After years of churning out dull but worthy cars, as well as the odd hybrid or two, Toyota is looking to add some sizzle to its line-up. Like Ford, Chevy and others, Toyota's mining its past to do so.
Apart from the Prius, Toyota's current line-up doesn't really get the synapses firing. And even then there's certainly nothing in the company's range that gets the blood pumping. So, for its home town motor show, Toyota will be bringing out the FT-86 sports coupe concept car as a precursor to a future production model.
Like the AE86, the FT-86 is a front-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupe with seating for four people. The new car, however, will be powered by a horizontally-opposed (or "boxer") four-cylinder engine. That's because much of the car's underpinnings are shared with an, as yet, unrevealed Subaru coupe.
Rumour has that the FT-86's engine will displace about two litres and pump out anywhere between 150 and 180 kilowatts of power.
While the FT-86's exterior looks almost production ready, the interior is filled with more than its fair share of concept car whimsy.
Out there instrument and control pads are par for the course, but we weren't expecting zippers; they're everywhere. We presume the red zippers allow the ventilation pods to be moved around, but we worry that the DVD drive's zipper will scratch our precious discs.
The storage compartment in the door is also opened and closed with the aid of our friend Zippy.
From a purely aesthetic point of view, the front seats look wonderful. Our derriere would want a bit more padding, though.
We're heartened by the car's six-speed manual transmission, as well as the switches for the ABS and stability control systems.