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Hardly the most attractive car on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the TES Concept T-Sports might be one of the most exciting for regular folks in search of an affordable sports car.
Since the first introduction of Toyota‘s FT-86 Concept, rumors have surfaced that the cost of development of the car has risen and that consumers will have to carry that burden by paying more for the vehicle. With Toyota’s plans for an affordable sports car in trouble, the automaker has reportedly been planning a more entry-level version of the car.
No one at Toyota is saying as much, but the TES Concept T-Sports might just be the answer. While about as pretty as Snookie, unlike the reality star, it’s what’s underneath that counts. You see, this early prototype was built by the Toyota Engineering Society (TES) in response to a questionnaire that asked what sort of vehicles they thought Toyota needed to build. The answer: an affordable sports car. And like the FT-86 it’s front-engine, rear-wheel drive.
Powered by Toyota’s 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine this concept makes 109-hp, but weighs under 2,000 lbs. The car is 150-inches long and 65-inches wide, making it just over a foot shorter in length than the FT-86.
Toyota isn’t commenting, but this concept certainly hints at the fact that engineers are studying plans for a baby FT-86.
GALLERY: TES Concept T-Sports
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon Coverage here and see more of Toyota’s TAS concepts after the jump.
Plus get more Toyota FT-86 news and info at FR-SForum.com
Several months ago the first reports of a “baby” FT-86/FR-S rear-drive sports car emerged and now that project is taking shape. Toyota has reportedly begun the work of building this lower cost alternative to the FR-S as a tribute to chief test driver Hiromu Naruse, who died recently while testing a Lexus LFA in Germany.
The new car would also be a front-engine, rear drive model and will be based on the GRMN Hot Hatch Concept that was first shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year. Based on the Toyota Aygo this concept features a Daihatsu rear-drive setup and a 1.5-liter engine making around 100-hp. That’s not much, but the car is expected to weight right around the 2,000 lb mark. The hatch body will be tossed in favor or a coupe profile and to add to the package, Toyota will also maintain the concept’s race-ready double wishbone rear suspension. Toyota is said to be targeting a 1.4 million yen price point (roughly $15,000).
Get more FT-86/FT-S news and info at FT86Talk.com
With recent reports that development costs are driving up the price of the FT-86 sports car, Toyota is rumored to be planing to bring a smaller and less powerful version of the FT-86 to market. According to Road & Track it will be roughly 150-inches in length and should cost $5,000 less than the currently planned model – meaning it will be available for less than $20,000.
As for an engine, the car will use Toyota’s 3SZ-VE 1.5-liter 4-cylinder that currently makes 109-hp. That might not sound all that exciting, but a front-drive/rear-engine model that can bring younger customers into Toyota showrooms is exactly what the brand needs. It’s also more in line with the original AE-86.
Besides, we’re certain those in need of a horsepower fix will find numerous ways to get more power out of the car – even if it means swapping out the engine.
According to R&T, the baby FT should arrive some time in 2012.
[Source: Road & Track]
Get more Toyota FT-86 info at FT86Talk.com