Rejoice as your tofu delivery boy will be on time again

Published on October 7th, 2009

In its heyday, Toyota had carved some pretty deep scars in the sports car arm with its 2000GT, ‘Japanese Mustang’ Celica that has become a fav with the ol’ skool crowd, Celica Supra that started the inline-6 trend and then the supercar status Supra that properly modded, could hand it to the best that exotica had to offer.

Quite a plethora of offerings to boost the petrol head’s turbine but none of them have been as influential, important or incisive as the Corolla AE86. That’s right folks, the hachiroku, Initial D aside, has probably had the biggest impact on the Japanese sports car scene.

With a hairline pointed dead-straight at lightweight and proper handling, the 86 has and still is commended for its fine 50-50 weight balance that stirred together with the lightweight chassis has proven to be nothing short of a blue blooded driver’s car.

Now since its discontinuation and taking into the lack of Toyota’s sporty offerings (well none actually unless you down a couple of tequila shots and try to imagine the last gen Celica as anything other than a hairdresser’s ride), Toyota top dog Akio Toyoda has finally admitted that the brand needs a shot of nitrous into its fuel rail and boy haven’t they taken to the adage of baby steps first.

Not one to just jump high, they have undeniably aimed for the sky by offering the successor to the legendary AE86. Industry insiders and finally both brands themselves have confirmed that the project is indeed a joint partnership between Toyota and Subaru.

ft86-02

Dubbed the Toyota FT-86 Concept, the car takes plenty of cues from its predecessor and was penned by the skilled penmen of the automaker’s ED2 design studio in France.

We can’t really be bothered on how it looks as frankly we’re just so damn sexcited that something to replace the hachiroku is here.

Since it’s still in the concept stage, not much has been divulged about it other than motivation comes from a Subaru-sourced 2-liter boxer four engine that drives that drives the proper wheels (that’s rear just in case). Being a horizontally opposed block, the engine sits lower in the bay and inadvertently aids handling by reducing the center of gravity.

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Eagle-eyed readers will see in the shots a six-speed proper manual gear lever on the interior. Joy to the gods of motoring and praise those higher powers that make cars go faster as our prayers are finally answered. No more, slushbox with paddle shifters or dual clutch blasphemy here, a proper manual with a foot-operated clutch is just what we’ve all been wishing for every Christmas.

Strain those spotters a bit more and you’ll notice the buttons beneath the gear lever that seem to indicate the Vehicle-Stability Control can be switched off and the ABS gets the same treatment too. No word on if it’s a permanent disabling button or just to reduce the amount of intrusion it’ll give. Nonetheless, it’s a welcome feature to have some form of control of the electronic nannies.

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Just like the AE86, weight is a major issue, or rather the lack of it. The boffins at Toyota have kept the poundage down to improve point-and-shoot capabilities.

You might want to zip it on ever seeing this interior in the production version as chances are something more generic will be offered.

If you plan to dimensionize the FT-86, the 2+2 will measure 4.16m from bow to stern, 1.76m from starboard to portside and 1.26m from ground to deck.

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Expect it to make its public debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next month while the version that we can only dream of owning will probably be shown sometime next year.

Sales (definitely not here) will begin in late 2011. If you’ve never seen grown men cry and beg (S&M in the bedroom doesn’t count) here’s the entire Trafficmagonline crew getting on our knees and begging UMW Toyota to bring it in when it does reach the production stage.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Autoblog

Comments

  1. Posted by oreedo on October 7th, 2009, 14:53

    Nice piece Traffic! Wanna follow us doing Genting Sempah – Bentong this Sunday?

  2. Posted by Traffic Mag on October 7th, 2009, 15:02

    oreedo, lets see how since my car still in the workshop.

  3. Posted by danial on October 8th, 2009, 08:46

    heh im doing that route also this sunday but going from gombak – genting sempah – bentong

  4. Posted by ZaidGSR on October 8th, 2009, 12:07

    it still concept design… waiting for the real one..

  5. Posted by Crunchy Ahcock on October 8th, 2009, 16:04

    hachiroku!!!!!!!!!

  6. Posted by Takashi87 on October 11th, 2009, 19:29

    Abg botak kene blanja satu kete nie

  7. Posted by Traffic Mag on October 11th, 2009, 21:19

    alamak!! and i thought dat i get to collect cash frm you all and get me the car! hahahah!

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