Toyota FT-86 to Bring Back Spirit of AE-86 With Compact Size, Light Weight and Balanced Chassis

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Toyota FT-86 to Bring Back Spirit of AE-86 With Compact Size, Light Weight and Balanced Chassis
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With the European debut of the FT-86 Concept, Toyota is looking to keep the hype alive by releasing a new series of photos of the sporty two-door, while dropping a press release that talks more about what we hope the FT-86 will become.

Toyota says it has built the concept to embody the spirit of the Corolla AE-86, a tiny front-engine, rear drive sports coupe that is a legend among drifters, while also serving as a great platform for club racers and rally teams. The concept focuses on light weight to deliver what Toyota calls a “strong power to weight ratio,” while also focusing on handling. “It is an entirely driver-orientated car, engineered to capture the intrinsic joy of driving through precise, instantaneous responses to even the smallest throttle and steering inputs,” reads the latest press release.

Along with these hopeful proclamations, the new gallery of photos show the FT-86 Concept with a selection of Toyota’s past sports cars, including the AE-86, Celica and Supra. All we can hope is that the car is more like the former and less like the latter two.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86

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Official release after the jump:

FT-86 Sports Concept captures the spirit of celebrated Corolla AE-86

KEY POINTS

* FT-86 Sports Concept, Toyota’s vision for a future sports car * European debut at Geneva motor show * Designed and engineered to capture the spirit of the renowned Corolla AE86 of the 1980s * Front-engine, rear-wheel drive format * Lightweight, compact and aerodynamically efficient body

Celica, MR2, Supra, Corolla AE86: Toyota’s great driver-focused sports cars of the past have inspired its vision for a future-generation concept model that makes its European debut at the Geneva motor show.

In creating the FT-86 (Future Toyota-86) Sports Concept, Toyota has directly referenced the excitement and fundamental fun-to-drive quality that characterised the Corolla AE-86. In its day the AE86 became a must-have model for rallying and circuit racing, with its front-engine, rear-wheel drive powertrain, compact dimensions, light weight, impeccable balance and strong power to weight ratio. Even more than 20 years on from the end of production, it remains a popular choice with privateer rally teams.

The FT-86 Sports Concept previews a new-generation Toyota sports car, designed to recapture the spirit of the AE86, sharing its front-engine, rear-wheel drive credentials.

Driver-oriented concept

The FT-86 is designed to deliver simple, dynamic power with environmental responsibility. It is an entirely driver-orientated car, engineered to capture the intrinsic joy of driving through precise, instantaneous responses to even the smallest throttle and steering inputs.

Rather than use a heavy, large displacement engine for performance, it is equipped with a free-revving 2.0-litre petrol unit with a six-speed manual gearbox with compact dimensions, light weight and a low centre gravity. Deployed in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive format, this powertrain delivers lively, accessible performance with engaging dynamic abilities and maximum driving pleasure.

Functional Beauty

Toyota’s ED2 European design and development centre dubs the styling of the FT-86 “Functional Beauty”, the classic sports car form having been generated entirely within the constraints of aerodynamics and function.

The low, highly aerodynamic bodyshell is stretched tight over the engineering hard points, and, measuring 4,160mm long overall, the bodywork has been rendered as compact as possible.

The cockpit is purely functional and ergonomically efficient, with widespread use of sporting, ultra-lightweight components and finishes that support the car’s balanced weight distribution and power to weight ratio.

Rather than treating the 2+2 interior design as a stylised addition to the cabin framework, a thin, tight-fitting skin has been applied to the essential cockpit components, as can be seen in the treatment of the dashboard and seat upholstery

The FT-86 measures 4,160mm long, 1,760mm wide and 1,260mm tall, with a 2,570mm wheelbase. It rides on 19-inch wheels shod with 225/40R19 tyres.

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