Roadshow Video Reviews
Toyota FT-86 II conceptWhat happens when a WRX and a Supra get married: The next Celica?
-You know, it might surprise some of you that Toyota hasn't always been about green, and batteries, and hybrids, and Prii, and for crying out, looks like bicycles. They actually used to be a pretty cool sporting car company. Go back to the late '60s. "You Only Live Twice", the Bond movie with that cool 2000 GT, Sean Connery was too tall to fit inside, so they cut the top off. It was actually a coupe. Then you got the Celica, Supra, MR2. A lot of cool sports cars with amazing following, and then they all went away and they went crazy sort of Camry, and Highlander, and everything else. Well, that's about to change with the unveil here at Geneva of the latest sports car concept called the FT-86 II. Look at the lines on this guy: long nose, short deck. Kinda borrows from the last Surpa to my eye but on a smaller scale, and actually distinctive enough that I don't think you'd mix it up with anything else on the road, and that's saying something these days. But to go past the styling into the tech and the engineering, I've actually gotta walk you over to Subaru. Let's do that. Subaru is doing the internal architecture on this guy--the engine and the drivetrain. Let's take a look at what we've got here. They envision this 2-liter, flat 4, so a fairly compact version of a Subaru Boxer engine. Check that guy out. Look at what a flat 4 does when you see it cut away. It sits really low down in the car, low center of gravity. There's no vertical aspect of the block sticking up. And a Boxer engine naturally cancels out any imbalances or vibrations because the way it's laid out. They've also got it set at or below the front axle line. And all of that goes to a rear wheel drive architecture, which Toyota and Subaru say is gonna be the first mass produced sports car that is built this way. Now, as you can see, all this stuff is still pretty concepty. This car is made of Plexiglas after all. But clearly, these guys are on track to get it on the road sooner than later because they're saying spring to second half of 2012, at least for the European market, they'll bring this technology and that car concept we saw together into a real vehicle. So, Toyota's back in the sports biz, and these guys are gonna get one, too.