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

“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

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Tokyo Preview: Subaru WRX STI Carbon doesn’t make sense


“Subaru has announced a new version of the WRX STI that will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show. We’ve looked at this one six ways ’til Sunday (maybe seven) and we still can’t make sense of it. But, hear us out. One of the main knocks against the STI has long been that it’s a little too porky. But, when you base a performance car on a plebeian chassis, that’s the price you pay. Another knock is that the STI – while potent – is just not as hardcore as the Mitsubishi EVO, even though the EVO X is a little, well, less hardcore than the EVO IX. So obviously Subaru’s going to address these concerns with a special, lightweight edition STI, right? Well…

Meet the WRX STI Carbon. It has a carbon fiber roof. And a five-speed automatic transmission borrowed from the Legacy – no manual. And… suede seats. Yup, that’s it. Now, we like the roof, don’t get us wrong. Removing weight and lowering the center of gravity is exactly what the STI needs. But, a slushbox? For reals? Subaru says the five-speed auto is there to offer, “distinctive driving pleasure to a wider range of customers.” Ah, the old dumbing it down so you can sell more trick. Hey, it worked for Porsche (see: Cayenne).

Let’s see here, the last time Subaru tried this maneuver was in 2008 with the GE/GH third generation WRX. That went so well that Subaru was forced to relaunch the car twelve months later and rename to the 2008 WRX as the auto-only 2.5 GT. In other words, we just don’t get the STI Carbon. Maybe in a year’s time, Subaru will be forced to rename it the Carbon GT. That would at least make some sense. Right?”

-Jonny Lieberman at



Based on the Subaru Impreza WRX STI A-Line model with 5 speed automatic transmission that offers distinctive driving performance to a wider range of customers, the Subaru Impreza WRX CARBON features the use of carbon material in the roof to achieve both a significant weight reduction and a lower center of gravity. In addition, the suede fabric used in the interior enhances driving excitement and pride of ownership.

RallySport Direct’s 2009 Kartboy Sale!

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HOURS M-F 8am-Midnight (MST) Saturday 8am-2pm (MST)
ADDRESS 14881 S. Concord Park Dr. #1
Bluffdale, UT 84065

RallySportDirect has extended its business hours! Mon-Fri 8am-Midnight, Sat 8am-2pm is very proud to announce the expansion of our business hours from 8AM to 12AM Monday through Friday, and 8AM to 2PM Saturdays!

This is a industry first to offer 16hours of great customer service. Allowing you to contact us via Phone, AIM, MSN, or our state of the art Live Support. All free of charge via Internet or our 1-888-45-Rally phone number. No matter what the question, no matter what the time, we are here to support you with any questions you might have.

Don’t want to call in, don’t worry. Our new state of the art Tech Support System will allow you to easy to contact us through our web-site. Stuck during a install, and can’t figure something out, call us and we will do our best to walk you through the install.

If you catch us during the period of time that we are closed, don’t worry. A email sent to will get answered within hours, allowing you to get any questions or issues addressed quickly.
The goal of extended hours is to allow YOU our dearly appreciated customers to be able to get top notch customer service at hours of the day or night that no other performance shops are open. Questions about products we carry, tech support during installs, and general inquiry can be obtained when you need it the most, and at a time that is convenient to you!

Call us, email us, contact us on tech support, AIM, or just come in. We are here to help!

New Hours:

Monday- Friday 8AM-Midnight Mountain Time
Saturday 8AM-2PM Mountain Time

Thanks again from all of us here at