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Toyota promotes FT-86 II concept with Facebook game

Toyota makes its new sports car, based on the FT-86 II concept, seem closer to production with a new Facebook game. Social Network Racer lets you drive the FT-86 II concept on a track based on your Facebook content.

Toyota Social Network Racer

Toyota promotes its new sports car, based on the FT-86 II concept, in a Facebook racing game, with track decorated uisng your Facebook content.

We are almost tired of waiting for Toyota's new sports car, which appeared at multiple car shows in concept form as the FT-86 II and the Scion FR-S, the most recent version. We've caressed the sleek sides of the concept at shows, pored over photos and specifications released by Toyota, and even driven the car virtually in Gran Turismo 5.

But Toyota is not quite ready to release the car to the public. In another bit of promotion, the company released a Facebook game, Social Network Racer, which lets you pilot the FR-S/FT-86 II around a custom course. We drove a couple of hot laps in the game to see if it is worth your time.

Toyota Social Network Racer
The start gate shows some FR-S/FT-86 II text and images, but that is about it. Toyota

First of all, the game took a while to load, but that is due to the fact it created a race course from our Facebook content. It was weird seeing the content of recent status updates posted as billboards along the winding course.

The game shows a first-person view down the track, but we had to trust the text that said we were driving an FR-S/FT-86 II. There is no cockpit view, no image of the hood stretching out in front of the car, and no third-person view.

And if this is how the FR-S/FT-86 II actually handles, there are going to be many, many crashes with it. Maybe it was just our slow computer, but it responded very sluggishly to the arrow button inputs, which controlled left, right, accelerator, and brake.

That said, it was actually fun to negotiate the course, after we adjusted our expectations of the car's handling. After finishing the race, we were shown the top 20 world rankings, where our score did not appear. There is also a points system that lets you upgrade your car, we assume with Toyota Racing Division parts.

And you can also race on courses created out of your Facebook friends' pages, where you will see their status updates and photos decorating the track.

The Social Network Racer game will be available until December 31, 2011. A Facebook account is required.

Play the game by clicking here.