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Toyota will never stop developing mutations of its FT-86 sports car, which will be released sometime between now and the real Rapture. Maybe.
But news from Japan indicates, finally, when we can see the officially official ultimate final production version: the Tokyo Motor Show, in December. Both Toyota and Subaru will launch versions of their joint sports car on their home turf then, which is more final a date than anything the companies have previously announced.
The production version of the FT-86 will reach America by 2012 as the Scion FR-S, and Subaru’s version will be released in the spring. Rumors that both cars will be equipped with a Phantom entertainment console are unsubstantiated.
GALLERY: Scion FR-S
[Source: Inside Line]
Discuss this story at FR-SForum.com
After years of teasing us with concept car after tantalizing concept car, Toyota is finally set to unveil a street version of all those FR sports cars—but with one minor change: this one doesn’t have an engine.
Yep, this is a custom downhill racer built for Red Bull’s Soapbox Derby, and unlike the cardboard-ramshackle boxes I injured myself on as a kid, it actually sports a modicum of high-tech components. Concept car builder Five:Axis built a custom, CAD-designed aluminum space frame around a full TEIN suspension and Wilwood disc brakes, then draped the goofy, cute Toyota-aping bodywork on top.
The Five:Axis Toyota FR-S soapbox racer will be piloted by none other than Dai Yoshihara, drift champion and Formula D driver in the Falken Tire Nissan 240SX. The Soapbox Derby is currently being held on the 21st in Los Angeles, and will be the latest FR-S to hit the streets until the production version is finally shown in December.
Discuss this story at FR-SForum.com
There’s no doubt that 2010 has been a monumentally important year for the auto industry and one worth looking back on. From the Toyota recall crisis, to the success stories at Hyundai and Ford, to the launch of the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, there have been no end of major news stories in the automotive sector.
However, 2011 is shaping up to be an equally exciting year, especially when it comes to the actual products, and so rather than a look back at the best of 2010, we thought it best to look ahead at the most anticipated cars that will debut over the next 12 months, starting in just a few weeks at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Toyota‘s FT-86 Concept will make it to market as a Scion in North America, likely sporting the name FR-S. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Toyota dealers were made aware of the decision by the corporate brass at a recent meeting in Las Vegas.
The decision help build-up the Scion brand, with a new flagship RWD model, however, it won’t help Toyota as it seeks to rebrand itself as a more youth-focused company. The other down-side of this revelation is news that the Scion FR-S could cost as much as $25,000 – significantly more than the $20,000 price tag originally promised.
According to other reports the Scion FR-S could get a 2.5-liter version of the Subaru boxer 4-cylinder in the U.S. while other markets are likely to get the 2.0-liter version.
The official reveal of the production model Scion FR-S is likely to occur at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
GALLERY:Toyota FT-86 Concept
According to the latest reports out of Japan, Subaru‘s version of the Toyota FT-86 (FR-S) is still on track with plans to deliver a higher-powered version of the two-door coupe. Believed to be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that powers the WRX STI it will make around 260-hp – a 60-hp jump over the Toyota version. With Subaru opting to offer the WRX and STI models with a larger 2.5-liter engine in North America, this does raise the possibility that the same powerplant will be offered in the FT-86 variant here as well. (Or maybe we’ll finally get the rev-happy 2.0).
As for the vehicle’s shape, it will retain the same silhouette, but gain more aggressively designed Subaru bumpers, as well as a likely hood scoop to work with a top-mount intercooler.
We recently reported that despite rumors, Toyota is on-track to deliver it’s version of the FT-86 (reportedly called the FR-S when it hits dealers) in 2011. Initial testing has already begun and Subaru engineers are reportedly taking the initiative on this project as they are more familiar with the vehicle’s underpinnings, which consist of a modified Legacy platform and Impreza rear suspension.
Unfortunately the more hard-core Subaru version will cost more as well, lifting it out of the realm of being an entry-level sports car, with pricing not likely to dip below the $25,000 mark.
Subaru’s version of the FT-86 is likely to debut some time after the Toyota version, which is scheduled out in 2011.
Get more Subaru and Toyota FT-86 news and info at FT86Talk.com
Scion VP Jack Hollis has commented that a rear-drive model is a definitely possibility for the youth-oriented brand. In an interview with InsideLine, Hollis commented that a rear-drive car, “could absolutely work.” And if Scion were to go ahead with such a project then Hollis suggests an entry-level price at just over $20,000 – making the right-wheel drive model a new flagship for the brand. At that price point Hollis believes such a model would fit with the brand and would be accepted in the market.
Hollis even went so far as to draw the link between the Scion brand’s increased presence in motorsports (from drifting, to time attack, to the World Challenge Series), stating that, “there’s no question that a rear-drive car would be great for Scion.”
“The marketplace still demands fun, high-performance vehicles. Scion has positioned itself perfectly in that world with tuners and accessorization, and it would be great to top that off with a rear-wheel-drive application. Whether we can pull it off or not remains to be seen, but it won’t be for lack of trying.”
And that’s where the problem lies. Scion has just introduced its second-generation tC model, which company engineers admitted to AutoGuide was delayed in coming to market by six to 12 months due to the slow moving Toyota corporate structure.
However, Toyota does already have a platform in the works that would be suitable – the FT-86/FR-S. Development of that vehicle continues and as IL reports, one Toyota representative did commented that, “We’ve never said the FT-86 would be sold as a Toyota in the U.S.”
GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 G-Sports Concept
Get more FT-86/FR-S News and Info at FT86Talk.com
Toyota‘s FR-S/FT-86 sports car has not been delayed and is on track for a launch in November of next year. Rumors had suggested the entry-level sports car was delayed until 2013, but according to 7tune blogger Adam Zillin, who recently attended a Toyota event and spoke with G Sports Vehicle Management GM Dr. Shigeyuki Hori and group manager Kazuo Okino, the FR-S will arrive in late 2011. The management duo even said the vehicle is 50 percent completed, so we should expect to see prototypes running around soon. Better yet is word that, so far, the design of the car will remain mostly unchanged!
Additional info was also spilled about the highly anticipated machine, including news of three trim levels and two engines, with a mid-range model expected to cost 2.5 million yen ($28,500). A turbocharged engine is believed to be the top engine offered
At a different meeting later in the day, Toyota’s Motor Sports Division boss, Tadashi Yamashina, made one particularly interesting comment, noting that because of the connection with Subaru there was, as 7tune puts it, “no way that the car wasn’t going to be great.”
GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 Concept
GALLERY:Toyota FT-86 G Sports Concpet
Get more FR-S/FT-86 info at FT86Talk.com
The biggest question surrounding Toyota‘s awesome FT-86 concept isn’t if the car will make it to production, but what it will be called. That mystery may have just been solved, with word that Toyota Motor Corporation has just filed a trademark for the “FR-S” name in both the U.S. and Canada.
The name certainly makes a lot of sense, with “FR” standing for front-engine, rear-wheel drive, while the “S” presumably being used to indicate that this is in fact a sports car. Like the FT-86 Concept’s name, it’s also a throwback to the Corolla AE-86 that inspired it.
Get more info on the FT-86 (or should we say FR-S) at FT-86Talk.com
GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 Concept