Last month during the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota announced that its collaboration car with Subaru will begin productions sometime in 2012 (hopefully early 2012). There’s no set date yet, but expect the US to receive them last. The Toyota FT-86 II concept does look a little bit different than the earlier concept car. More likely closer to what the final production model will be like. However, one thing is for certain, it seems that Toyota might not offer an AWD version.
The new model, which is a joint development by Toyota and Subaru, will be launched in 2012 and features a rear-wheel drive and front-engine layout, with the design focussed on a strong power-to-weight ratio. So rather than using a heavy and large capacity engine, the FT-86 II returns to Toyota’s sporting roots by combining a free-revving boxer petrol engine with a compact and lightweight six-speed manual transmission and a low centre of gravity.
The styling is certainly a big change from the rather sober look of current Toyota models and with its long, low bonnet, high wings and rear-set cabin, the FT-86 II pays homage to Toyota’s sports car from the past. Both the engine and the driving position have been set as low and as far back as possible to optimise balance for maximum high-speed stability and agility. With its front-engine and rear-wheel drive configuration, Toyota says this gives the car lively, accessible performance that is easy to harness and enjoy.
With so many speculations that the Toyota FT-86 will be the new Toyota Celica, AE-86, or Supra. We like to think that the Toyobaru is just that a Toyobaru. It deserves its own class as the first Toyota to use a boxer engine on a RWD layout and the best of two great car makers. Just take a look at these architectural pictures and what Subaru had to say.
“Form follows function,” said Subaru’s senior project general manager for the Subaru-Toyota joint venture, Toshio Masuda. “The boxer engine is lightweight, compact and has a low center of gravity.” It was stated at the Geneva show that this engine is some 50 lbs lighter than a standard in-line four and has a center of gravity about 5″ lower.
Both companies are expected to tout the superior design format of the new car which will be the first application of a boxer engine in front engine, rear-drive car. The boxer engine of course is already legendary in tuner circles having made Subaru a favorite.
The chassis shows a very compact and tightly packaged double wishbone independent rear suspension attached to a sub-frame. A two piece drive shaft takes power there from a six-speed manual transmission. Up front a standard McPherson strut suspension with lower wishbones does the job.
It’s about time that Toyota came out with a true sports car after so long. We just hope that the car lands in America as a Toyota FT-86 and not a Scion FT-S as strongly rumored. Nothing against the Scion brand, but the name just doesn’t cut it on this model. Specially since it won’t be based for the US market only. TEMA…..keep it real! 🙂