Update: Toyota FT-86.
As of late, Toyota has become a brand synonymous with ‘whitegoods’ motoring, usually a favourite of fleet buyers and ‘A to B’ type motorists.
Now the brand is set to rekindle its performance spirit by resurrecting its iconic gem – the AE86 coupe – with the pending debut of the Toyota FT-86 Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The FT-86 (“86″ pronounced “hachi roku”) Concept represents the culmination of a collaborative engineering agreement between Toyota and Subaru with each manufacturer sharing components and expertise to deliver an affordable rear-drive sports coupe.
While Subaru is not planning to debut its sister model at the Tokyo Motor Show, it will share the same underpinnings and powertrain but feature an all-new look on the outside.
The FT-86 Concept is a step in the right direction for Toyota and draws its inspiration from the FT-HS Hybrid Concept shown at the Melbourne Motor Show which was popularly speculated to influence the next Supra.
Instead of aligning to the latest motoring trend and employing an expensive hybrid powertrain, the FT-86 Concept uses a Subaru-derived 2.0-litre normally-aspirated boxer engine which sends power to the rear wheels.
The whole car has been engineered to reincarnate the iconic performance coupe in its purest form with a low centre of gravity, lightweight construction, silky aerodynamics and modest power fore racecar-like handling.
Sales are expected to begin in Australia by late 2011 with pricing surely to fall well below the current $40,000 hot-hatch benchmark.