Picture a classic car in your head: likely it’s an American icon like a late ‘60s Mustang or even earlier like a ‘50s Fairlane. Maybe your taste is a bit more exotic and you’re imagining a classic Ferrari or even a British sports car like an MG or Triumph.
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With photos leaking yesterday, today comes news of what the Toyota FT-86 is like to drive. But first, the specs. According to one of the journos at CAR Magazine, who had some seat time in the affordable sports car, look for the 2.0-liter to boxer 4-cylinder to develop around 200-hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The car’s curb weight should be around 2,645 lbs, although the final production number has yet to be released and will differ from market to market. That said, look for a 0-60 time of around 7 seconds.
As for the driving experience, it’s good says CAR‘s Ben Barry after a first-drive of a prototype model. In fact, he says it, “trounces its closest rival, the Mazda MX-5, in the fun stakes.” That’s quite a statement.
Highlights include throttle response and steering with a rev-happy 7500 rpm redline, a soft rev limiter and a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. Less impressive is the feel of the shifter and the car’s willingness to understeer at higher speeds. Also in the negative column is the ‘Sport’ setting for the stability control system, which is still too intrusive – although engineers are reportedly working on a less restrictive version. And finally, there’s the Torsen limited slip differential, rather than a mechanical one, although Toyota engineers are reportedly also planning on offering a version with a mechanical LSD, as well as other upgraded components, like Brembo brakes.
The drive was of a prototype model and Toyota intended to use the info to help develop the final production version, so we’ll await our first chance behind the wheel and relay our impressions as soon as possible.
Under neath the bodywork is a MacPherson front end and a double wishbone rear suspension setup and the test car even had pricey Sachs shocks. The car’s weight balance is projected to be around 53/47.
Other items of note is a standard keyless ignition system, while a six-speed automatic will be offered, reportedly based on the 8-speed in the IS-F, so look for some pretty quick shifts.
GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 Concept
Discuss this story at FR-SForum.com
Okay, so it’s heavily modified. But nevertheless, a sixth generation Toyota Celica (1994-97 model years) set the fastest time on the climb to Goodwood House this past weekend, beating many other race cars, including recent Formula 1 machines.
Driven by former British Rally Champion Johnny Milner, the Celica covered the 1.6 mile course in just 48.07 seconds, quite a feat when you consider that the Goodwood Climb is technically complex and rather challenging, even for experienced drivers.
Milner actually missed winning the ‘televised’ shootout thanks to a minor error which cost him just a little too much time, nevertheless, earlier in the day, the time he set proved to be the fastest out of 200 cars that competed on the climb over the course of the weekend.
Milner’s mount tipped the scales at just 1,050 kg (2310 lbs) and boasts a set back driving position and a low center of gravity thanks to revised suspension mounts and fenderwells. Sitting on ultra soft compound rally cross spec Michelin rubber, the Celica racer is powered by WRC spec Corolla inline four that boasts both a supercharger and nitrous system. The little 2.0-liter twin cam cranks out around 800 hp, so getting all that power to the ground is no mean feat, especially for something based around a regular production car. Well done Johnny!
GALLERY: Toyota Celica Rally Car
Perhaps the fact that there’s more interest in the car’s name than what’s under the hood is a sign that the Toyota FT-86 will be a bigger hit with hard-parkers than track fanatics.
According to an unsubstantiated report by the notoriously rumor-filled AutoCar, the FT-86 could wear the ‘Celica’ badge when it makes in to production. Or at least that’s the case for Europe and Japan, with the Scion version for North America likely to keep its FR-S letter scheme from the concept car.
Then again, AutoCar‘s own report seems to suggest from a “Toyota insider” that it will somehow keep the “86″ in its name in homage to the Corolla AE86 from which it draws its inspiration. That said, maybe its best to just ignore this latest rumor.
Either way, the FT-86 will be powered by Subaru boxer 4-cylinder using a Toyota direct-injection setup to make around 200-hp and the car will come standard with a limited slip differential. The official name will be known when the car is revealed with Fall at the Tokyo Auto Show.
GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 II Concept
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There’s a saying we use often when we see projects come to life: “Great concept, poor execution.” Very rarely do we run into a situation where a project is a poor concept with great execution. But that’s exactly what this Toyota Celica is.
Signal Auto is also known as Signal Kustom Built and is one of the top car builders out in Indonesia. They specialize in off-the-wall conversions and crazy rides. Apparently a customer came into the shop with a 2000 Toyota Celica wanting to customize it. The client and Signal Auto decided to convert the Celica to a Ferrari F430 look-a-like. The result is what they call a Cerrari.
It took 18 months to do the conversion with Signal Auto hand-building every single panel rather than retrofitting OEM Ferrari pieces. To complete the car, Signal Auto did a custom air-ride suspension along with a set of chrome Forgiato wheels.
To us the result is just a funny looking car, a little reminiscent of the Lego Ferrari F430. The proportions are obviously a little bit off giving the Celica’s shorter wheelbase but we have to give credit to the guys at Signal Auto for their amazing craftsmanship and making the project look as good as it possibly could. We really could have done without the Ferrari shield on the fenders though.
[Source: Jon Sibal]
GALLERY: Signal Auto Cerrari
Despite Toyota‘s lack of results in Formula 1 racing, the Japanese automaker has had considerable success in rally racing. With their TTE performance division having significant ties to Europe, Toyota is planning to show off some of their important rally cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.
The Celica ST185 and the Corolla WRC will be in attendance, in their famous Castrol livery that should be recognizable to anyone who has played Gran Turismo. Also in attendance will be the Celica TA63 Group B rally car, the Lexus LFA, the Toyota FT86 and a supercharged Toyota iQ microcar.
The news just adds to the rumors that Toyota is preparing to announce a return to the World Rally Championship in the near future.
Hit the jump to see the full press release.
TOYOTA AT THE 2010 GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
* The greatest cars from Toyota’s World Rally Championship heritage in action
* Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA, class winner at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours
* First Goodwood appearance of the Dakar rally-raid Land Cruiser
* UK debut of the new full hybrid Lexus CT 200h and the Toyota FT-86 sports concept
* 750bhp Toyota Sprint Series Celica targeting fast hillclimb time
Toyota celebrates the glory years of its World Rally Championship campaigns at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed from 2 to 4 July with a roll-call of some of its most celebrated and successful WRC cars.
Ready to burn up the Goodwood rally course, they represent 16 years of success at the pinnacle of the sport. They include: -
* Celica Twin Cam TA64, the 380bhp Group B machine (1983 – 1986) that was hailed as the “King of Africa” for its dominance of the Safari and Ivory Coast rallies
* Celica ST185, the Group A car that was driven to consecutive driver’s championships by Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol from 1992 to 1994, and Toyota’s first manufacturer’s championship with seven victories in 1993.
* Corolla WRC, which claimed 25 podium finishes between 1997 and 1999
Spectators will also be treated to the thrilling sight and sound of the Lexus LFA. Gazoo Racing will be setting the pace, fresh from scoring a maiden class victory for Lexus at the Nürburgring 24 hours. The competition car will be joined on the course by a road-going version of the ultra-exclusive supercar. At the other end of the scale, the tiny iQ will be in action, in a new prototype supercharged version created by Toyota Motorsport.
With an eye on setting one of the fastest hillclimb times of the festival, Jonny Milner and Adrian Smith will be charging up their 2010 Toyota Sprint Series Celica GT4. Not content with its 600bhp engine, the car also boasts a nitrous oxide system that can add an extra 150bhp when required.
There will also be Goodwood debuts for rally-raid specialist Ronan Chabot in his Dakar 2010 Land Cruiser, and for Latin America’s all-conquering 900bhp Supra GT, brought all the way to Sussex from Costa Rica by Javier Quiros .
The Lexus CT 200h will be seen for the first time in the UK in the Festival of Speed’s technology pavilion, ahead of its sales launch early next year. Marking Lexus’s entry into the premium C-segment, it represents the latest development of Lexus full hybrid technology, delivering lower emissions and improved fuel economy with hallmark Lexus luxury and reliability.
Toyota’s static display at Goodwood represents a complete spectrum of technical and design innovation, ranging from the mighty GT One that competed in the 1999 Le Mans 24 hours, to the Polar Hilux that became the first car to be driven to the Magnetic North Pole, courtesy of the BBC’s Top Gear team.
Visitors will also be the first in the UK to see the FT-86 concept, Toyota’s vision for a new, compact rear-wheel drive sports car. Aygo Crazy and Gazoo Racing’s eye-catching take on iQ demonstrate that being small is no barrier to performance, while the new Auris Hybrid will fly the flag for British manufacturing excellence.
The rumors about the Toyota FT-86 Concept’s production name are as numerous as the theories, with reports pointing in all sorts of different directions. According to the folks at the U.K.’s AutoCar, the car is likely to be called the Celica. The name is apparently being considered because it has a long history and resonates with consumers. However, most younger buyers (at which the car is aimed) are more likely to remember the Celica as the front-drive model that never quite lived up to the Acura Integra/RSX competition. And if Toyota truly wants this car to represent a new direction for the company, it would be best to go with something original.
Another source, The Detroit Bureau, proposes the theory that the FT-86 will become the next Scion tC. The tC is desperately in need of a replacement and the target audience is right. And considering the FT’s resemblance to the new Lexus LFA supercar, it would create a continuity between Totyota’s brands. The problem with that theory is that the FT would be priced much higher and be more performance oriented than the current tC, meaning the brand would still need a mainstream, front-drive volume seller to compete against sporty rivals like the Honda Civic.
Still, we have to think it will remain a Toyota model and don’t have much faith (or love for) the Celica name.