March 1, 2011. Today, on the first of the month, nothing is more important (not even the crazy things that Charlie Sheen has been doing lately) than the latest FT-86 concept. Barely wiping the sleep out of my eyes this morning, I unveiled the FT-86, in my virtual showroom on my laptop scrolling ever so slowly through to page so to remind myself that THIS IS REAL… that I am not dreaming (nor am I as high as Charlie Sheen).
If you have been hiding in rock crevice like James Franco in 127 Hours, you probably don’t know that the FT-86 is the new unified effort of Fuji Heavy Industries’ Toyota and Subaru to create a new, affordable 2+2 sporty, front-engined coupe. The Subaru version having All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) and the Toyota slated to be produced in Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD).
Ever since the first concept has been revealed almost 2 years ago, fan-boys and hardcore gear-heads alike have been paying attention and have been begging for the answer to the question “when will the car be available”? To enthusiasts like us, and our Motor Mavens editor-in-chief, Antonio Alvendia, we have been waiting to see if the fond spirit of Toyota’s RWD sport compact cars of the past from the 2000GT, the Celica and of course our beloved AE86 Corolla made it into the latest reincarnation of the FT-86 concept.
Scrolling down some more and letting out a yawn swiftly cut short by the discovery of some videos and even more photos from the Geneva Auto Show of the FT-86 II Concept, my excitement piqued as the sleek lines of the car were revealed. I searched frantically to see if there was some neo-retro design or tip of the hat to the past much like how the domestic car makers have been capitalizing on in recent years. While I was secretly hoping to see a rendition of flip-up headlights, I instead was greeted by gobs of black, carbon-fiber, and LED lighting.
It was confirmed. The FT-86 II Concept is like the Nicki Minaj of today and my beloved “MC Lyte” of an AE86, though dated, still has killer delivery… “cha, cha, cha.”
Just like Nicki Minaj, the latest FT-86 Concept is definitely not for everyone. Purists might scorn the use of unnecessary borrowing of styling cues, the additions and the appendices to the original concept, but the FT-86 II Concept is designated to bring back the excitement in a stable that has been criticized in the past for having a dull, unexciting line-up of cars. Though it is a no-brainer that the FT-86 is slated to be within the Scion lineup, there is no doubt that the edgier styling cues of the current concept takes some risk-taking styling lessons from it’s big brother the Lexus LF-A.
Still, questions about the drivetrain, suspension, the interior, and the all-important weight factor still weighs heavily on the minds of those following the FT-86 development. More importantly, will the additions featured above add to the sticker price when they arrive in showrooms in 2012? What do you think of the newest FT-86 concept?
Stay tuned to MotorMavens as we bring you the latest news on the FT-86 and thankfully, we’ll always have more AE86 coverage as well.
– Jover Papag
As someone NOT looking for a New Corolla, I like the car and would rock the crap out of it. But then again, I haven’t set myself up for disappointment by begging and dreaming of a 30-years-updated AE-86. If I’m looking for a new car next year, I would certainly be into the Scion model.
Holy hachirokus, Batman! That thing looks like the Batmobile in black.
I do like the styling cues of the FT86 Version II overall, but I’m not a fan of the exhaust tips integrated into the bumper. I HATE that stuff. It’s not good for companies who want to develop aftermarket exhaust systems that LOOK better and PERFORM better than stock.
I love the headlights and the muscular “upper fenders” of the car, but I’m not a fan of the Audi style lights up front. I think if they’re going to CALL this car an FT86, they need to make it more TRUE to the spirit of the AE86.
The AE86 was a simple, nimble car that revved high with its twincam 4AGE 16valve engine, which was marketed as the TC16 originally.
I am NOT a fan of having Subaru engine in the FT86… mostly because I hate the way Subaru engines sound when you put an exhaust on them. I’m sorry Subaru owners, I just had to say it. It’s personal preference.
I am a HARDCORE die hard AE86 owner. I’ve owned my cars for over 10 years. I prefer the Yamaha twincam “G” head. I’m starting to think the first generation IS300 is much closer to the “spirit of the 86” than this new FT86 is. That deeply saddens me.
I know that the Subaru boxer engine was chosen because it IS a good motor – a proven motor with good power output and tons of aftermarket stuff available. My recent visit to Toyota’s Calty design center in Newport Beach CA also taught me that the Subaru engine was chosen because of its lower center of gravity… I understand all that.
I think I just wanted something that FELT more like an AE86 to me. After all, isn’t that what the greatest Japanese sporty compacts were all about? The responsiveness and the sporty FEELING you get when you drive them?
I’m a bit more optimistic than Antonio. I really hope all the “Add ons” are dealer options, and those who wish to keep it simple can do so, and keep the tacky Audi lights out of the sticker price without losing drivetrain options through trim levels.
I also put faith in the Toyota Design and Development team in capturing the essence of those cars we hold true to our philosophy and ideals of what the car represents and it’s ties to the past generations without losing sight of PROGRESS and hopefully innovation as well.
Antonio, unless you and I can figure out a way to get paid large money to jig up stampings for a 86 “kit car”, this isn’t such a bad choice… with a bumper-to-bumper warranty, reliability and safety features. I’m warming up to the idea already.
I think overall the car’s concept and goals are great. It’s about time (13 years since the last Supra and even longer since a rear drive Toyota before the Supra) Toyota brings the enthusiast a rwd coupe. I really wish along with Antonio that Toyota would have worked up a “5AG” motor, 2.0L, dohc, 9000 redline naturally aspirated and about 225-250hp just like the S2000’s F20/22 engines did. Good gas mileage when you keep them below 4-5k and rip roaring 4 pots o fury when you rev ’em up. Makes it a drivers car to have to drive the car hard. Shifting up and down, rev matching, slight oversteer on corner exit, that is what makes a car fun. At least Toyota is keeping it RWD, I didn’t know Subaru was ruining it with AWD. I’m bummed (plus, have you seen Subaru’s concept? ugly from whawt I can tell). Once again, its an enthusiasts car that leaves too much desire, but the aftermarket should enjoy this one. I hope it doesn’t end up like the Hyundai Genesis coupe, too fat for its own good (210hp at 3200 lbs). I drove a geneis and it was boring. Looks great, not fun to drive.
Does anyone else see that the ass end looks kind of mazda rx8???
Would be a fun car to drive hope it sounds more like a toy mota and not that boxer crap! just mho
@Hechtspeed: hehe actually, I have an HKS 5AGX engine in one of my cars. It’s basically just a normal 4AG with a stroker kit. Well, but mine has headwork, pistons, cams, etc.
@Jov: THERE you go! Dude we need to make something like the “Factory Five” racers, but using scrapped IS300s. I’m down. You down? We can use the NA 2JZGE engines with 5spd transmissions and put 20v ITBs on them. Just dreaming… but that would be super dope! “Factory 86” FTW!
Antonio, believe me I’ve been planning this for eventual roll out. Imagine the possibilities! There’s even room to design pre-caged cars, cars for specific tuning… endless.
I’m down to make a proposal, and not expedite buying a house just yet.
Speaking of FFR, they are working on a WRX donor 2 seat mid engine sports car. Check it out here: http://www.factoryfive.com/whatsnew/update/nextcar/info.html
I think the FT86 is looking great but I’d make a few minor changes. LED lights up front, the fender gills and integrated exhausts have to go.
Another change I’d make is to the name. As far as I can tell (albeit I’m not an expert on them like you guys), it has nothing in common with the old 86 other than name and RWD. Boxer motor, superfluous body lines, *probably* weighing a lot from being loaded down from unneeded modern equipment.
They should have either given it a different name altogether that doesn’t draw back to the 86 (Toyota Lance sounds good) or build it like the enthusiasts and cult followings have been begging for. Revvy inline 4, true “vintage” styling and cutting out the needless amenities so they can be had for cheap (Make them dealer add ons for profit).
As long as Toyota doesn’t pull another stupid move like they did with the tC and make it FWD at the last second…. The tC would have been better if it was RWD.
They’d have to try hard to sway me from the plans of buying a new STi though. Living in the Inland Northwest has shown me how handy AWD is. It goes through snow AND acts like a RWD car in it! xD (Instead of just spinning tires like my actual RWD cars haha.)
The ft86 will never be the “new” 86 and toyota will not be able to satisfy us enthusiast because they can’t rerelease the original. I have a few small suggestions if they want the car to carry on the ae86’s “spirit.”
I would love to see the new ft-s get FT-S twin cam door decals (or something with in those lines) of course a newer rendition. Also in the interior I’d think that if the car had round climate control vents on the drivers side, no controls other than the turn signal on the steering column it’d give the interior that 86 driver feel, and options for manual everything verses power package. And PLEASE have more than one cup holder 😉
So far I love it, I think I know what car I will be purchasing after I get my degree.
One more thing no whack electronic powersteering!
At first i didn’t like the idea of a boxer engine because of sound reasons, it’s very…well…subaru and not so toyota. But if the sound of it is anywhere near how the one on the newest gran turismo 5 sounds than i am all for it. It sounded great because it was much higher revving then the sti version because of the small displacement, and also much higher pitched sounding, that is probably due to the fact that there is no turbo, which tend to dull out the higher frequencies and make exhausts sound deep and defined where N/A engines are higher pitched and smoother sounding which made it sound much more like an inline 4 than i expected.
Also i am curious to see how much better the toyota will handle compared to the subie if they are in fact going to have the toyota with RWD and the subaru with AWD. The reason i say this is symmetrical AWD system subaru uses forces the engine to hang out in front of the front axle causing it to understeer more than what the toyota would theoretically have. I have seen many statements about the FT-86, where they say the engine will be mounted back as far behind the front axle as possible to give it a very neutral weight split. That should make handling superior on the gas in tight twisties compared to the subaru (If and only if the subaru really will differ from the toyota by having AWD instead of rear.) I’m also wondering if they would release a GT-Four type FT-86 since they will have the AWD to borrow from the subaru cousin, and the opposite also maybe seeing a RWD subaru version as the base model. I think it would be very cool to have two versions of each, having the RWD versions as the base and purists models, with an AWD top of the line model with a turbo maybe to compensate for the weight added by the extra axles and such.
Either way, just my two cents, and I have to say as long as it stays relatively light (between 2000lbs-2700lbs) I’ll be glad to save my pennies for this handling gem *_*
The design plain sucks. Especially the rear window part, it’s just boring. Would have been exciting if it was still 2002. Also, I think they have changed the taillights because the first design looked a lot like the taillights of the Honda HSV-010, which is also unfortunate. Also, that vent on the fender looks very ricey. Corny. Lame. Back to the drawing boards please, Toyota designers. I wish I could design the FT-86 myself. HAHAHAHA!
Can’t wait for this beast to come to the States.. Looking to get something new, this will definitely be on my Christmas list along with the the 2013 Nissan Silvia (Those spy shots are sick)… Will be very interesting to see what comes out first and what the actual price point will be.
It’s a Toyobaru badged as a Scion… CRAZY! To me in looks like a worthy Supra successor – FINALLY! I like it better than the first version. Except for the rear lights – they should have kept the single tail light unit. I think they changed it because the Honda HSV jocked some of the design. The new Ft86 II is mean looking and very well designed inside and out. All it needs is a wide stance made possible by aftermarket wheels and offset. I’ll take 2 please.
People who say they don’t like the sound of the subaru motor? Put a equal length header on it and it will sound like all the other cars out there. Not a big deal.
this car looks great.
Its by time that toyota release a new performance car! I mean what has rivaled the supra? and still today it is considered a benchmark and is seen on strips, and tracks all around the world.
I think that they have gone wrong with the engine tho… Yes the boxer is a good motor and all but it has so many limitations! Especially with regards to the aftermarket scene. The sound as well is shit. And why the hell is there this new brotherhood between subaru??? Just because sub messed up with their hatchback impress doesnt mean they can now come mess up toyota. WE never needed anyone else nevermind SUBARU!
The point is… Toyota should have opted for a different engine. In my choice why did they not go for the 2azfe? A small engine, 2.4L 4 cycl with INSANE amount of potential for development. For the stock car they could have released a slightly tuned version maybe even slap on a supercharger. But with regards to the aftermarket scene it would leave the car with an amazing base engine to work with. Look at what the 2azfe has done worldwide in the scions? FWD world record drag as well as FWD track records (Chris Rado and team underground)
With regards to the supra…i think that toyota need to get to the drawing board and release a new supra…a v6 twin turbo in a lightweight body…the Nissan GTR has gone too long unrivalled… come on ToYOTA!
Toyota FOR LIFE!