Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sale and marketing, David Buttner, confirmed production of the highly-anticipated sports coupe would start next year, and Australian deliveries would commence either late in 2012 or in the first half of 2013.
The FT-86 II concept, which debuted earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, will be the main attraction of Toyota’s display at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show, which starts in Melbourne on July 1.
It provides the best indication yet of what to expect from the final design, which has been in joint development with Subaru since August 2009.
Mr Buttner said the local unveiling of the FT-86 II concept and the launch of the production model was designed to generate excitement around the Toyota brand in Australia.
“FT-86 II pays homage to Toyota's illustrious sports car history that includes cars such as the Supra, MR2 and 2000GT," Mr Buttner said."It heralds a compact, rear-drive production car with the style, performance and handling demanded by those who regard driving as a passion rather than a necessity.”
The FT-86 II concept features a front-mounted Boxer engine, six-speed manual transmission, as well as lightweight and aerodynamic properties developed from Formula 1 technology. Performance data is yet to be revealed.
At 4235mm long, 1795mm wide, 1270mm tall and with a 2570mm wheelbase, the FT-86 II is similar in proportions to the Nissan 370Z. The production version of the Toyota is expected to be less powerful than the Nissan but more affordable.
The rear-wheel drive Toyota sports car project has been a long and agonising journey, but we are now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Click here to read all the news from the past two years.
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