Toyota is claiming the cardigans are off and its passion for sports car driving is back with the launch of the FT-86 II Concept. It’s the latest effort in the Toyotaâ€“Subaru joint development. Based on the press release, this is also pretty much how the production version will look when it goes on sale in Europe next year.
Any company making an affordable rear-drive sportscar is to be applauded. When you consider the FT-86 will also have a trusty 6-speed manual gearbox, a free-revving boxer engine and a lightweight body, it’s no wonder this car is creating plenty of interest.
Indeed, Toyota say, “The FT-86 II is an entirely driver-oriented conceptâ€”designed to give form to the intrinsic joy of driving through precise, instantaneous responses to even the smallest throttle or steering inputâ€”for those who regard driving as a passion rather than a necessity.”
Sounds impressive. We’re not totally convinced by the looks of the FT 86 II, but we love its mission statement.
FT-86 II Concept â€“ Toyota’s passion for sports car driving reborn
- Previews the next generation of Toyota sports car
- Driver-focused concept designed to capture the joy of driving
- Aerodynamics developed from F1 technology
Toyota has given the clearest indication yet of the final design for its next sports car with the unveiling of the FT-86 II concept at the Geneva Motor Show.
The FT-86 II pays homage to Toyota’s illustrious sports car history through its compact proportions which feature a long, low bonnet, high wings and rear-set cabin.
The FT-86 II is an entirely driver-oriented concept – designed to give form to the intrinsic joy of driving through precise, instantaneous responses to even the smallest throttle or steering input – for those who regard driving as a passion rather than a necessity.
Under a design concept that Toyota’s European Design Development centre, ED2, has dubbed ‘Functional Beauty’, its bold, sweeping form has been generated entirely through the constraints of function and aerodynamics developed from F1 technology.
With its low, highly aerodynamic body shell stretched tight over the engineering hard points, the FT-86 II concept’s muscular body work has been made as compact as possible.
Featuring a long, 2,570mm wheelbase, the concept is 4,235mm in length, 1,795mm wide and just 1,270mm high.
Rather than relying on a heavy, large displacement powertrain for its performance, the FT-86 II returns to Toyota’s sporting roots by combining a free-revving boxer petrol engine and a six-speed manual transmission with compact dimensions, light weight and a low centre of gravity for the best possible power-to-weight ratio.
Both powertrain and driving position have been set as low and as far back as possible to optimise balance for maximum poise, high-speed stability and dynamic agility.
Allied to a front engine, rear-wheel drive format, this affords the FT-86 II lively, accessible performance, highly engaging, readily-exploitable dynamic abilities and maximum driving pleasure.
The FT-86 II concept is the result of an August 2009 announcement that Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries would launch a jointly developed compact rear-wheel drive sports car. European sales of Toyota’s new sports car will begin in 2012.