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by Tim Beissmann

Toyota Australia says it has its fingers crossed the Toyota 86 Convertible is approved for production after the brand unveiled an updated FT86 Open concept at today’s Tokyo motor show.

The new ‘Flash Red’ Toyota 86 drop-top concept is differentiated from the original white-painted FT86 Open concept revealed at Geneva in March by its right-hand-drive layout, and gives the clearest look yet at how the car would appear if sold in our market.

Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb believes the open-air 86 Convertible would “add another dimension to the driving pleasure derived from the 86 platform”.

“Australia is the third biggest market in the world for the 86 coupe, so we would be very interested in a convertible model were it to become available,” Cramb said.

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The decision of whether or not to produce the 86 Convertible remains with Toyota HQ in Japan, however, and Cramb says the final call will come down to the projected profitability of the new model.

“While reaction to the concept cars has been outstanding, our parent company is carefully assessing the business case which is highly dependent on economic conditions in each region,” he said.

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The new Toyota FT86 Open concept teams its new paint with newly designed 19-inch alloys, and retains the Geneva show car’s electric-folding black fabric roof.

The predominantly white and grey cabin is contrasted by red carpets and floor mats at the occupants’ feet.

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The convertible concept is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, and though Toyota has made no mention of its engine, it’s understood to retain the coupe’s 147kW/205Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘Boxer’ engine shared with its sister car, the Subaru BRZ.

The Toyota 86 coupe is the top-selling sports car in Australia, with the local division delivering more than 8000 across the country since its mid-2012 launch.




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