After numerous concept cars, much teasing and enormous hype, a Toyota FT-86 test vehicle has finally been spotted on the road. The photographs, taken less than 24 hours ago, show the FT-86 (or its Subaru equivalent) in its near production form for the first time.
From this we can come to a reasonable assumption that the vehicle is in its mid to final stages of testing before its highly anticipated build up and launch in the next 18-24 months.
Lucky for us, Toyota Australia has already confirmed the FT-86 will make it to Australian showrooms within the next two years.
The last we saw of the rear-wheel drive affordable sports car was in the shape of the Toyota FT-86 II concept and more recently the extremely gorgeous Scion FR-S Concept unveiled at the New York Motorshow.
The Toyota FT-86 is a joined project between Subaru and Toyota, with the Big T making use of Subaru's boxer engines and a modified version of the Impreza platform (we believe that is the current generation Impreza platform and not the new one expected here in the next few months).
Toyota's current range has been struggling to regain touch with car enthusiasts that were proud of its previous models such as the MR 2 and Supra. The FT-86 aims to change all that and bring the world's most successful automotive brand back into the good books of car lovers worldwide.
There are still many unanswered questions about the FT-86 project. Will it sport the 2.5-litre turbocharged WRX engine for a range-topping performance variant, perhaps TRD? Will Subaru do an all-wheel drive version for Australia (Subaru Australia has repeatedly stated that it will not sell a rear-wheel or front-wheel drive car here, only all-wheel drive)? What will it cost and how will it handle? Will it sport a dual-clutch style transmission? The list goes on.
When launched, the Toyota FT-86 will sit in a completely vacant segment. Since the departure of the Nissan 200SX in 2002, there is currently no rear-wheel drive sports coupe on the market for around $40,000 (The BMW 120i rear-wheel drive coupe starts from $47,400).
We can't help but feel excited about the release of this car, if you look above, the size of those rear exhausts should suggest something mean under that bonnet. Also, those wheels look rather similar to STI alloy styles from Subaru. Could this be the performance variant?
If you're keen, Click here to read all the FT-86 related news from the past two years. Use the comment section below to let us know what you like to ask Toyota Australia in regards to the FT-86 model range?