Our hands continue to rub as we anticipate the release of the Toyota FT-86, even though a number of changes to its specification have dampened our spirits over the last year. The latest change though is just in the badge, thankfully, as Toyota have just registered the name 'FR-S'.
When we first heard news the sporty little Toyota wouldn't be released until 2013 instead of 2011 we were disappointed. Then they said the power wouldn't come from a turbocharged Subaru boxer engine, that it would come from a 1.5-litre, mere-80kW Toyota engine, we almost cried (no word as to what engine it will actually have yet). The name change, though, indicates Toyota's approach to the concept and suggests the engine will provide 'enough' power to be deemed sporty, hence the S acronym.
Remember the late Toyota MR-S? That was a mid-engine, rear drive sports car (MR-S) and was a vibrant addition to the otherwise bland Toyota lineup. With the front-engine, rear drive FT-86 though, we hope the FR-S name rings true to the 'sporty' indication and fills the current gap in Toyota's showroom.
Driving enthusiasts may remember the old Toyota Sprinter from the late Eighties. The car was an absolute hoot to drive with its rear-drive, front engine layout. And it wasn't too over-the-top. We desperately hope the FR-S mimics those same characteristics and stays within the lower-end of the sports car price range of around $35-40,000.