Toyota FT-86 Chief Engineer Speaks on the Anti GT-R

Toyota FT-86 Chief Engineer Speaks on the Anti GT-R

There’s no denying that the Nissan GT-R is an incredible performance machine, and considering what it’s capable of, an even better bargain. Still, it’s been criticized by many for being overburdened by electronics, for replacing driving feel with technology. In fact it’s so technologically impressive that it can make even the most inexperienced driver look like a star on a race track.

The Toyota FT-86, on the other hand, will very much be the opposite of this says Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada. In a sit-down interview with Bertel Schmitt of The Truth About Cars, Tada describes the theory behind the upcoming FT-86 sports car and a return to grassroots motoring.

“Powerful sports cars use a lot of computer technology so that anyone can drive and handle them. We decided not to go down that road,” he says. “From the beginning, the concept was to put the driver back in the driver’s seat, and to eliminate computers as much as possible today.” As a result, it will have a traditional six-speed stick shift and not some high-tech dual-clutch transmission. This is also the best indication that it will use a traditional limited slip differential, and not an electronic one. Stability control will be standard (it’s government mandated), but look for a fully-defeatable setup.

Tada says his team canvassed the target audience. “We talked to owners, fanatics, real buyers of sports cars around the world,” he said. “They told us: Speed isn’t everything. What they want is a sports car that is small, compact, light, and that handles just the way they want it to handle”

Besides, says Tada, “The super-super-super fast cars are only for the super-rich. Even most super-rich don’t want to buy them.”

Tada wouldn’t speak to details like horsepower, price or weight distribution, but did give one revealing trait, claiming the FT-86 will have the lowest center of gravity of any production car on the market.

Beyond all this, the FT-86 (which will be sold in North America as the Scion FR-S) will be customizable and tunable. While Tada admits he often cringes at modified cars, he’s humble and knows the FT-86 is about more than him. “It is not made for the enjoyment of the engineer – it is made of the enjoyment of the owner.”


Scion FR-S 06.JPGScion FR-S 07.JPGScion FR-S 08.JPGScion FR-S 13.JPGScion FR-S 25.JPGScion FR-S 22.JPG

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 Concept II


[Source: TTAC]

Discuss this story at

  • Buck Naked Booda

    I will be getting either the Toyota or Scion versions the first day they come out.

  • RacerX

    Please hurry up & get this monster out for public availability!!! Toyota is getting it: we missed the Supra!

  • Jake Steed

    I am so getting one of these babies!

  • Ray

    Can’t wait for the FR-S to finally hit the streets! This car will be a game changer, anyone agree?

  • Jake Steed

    @Ray…I agree bro…this car will be so tight! A poor mans LFA!

  • Not too impress

    Although is a beautiful car very well designed, I still have to see it in action before I think jump from an evo 8mr to a scion. Specially when we are not getting the real Deal (Turbo Model until like 6 month after) the release. Also I want comment about super super fast cars for super rich people, well the problem is that we want afordable cars to beat super cars! Like nissan does with the GT-R, simple right;) thats why I own an evo.
    I still look fwd to meet this car and I hope that they keep it looking like the concept, light and I would also like to see this car with some good power out put 250hp-300hp should be very nice and mostlikely I give up awd turbo for rwd turbo 2door.

  • Roger

    Toyota please dont change anything! Keep it as is this is def my graduation present to self. Bare bones, no computers, perfect driving machine, I’m in.

  • Ray

    @Jake, I wouldn’t consider the Scion FR-S to be a poor mans LFA, it’s just way too different to be considered that. If Toyota decides to bring back the Supra or a car that’s suppose to be the new Supra, will be the poor man’s LFA.

  • phil

    Uh… did anyone actually read the article? It’s designed for driving dynamics with advantage of light weight and low center gravity. In other words, it’s going to be like old version of Miata or late 80’s Celica/Supra: light, nimble, and fun to drive.

    Scion hinted that Subaru’s 2.0 NA boxer engine will use Toyota’s direct injection technology and it will produce around 200HP. Considering power-to-weight ratio, it shouldn’t be bad if you’re disappointed. Certainly it’s not the Supra from Fast and Furious. 🙂 Also, Scion is not likely to produce turbo charged 2.0. I believe Subaru will produce regular (NA) 2.0 boxer engine (around 160-170HP) and turbo 2.0 boxer (aprx. 240-250HP) for option. However, AWD will not be available; since engine sits too far to center of the car, not enough space for AWD trans.

  • Ks

    To many sharp lines for me. I like mines rounded out.

  • Jake Steed

    There won’t be a turbo in this car…think at least 200HP but maybe 220 HP or even 240HP from the 2.0 liter boxer engine…remember the S2000 had 240HP when it first came out. Also think that the FR-S and BRZ will weigh less than 2800 pounds…probably 2600-2800. Also remember the engine is both direct and port injected. The exhaust is tuned by Yamaha.

    2800 pounds is a 14.0 power to weight ratio with 200 HP
    2800 pounds is a 12.72 power to weight ratio with 220 HP
    2800 pounds is a 11.6 power to weight ration with 240 HP

    If they can get the weight down to 2600 (Hyundai did it with the Veloster) then we are talking about a very fast car…if the HP is 200+

    220HP would put the power to weight ratio on the 2600 FR-S at 11.81

    This is gonna be the best car of 2013 model year. Its gonna be a winner. It better!

  • Ryan H

    Frankfurt teaser youtube link… Pretty exciting stuff!!


    I agree Jake. It definitely will! The Weight should be just over 2700lbs. The HP is about 200. The Power to ratio, depending on hwo they balance the car and gearing should be 13-14. As for the hyundai Veloster, also remember that the the car is lighter due to many reasons. Being buliding material and the fact that its a 1.6L engine. And @ 138hp and roughly 2600lbs…well you do the math.

  • gt 86

    This car is released as the toyota gt 86. Itz pronounced ‘eight six’ and not ‘eighty six’. A 2 litre naturally aspirated engine. It’s output is 200 horses.. well this was jes for knowledge sake, the rest u can google it, toyota gt-86.

  • Jay

    you cant call it a scion! nobody wants to buy a “scion”. thats marketing disaster. is got to be called a FT-86. takek poll youll find what I mean.

  • Brad

    So, what this guy is saying, in effect, is that this car won’t come close to the performance of the Nissan on the track. What I don’t really understand is why you’d bother to make a car “LOOK” as if it has something special, and leave it wanting in all other areas. Seriously, I’d rather have the Nissan.