EVO magazine ft86 and ae86

Evo magazine featuring FT-86 and AE86

Latest evo issue

LP570-4 Superleggera, Porsche 911 GT3 RS meets Route Napoleon, Ferrari
599 v Bentley Supersports v Aston DBS, Toyota AE86 and hot hatch group

whats up in Belgium? FT-86 there?

EVO Car Of The Year Issue



More exciting than a Supra, MR2, and Celica rolled into one, Toyota's FT-86 Concept was the centre of attention when it made its world debut at the Tokyo motor show last month. It's got eye-catching looks, a 2 + 2 layout, rear-wheel drive, a horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission - and it's due in showrooms in late 2011. According to one Toyota source, it will also be the world's best drifting car. Quite a claim to live up to...

Born out of the on-again, off-again, on-again relationship between Toyota and Subaru, the FT-86 nearly got axed twice. It was in April 2008 that then CEO Katsuaki Watanabe first announced the joint development project with Subaru in which both companies would build a sports car based on the same platform, but since then the economic downturn has led to two cooling-off periods in which the destiny of the cars hung in the balance. Yet enough momentum remained to push the project back into the 'can do' basket, helped by the fact that the design team had a Subaru platform and engine to work with, and also that Subaru currently has spare production capacity in the US.

With clear echoes of the FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept seen at the 2007 Detroit show, the sharp, edgy exterior brings the sort of excitement that Toyota's line-up has been crying out for since MR2 production ceased two years ago. A source close to Toyota told us that while the FT-86's exterior design heralds from Toyota Europe Design in France, two other prototypes also exist, one penned by head office in Toyota City and the other by Calty Design Research in California. 'Build quality is very high,' we were told, 'and it may already look ready for the road, but don't be surprised if the exterior changes, because this car is not finished, not by a long way.'

The name FT-86, which won't be the car's final name, harks back to the immensely popular Corolla AE-86 rear-drive coupe of the 80's, the car in which Japanese drifting hero Keiichi Tsuchiya started his career, while FT stands for 'Future Toyota'. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see the car's potential to ignite a whole new generation of drifters.

In a speech to the media in Tokyo, ne Toyota CEO and Nürburgring 24 Hour race driver Akio Toyoda explained enthusiastically that the company plans to put greater effort from now on into building 'more emotional cars' and that the FT-86, and the Lexus LFA on a more extreme scale, are just the first in a long line. In justifying his racing efforts at the world's most gruelling circuit, Toyoda said 'It is important for management like me to drive our cars not only on public roads but also in competition to fully understand where our engineers are coming from.' He went on to add that he is not racing for the sake of racing, but rather testing cars like the LFA and IS-F in environments that push a car's chassis and suspension to the limits.

While specifications for the FT-86 are sketchy, our source says it employs a Subaru Legacy platform and will be powered by a 2-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine from a stock Impreza but with reworked Toyota heads to generate around 200bhp. The FT-86 is also expected to inherit the MacPherson strut front and double-wishbone rear suspension from the Legacy, but with modifications to allow for the switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive.

The surprises continue inside. Located between the 7500rpm red-lined tacho and the 260kph (162mph) speedo is a curious map of Fuji Speedway plus an altitude meter and a lap timer. Which suggests the FT-86 will boast a built-in circuit lap timer, most likely hooked up to a GPS sat-nav unit. Now just imagine if you could download that hot lap of yours, recorded in the real world, and plug it into the virtual world to replay it...

What is strange about the FT-86 reveal, especially given the source of much of the hardware that can be found underneath its skin, is the conspicuous absence of any reference from Subaru to its version of the car. Rumour has it that it will feature a turbocharged version of the Impreza 2-litre engine and will also get four-wheel drive. We'll find out for sure when Subaru reveals its prototype, most likely at the next Tokyo motor show in 2011.

It may seem odd that the FT-86 uses a Subaru boxer engine when Toyota has plenty of its own units to choose from, but the flat-four has a big advantage: its relatively low height has allowed the car's designers to use a much lower bonnet line than a conventional in-line four would allow.

With new pedestrian laws demanding at least 7cm under-bonnet clearance to any hard-points on the engine, all manufacturers are struggling to design sleek-looking coupes. (This is also why Mazda is persevering with its Wankel enginer - it's so compact.) By keeping the bonnet low, drag is reduced and the car should be lighter too. It's a win-win situation.

CR-Z article



Both Toyota and Honda are planning to go racing with their new sports cars, the FT-86 and the CR-Z respectively.

While the showroom version of the FT-86 is expected to cost over $27,000 in full spec (that's a touch over L16K, but expect that price to be considerably higher for UK cars), one source close to Toyota told us that a special low-frills competition version will sell for less than $22,000 and be specially set up for racing with stiffer suspension and beefier brakes. The same model will be used for drifting competitions.

Meanwhile, Honda has slightly bigger plans for its CR-Z. In addition to dual applications of its new hybrid system, namely entry in a one-make sprint race series as well as petrol-sipping eco-runs -- at the same circuit, on the same day with the same drivers -- Honda also plans to enter rhe CR-Z in endurance racing at the Nürburgring, starting from the second half of 2010.

One Honda Germany press officer said that if the race cars could be prepared in time, 'Honda Europe would very much like to get the ball rolling with a couple of cars for the 24-hour race in May, maybe even one for an all-girl team!'

whats up in Belgium? FT-86 there?

The angar photoshoot was done there.

Toyota Europe headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.. The hangar is not owned by Toyota, it was rented for photoshoot.