyota’s upcoming front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car, which is set to go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of next year.

Rumours suggest the new model might simply be called the Toyota 86 when it finally arrives in showrooms, with Toyota Motor Corporation officially registering the name as a trademark in Australia on June 18, 2010. Toyota also still has the rights to the ‘Celica’ nameplate, and is understood to be investigating other options for the final name.

The production FT-86 will be powered by a 2.0-litre Subaru horizontally opposed boxer engine with Toyota D-4S direct injection technology. It will be teamed with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

Although performance data is yet to be revealed, Toyota says the Subaru collaboration will lead to improved power and torque without sacrificing fuel consumption and environmental performance.

The FT-86 II is 4235mm long (2570mm wheelbase), 1795mm wide and 1270mm tall, making it 15mm shorter (20mm shorter wheelbase), 50mm thinner and 45mm lower than the Nissan 370Z.

Toyota is still to reveal a number of details about the production version of the FT-86 II, including pricing, specification levels and engine performance figures. These will all be revealed closer to the vehicle’s launch next year.

What do you think Toyota should call its new sports car? Toyota 86? Toyota Celica? Or something completely different? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




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