Toyko 2009 Preview: Toyota FT-86 Concept brings back the Hachi-Roku

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“Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda has said the automaker is in desperate need of an excitement injection, and here’s the first dose: the Toyota FT-86 Concept.

Inspired by the Corolla-based AE86 sports coupe of the ’80s, the FT-86 concept was designed by the automaker’s ED2 styling studio in France and bears a remarkable resemblance to the FT-HS concept shown at the Detroit Auto Show several years back.

Since it’s a “concept,” Toyota hasn’t divulged much about the FT-86 yet, but we do know it’s powered by a Subaru-derived 2.0-liter boxer four sending power to the rear wheels. Toyota focused on keeping the weight down to improve handling and, according to one source, the platform is unique to the concept. The engine sits lower in the engine bay to aid aerodynamics while keeping the center of gravity in check, and the overall dimensions of Toyota’s new 2+2 are 163.78 inches long and 69.29 inches wide, with a wheelbase of 101.18 inches.

After the FT-86 bows in concept form at the Tokyo Motor Show next month, the production model will be shown sometime next year with sales beginning sometime in late 2011 carrying a sticker price somewhere north of $20,000.”

-Damon Lavrinc at www.autoblog.com

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