Sports-car lovers will be treated to a tantalising glimpse of Toyota’s future with the unveiling of the Toyota FT-86G Sports Concept at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show.
The dramatic show car previews a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe that is destined to add appeal and excitement to the Toyota brand post 2012.
As the concept car illustrates, the production model is the spiritual successor to Toyota’s sports-car heritage that features names such as Supra and MR2.
Its named is derived from the AE-86 Corolla – a small, light-weight, rear-wheel drive coupe from the 1980s that has achieved cult status.
Toyota’s aim is to bring a new level of excitement to Toyota showrooms and customers, connecting with younger drivers and promoting the fun of sports-car driving.
The Toyota FT-86G is the second concept revealed by Toyota in the past year that points to a next-generation production sports coupe.
It has gained tweaks to performance and styling that make it sleeker and more aggressive than the Toyota FT-86 concept shown at 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.
The “G” suffix signifies a sports conversion that has stretched the original by 30mm, widened it by 20mm and lowered it by 30mm (4190mm × 1780mm × 1230mm).
Sharper looks come from a totally redesigned front end that incorporates a larger air intake with visible intercooler, as well as a vented bonnet.
At the rear, a large carbon-fibre wing, diffuser and oversized twin exhausts contribute to the edgier styling.
The Toyota FT-86G Sports Concept sits on low-profile Bridgestone 19-inch rubber – 245/40 at the front and 275/35 at the rear, while Recaro sports seats complete the “G” conversion of the dynamic four-seater.
The concept retains classic sports-car underpinnings with a front-mounted 2.0-litre engine – now boosted with a turbo – driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
Toyota’s plan to return to the sports-car market is in response to the edict by global president Akio Toyoda for the company to re-connect with younger buyers by producing fun-to-drive models.
“It is often said that young people today have drifted away from cars, but I feel it may not be the customers who have drifted from cars but us, the manufacturers,” Mr Toyoda said. “I believe it is the mission of auto makers to provide the fundamental excitement of automobiles to customers, regardless of the era.”