Toyota FT-86 Concept II Unveiled at Geneva

While America slept the Toyota FT-86 Concept II was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show.  According to Toyota, this is the best indication yet of what the production version of the RWD reborn AE86/Toyobaru/FT-86 will look like, and during the press conference they didn’t hesitate to refer copiously to Toyota’s sports car heritage, starting with the Sports 800.

Repeated mentions of the AE86 Corolla Levin were peppered throughout the speech. To really bring it home, Toyota quoted a personal story from current president and avid racing enthusiast Akio Toyoda’s past:

“When the Toyota 2000GT was built, I was eleven years old – and I loved it. I said: ‘I want to drive something like this when I grow up’. My dream came true when I drove a 2000GT in a vintage car rally. That was a really great experience.  I want young people to feel those same desires when they see a new Toyota sports car. I want to transfer the thrill of the race track to our vehicles, and make driving fun and exciting for our customers.”

Stylistically, changes from the 2009 FT-86 Concept include the addition of vents on the front wings, which flow nicely into a nice character line that meets a more tapered greenhouse at the C-pillar.  That, in combination with a more pronounced rear wheel arch makes a very svelte profile.

Its new-found aggression is due to a sportier front fascia, flared rocker panels, and the elimination of the 2009 car’s ridiculous directional-spoke wheels. The rear’s also been reworked with a spoiler, a diffuser-esque rear, and openings under the taillights that hint at the Lexus LFA. Presumably, some of these aero elements will be options on higher trim levels.

Mechanically, there were no surprises. The FT-86 II is still rear-wheel-drive, a 6-speed manual, and will be powered by a mid-FR Subaru boxer engine.  Yes, we know some purists hate this idea, but if badge/motor consistency is a must Subaru has also announced their version of this car, and parting from Fuji Heavy convention, it will also be RWD.  Apparently they’re still working on the body but here’s what the guts will look like:

UPDATE: Video of the FT-86 Concept II in Gran Turismo 5.

The FT-86 goes on sale in 2012.Toyota’s full press release and more images are below.

— Toyota has been creating exciting sports cars for over 50 years
— FT-86 II concept previews the next generation of Toyota sports car
— Entirely driver-focused concept designed to capture the intrinsic joy of driving
— Boxer engine for light weight, low centre of gravity and optimum power-to-weight ratio

‘When the Toyota 2000 GT was built, I was eleven years old – and I loved it. I said: “I want to drive something like this when I grow up”. My dream came true when I drove a 2000 GT in a vintage car rally. That was a really great experience.  I want young people to feel those same desires when they see a new Toyota sports car. I want to transfer the thrill of the race track to our vehicles, and make driving fun and exciting for our customers.’  Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Since Toyota began the development of its 2-cylinder boxer engined Sports 800 in 1962, the company has maintained a long history of creating exciting, driver-focused sports cars that have proved as popular with the public as they have been successful in competition.

The beautiful 2000 GT helped establish the company’s global reputation as a sports car manufacturer.

With its reputation for delivering pure excitement and embodying the fundamental joy of driving, the Corolla Levin AE86 is the inspiration behind Toyota’s latest sports car concept, the Future Toyota-86 II.

Sharing its predecessor’s front engine, rear-wheel drive credentials, the FT-86 II concept introduces a new generation of sports car which perfectly recaptures the exhilarating spirit of the last Corolla Levin AE86.

Passion is Back, the FT-86 II concept Gives Form to the Intrinsic Joy of Driving
With the proportions of its long, low bonnet, high wings and rear-set cabin paying homage to Toyota’s illustrious sports car history, the dynamic power of the FT-86 II concept gives the clearest indication yet as to the final design of Toyota’s next sports car.

The FT-86 II is an entirely driver-oriented concept, designed to give form to the intrinsic joy of driving through precise, instantaneous responses to even the smallest throttle or steering input, for those who regard driving as a passion rather than a necessity.

Based on the ‘Functional Beauty’ concept, its bold, sweeping form has been generated entirely through the constraints of function, and aerodynamics developed from F1 technology.

Its low, highly aerodynamic bodyshell stretched tight over the engineering hard points, the FT-86 II concept’s muscular body work has been made as compact as possible. Featuring a long, 2,570mm wheelbase, the concept is 4,235mm long, 1,795mm wide and just 1,270mm high.

Rather than relying on a heavy, large displacement powertrain for its performance, the FT-86 II returns to Toyota’s sporting roots by combining a free-revving boxer petrol engine and a 6-speed manual transmission with compact dimensions, light weight and a low centre of gravity for the best possible power-to-weight ratio.

Both powertrain and driving position have been set as low and as far back as possible to optimise balance for maximum poise, high speed stability and dynamic agility. Allied to a front engine, rear-wheel drive format, this awards the FT-86 II lively, accessible performance, highly engaging, readily-exploitable dynamic abilities and maximum driving pleasure.

European sales of Toyota’s new sports car will begin in 2012.

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23 Responses to Toyota FT-86 Concept II Unveiled at Geneva

  1. E-AT_me says:

    “like”. 🙂

  2. Komeko says:

    “Toyota has been creating exciting sports cars for over 50 years”
    When was the MR-2 discontinued? What Toyota sports car has been in continuous production since that date?
    If Toyota is willing to fib on the simple and obvious historical background, how much can anyone trust the claims that the FT-86 (Roman Numeral) will ever see a showroom floor?

    • vballin says:


      • Komeko says:

        Toyota has not been producing sports cars for 50 continuous years. Toyota did not produce any sports cars from 2006-2009, 1999, 1971-1983, 1937-1964. At best, Toyota has 27 total non-continuous years of sports car building.
        And no one believes they are actually going to finally put the FT-86 into production after almost ten years of jacking around and using it as a wolf-cry promotional stunt: “Just stick with us and we’ll build a car like you want…”.
        This car will never see production.

        • musTRD TE27 says:

          And when It does It won’t be Corolla money like they said. It will likely be coming out with a +$70,000 RRP
          And wtf I just found out you can get a brand new 370z in the states for under $30,000…

        • MR2_FTW says:

          Might want to check your dates there. Toyota made the Supra till the early 2000’s, but we didn’t get them. The SW20 MR2 was in production until 1999 (again, in Japan) and the 7th gen Celica GT-S is a sport(y) car with the 2ZZ/6-speed.

          • Komeko says:

            Might want to check your definition of a “sports car”, because the Celica and Supra do not meet the definition. They are specialty market or “sporty” cars, but not “sports cars”.

  3. Ben Manning says:

    When is a 6 speed, 6 cylinder, twin turbo two door that when unrestricted is faster than a similarly aged BMW M3 not a sports car? I can see what your saying about a Celica but Supra’s have the power that all sports cars crave.

    • Jesse says:

      The supra is a GT not a sports car. As is the m3. The sw20 IMO is not a true sports car either. But that’s debatable.

  4. cesariojpn says:

    Nissan called, they want their Fairlady Z car back.

  5. Eljay says:

    Wow! It´s the tiresome cynicism olympics!

  6. kingtoy says:

    I am still waiting for a “real” Toyota sports car to show back up.

  7. TE72_Sunny says:

    No disrespect to you Subaru enthusiasts, but I’m not too convinced with that boxer engine. Toyota has gotten lazy on this particular car by outsourcing the engine to Subaru. What ever happen to great engine designs like the 4AGE, 3SGE, 2JZ and the rest? I guess they lost their inspiration in designing race inspired engines. Maybe they didn’t have enough in their budget to design one due to the ever growing market of hybrids (all that R&D has to be funded, plus it’s what people are looking for) or maybe designing the LF-A took all the funds for such projects as the FT-86 (all that carbon fiber machinery does costs serious money). Who knows what the real deal is… that is why we own nostalgic vehicles. Nothing beats the sound and feeling of my 3T-C powered TE72 with a solid diff… oh and by the way it’s naturally aspirated and the engine design was not race inspired. 😀

  8. bert says:

    I can see this car making production, but not looking like that! The first concept seemed more production ready, some of the additions on this concept would add too much money on the price tag, putting the car out of reach for the demographic Toyota is trying to sell too. As for the motor, I don’t think we should be complaining much, the Subaru boxer is a solid peice of engineering, yet still simple, and will keep weight down and evenly distributed, while still being on par with Toyota’s reputation for reliability! Yes Toyota had some great motors in the past, but the past can’t keep up with the present anymore! (Sad but true)
    @-musTRD TE27- You can find a 370Z for slightly under 30,000 but it won’t have any of the ammenities that most customers want, therefore most dealers won’t sell the lower end versions, cause they won’t make much money! The high end 370Z will set back just over 40 grand! But if your looking for a good track car, then the base model’s a good start!

  9. Derrick says:

    Will they make an adult version too? I would love to have one of these but without all the darth vader-ness. And to comment on the engine: Subaru makes some great engines, so why develope your own when someone has already proven a design that fits your needs? It’s the smart thing to do. Plus, those boxer fours sound great! Now if they can just keep the weight down so the tires can be smaller!!! If you have to travel at 80 MPH just to break the rear end out, its not fun, just scary (and a little stupid on public roads).

  10. bert says:

    Derrick- I AGREE!! About the sliding thing! lol

  11. Orang Akaun says:

    sooooo coooollll

  12. kingtoy says:

    I am sure when this comes out it will be a nice car, but it won’t be a real Toyota. This is a shortcut, nothing more.

  13. Jeff says:

    Toyota purists complaining about the Subaru engine? Remember, Yamaha made some of the most memorable engines ever to power a Toyota! I don’t think Toyota has ever been regarded as designing amazing engines.

  14. yeng says:

    sweet will definitely be buying one.

  15. kingtoy says:

    Besides the 2000GT, Yamaha never designed the whole engine for Toyota. Toyota just contracted them to design heads for certain motors for them. They were all still Toyota engines.

    The problem with this car is not where it came from. Subaru is a great company, they make a great engine. The FT-86 is a short-cut, nothing more. This car would not exsist like it is if Toyota had’nt bought GM’s share in Subaru.

    After so many years you would expect more from a company like Toyota. Especially since they are trying to tie this car in to their history of sports cars and sports coupes.

  16. Oven1111 says:

    This is a great looking car, and I really hope it goes into production.
    I have been a Toyota fan since my mum bought a 1984 RT-142 Corona with the 22re 2.4 lt engine when I was about 7, which became my first car (I’m now 30).
    I don’t care about inconsistencies in Toyotas marketing spiel or care about splitting hairs about what constitutes a real sports car. As far as the engine choice for this car is concerned, so what if it’s a Subaru engine, with the new Global Design Platforms that most major manufacturers have adopted, everyone is using someone else’s engine. Can’t people just be happy that a car manufacturer has a fairly solid plan to release a new performance inspired model while most of the other manufacturers are too busy going down the tree hugging Eco path with their new models.
    If it is released I have now doubt it will become a great Japanese Nostalgic Car in the future.

  17. datsunfreak says:

    This thing looks more and more expensive every time I see it…

    Guess I won’t be buying one after all… 🙁

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