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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  May 15 2011, 7:40 AM

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By now at least some of these official details are foregone conclusions, but Toyota has decided to confirm some of the technical specs about the production car that will evolve from the FT-86 Concept. As expected, the details are identical to those provided for the Scion FR-S from its debut at the New York Auto Show.

That being said, when it does finally go into production (how much longer do we have to wait?) the FT-86 will be powered by a 2.0-liter Subaru-sourced boxer engine. Likely the same powerplant used in the new Impreza, it makes 148-hp in that car. Adding as much as 15 percent more power (that’s 170-hp by our calculation), is a Toyota D4-S direct-injection system. Both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic will be offered, plus a limited slip differential will be standard.

While fuel economy isn’t something FT-86 buyers will be overly interested in, we should point out that with the new Impreza getting 27/36-mpg we should expect some impressive mpgs from the Toyota sports coupe, which should be lighter than the Impreza and also won’t be AWD.

Look for the Toyota FT-86 to officially debut at the Tokyo Auto Show this Fall.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 II Concept

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GALLERY: Scion FR-S Concept

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[Source: Toyota]

See videos of both concepts after the jump and discuss this story at FR-SForum.com

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 20 2011, 2:07 PM

Easily the most anticipated debut of the 2011 New York Auto Show, Scion has just released its new FR-S Concept, based on the Toyota FT-86.

Powered by a boxer 4-cylinder donated by Subaru, but using a Toyota direct-injection system Scion is promising sufficient power with “surprising” fuel economy.

Described by Scion boss Jack Hollis as the perfect car for weekend warriors, auto-crossers, drifters and track junkies, the FR-S promises an even mixture of balance, manageable power and light weight in this front-engine, rear-drive package. Helping keep in control of the vehicle, the FR-S concept does come equipped with a limited slip differential.

Based on the Toyota FT-86 II Concept, the Scion model does away with some of that cars more extravagant design features to find a perfect medium between it and the original FT-86.

Toyota’s version of the car is expected to be unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show this Fall and Scion will deliver a production version of the FR-S to dealers next year!

GALLERY: Scion FR-S

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GALLERY: Scion FR-S Official

FR-S Official

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Get more Scion FR-S news and info at FR-SForum.com

See video of the FR-S after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 09 2011, 3:33 PM

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While many have expressed their displeasure with Toyota‘s re-design of the FT-86 sports car, fans can rest easier knowing that the changes were made in the name of function rather than form.

According to Autocar, the biggest change comes from the A-pillars, which have been moved back a few inches to create a flatter windscreen. “We had feedback from drivers who felt that the angle of the A-pillars created a type of ‘tunnel vision’”, Akihiro Nagaya, Toyota’s design chief, told the magazine. “This could sometimes make the car hard to place on the road, particularly at higher speeds. The theory behind this car remains that of the ‘86’ [the original Corolla AE-86], which was easy and pure to drive, so we had to change it.”

Nagaya also noted that the car was anywhere from 50-70 percent accurate as to the final shape of the FT-86.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 II Concept

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[Source: Autocar]

 |  Feb 14 2011, 8:58 AM

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Toyota is preparing to showcase a second FT-86 Concept at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show, but that car is likely to arrive as a Scion in North America. Previously reported to wear the FR-S badge, the fan site Toyotobaru is claiming a name change to FT-S after word from a recent Toyota executive meeting.

Pricing is expected to stay in the low $20,000 range, but the Subaru version of the car could reach as high as $40,000 thanks to a turbocharged STI variant with over 300-hp.  In standard Scion trim, it is now tipped to use Subaru’s 2.5-liter boxer engine and not the 2.0-liter as previously stated.

Set to debut at the NY Auto Show in April, several production versions of the car are reportedly being prepared at a select few California tuning shops including 5Zigen and Five Axis.

The involvement of these tuners suggests the NY Auto Show debut is more likely to be a concept, with the Toyota version of the car debuting in Tokyo at the end of the year.

[Source: Toyobaru]

 |  Jan 04 2011, 9:03 AM

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Previewed in concept form, the upcoming Toyota FT-86 was introduced as a budget sports car inspired by the Corolla AE86 and using a low-powered Subaru boxer engine capable of around 200-hp. Now, reports suggest that with increased development costs Toyota has decided to take the project further up-market, opting instead to run the WRX STI’s 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, producing a significant 305-hp.

Partnership on the car, often referred to as the ‘Toyobaru’ may extend further however, with Toyota and Subaru also looking at ways to team-up on additional future models. In fact, the next-generation Subaru Tirbeca could share a platform with the Toyota Highlander.

Toyota is expected to debut the FT-86 at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of 2011, although some reports have suggested we could get our first glimpse of the production model, badged as the Scion FR-S, at this year’s New York Auto Show in April.

[Source: Motor Trend]

Get more Toyota FT-86/FR-S News and Info at FR-SForum.com

 |  Jan 01 2011, 12:05 AM

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.

Continue Reading…

 |  Dec 27 2010, 5:55 PM


A design sketch of what is rumored to be the logo for the upcoming Toyota FT-86 has surfaced online, clearly highlighting the Japanese sports car will be powered by a boxer engine.

The design sketch shows two horizontally opposed pistons; an engine design that has earned the ‘boxer’ title because of its visual similarity to two boxers tossing punches.

Rather than a crank in the middle, however, the sketch shows a stylized number 86, in reference to the rear-drive AE86 Corolla model that formed the inspiration of more than just the name of the FT-86.

Rumors have indicated the production FT-86 will get a 2.0-liter boxer 4-cylinder engine, donated from Subaru and if this is in fact the actual logo for the car, then those rumors would look to be true.

It’s not clear how the logo will be incorporated into the U.S. model, however, with recent reports indicating the car will be a Scion model and wear the FR-S badge.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86

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[Source: Car & Driver]

Visit our FR-S FT-86 forum at http://www.fr-sforum.com/

 |  Oct 11 2010, 1:55 AM

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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

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[Source: WSJ and Toyobaru.net]

 |  Aug 09 2010, 6:52 AM

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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.

[Source: AutoCar]

Get more Subaru and Toyota FT-86 news and info at FT86Talk.com

 |  Aug 06 2010, 6:55 AM

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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

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[Source: InsideLine]

Get more FT-86/FR-S News and Info at FT86Talk.com

 |  Jul 26 2010, 12:44 PM

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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

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GALLERY:Toyota FT-86 G Sports Concpet

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[Source: 7tune]

Get more FR-S/FT-86 info at FT86Talk.com

 |  Jul 07 2010, 1:56 PM

“It’s been a while since I’ve used ‘Toyota” and ‘awesome’ in the same sentence,” said one AutoGuide staffer, “but these pictures are really cool.”

Toyota played a large roll in this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, displaying some cool race and road cars,  and the company was wise enough to take a whole bunch of pictures and throw them on a Flickr account for everyone to enjoy. Aside from the aforementioned rally cars, there’s also a hotted-up Toyota iQ, the FT-86 concept car, a Hilux pickup truck and an ice racing car based on the European-market Auris – bet you’ve never seen one of those before.

Check out all the pics from Toyota’s Goodwood display at Toyota UK’s Flickr page by clicking here. Or see a few of our personal faves after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 22 2010, 3:46 PM

We normally try and stay away from “Cool Ebay Listings” or things of that nature, but this is a truly historic listing that you won’t see again for quite some time. Bring A Trailer, possibly the best resource for classic cars online, has an all-original, left-hand driver Toyota 2000GT up for sale.

One of only 62 2000GT’s imported into the United States (out of a total of 337 produced) this car is painted its original Beatrix Yellow and has roughly 61,000 miles on the odometer. The price? A cool $375,000, about the same as a Lexus LFA.

The LFA and the upcoming FT-86 have are the center of attention right now, but take a minute to appreciate the timeless beauty of the 2000GT. This car could very well end up being the Japanese classic car to own, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a 2000GT become the first Japanese car to turn up at Pebble Beach.

[Photo and Source: Bring A Trailer]

 |  Jun 16 2010, 7:09 AM

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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

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[Source: My.is]

 |  May 27 2010, 7:39 AM

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Those eagerly anticipating the launch of the FT-86 affordable sports car from Toyota will have to keep waiting. According to a report by Japan’s Best Car magazine, the concept has been delayed from an original production date of 2011 until 2013.

Reasons for the delay include the possibility of a different design direction (why?), as well as rumors that Toyota could be looking at a hybrid option – depending, of course, on the success of the Honda CR-Z. Then there are the reports that the FT-86 is being delayed due to development costs and rumors that an even smaller FT-86 will also arrive to satisfy the original model’s budget-targeted audience.

Regardless, we have to think an extra two years is a very long delay for a vehicle that Toyota supposedly considers to be so important.

The next rendition of the FT-86 Concept is set to be unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show in late 2011.

Get more Toyota FT-86 info here: FT86Talk.com

[Source: BestCar via 7Tune]

 |  Apr 21 2010, 11:07 AM

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Toyota‘s highly anticipated FT-86 sports car might not be as affordable as company representatives initially expected. According to a report by AutoCar, development costs for the 4-cylinder sports car are likely to drive up its MSRP – taking away part of the little coupe’s appeal.

When the it was originally shown in Tokyo a company representative told AutoCar that they were aiming for an entry-level price of £13,000 (roughly $20,000). Now the FT could be as much as £15,000 (or $23,000). Apparently much of the cost increase is due to making the car’s Subaru-sourced boxer engine more fuel efficient.

No doubt related to the increased price, Toyota will now also reportedly market the FT-86 to older buyers than originally planned. Initially the FT-86 was to be targeted at 30-year-olds but market research on Toyota’s part has shown that this demographic wasn’t as interested in the vehicle as first though. Instead, Toyota will now look to the 40-year-old group to make up the bulk of sales.

Funny, and we thought a $20,000 sport coupe would be ideal for the 20 to 30 crowd.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86

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[Source: AutoCar]

Find out more Toyota FT-86 info at FT86Talk.com

 |  Mar 15 2010, 10:32 AM

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Subaru is reportedly looking to scrap plans for an AWD version of the Toyota FT-86 in favor of a rear-drive only model. This is sure to have the marketing department at Subaru up in arms with the accountants, as Subaru’s whole brand identity is based on the company’s Symmetrical AWD setup.

Japan’s Best Car is reporting that the cost of making the Toyobaru AWD has become prohibitive as so only a rear-drive model is now planned. So with Toyota already scheduled to bring a rear-drive FT-86 to market, the only difference between the two models is likely to be slightly different bodywork and interior design.

Based on a modified AWD Legacy platform we still find this news hard to believe and as much as we’d love a more entry-level Toyota model, a high-powered Subaru would be plenty of fun and most likely worth the added cost.

See more Toyota and Subaru FT-86 news at FT86Talk.com

[Source: Best Car via 7Tune]

Report: Is Ford Planning an FT-86 Rival, or is the Focus RS Finally Headed for North America?

AutoGuide sits down with Ford marketing boss Jim Farley to discuss the automaker's plans in the small sports car segment

 |  Dec 31 2009, 1:36 PM

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The idea of building a vehicle to compete with the Toyota FT-86 is “interesting,” but not necessarily the direction Ford has in mind when it comes to the future of small sporty cars. This is according to Ford marketing boss Jim Farley, who’s brain we had a chance to pick a few weeks back during a preview of the all new 2011 Focus.

With Ford having just announced the new 2011 Mustang and Mustang GT, with big increases in power (the V6 now making over 300-hp), it means the iconic pony car no longer competes in the same segment as vehicles like the Hyudai Genesis Coupe. (Not that it really ever did anyway). And with Toyota’s entry-level rear-drive sports car being prepared to hit the market, rumors have suggested that both Volkswagen and Kia are contemplating similar vehicles. So we thought we’d ask Ford about its plans.

“I do think the direction is interesting,” said Farley, but qualified that statement and sent the conversation in a new direction by commenting that what he sees as more compelling are cars like the Subaru WRX, which take a standard economy car (the Impreza) and turn it into a pocket rocket. That of course had the gathered journalists buzzing about the possibility that the Focus RS could very well make its way to North America.

The idea of a Focus RS also works with Ford’s new ONE Ford slogan, which is more than a marketing pitch, but an entirely new business philosophy for the American automaker.The idea is to build world car platforms to significantly reduce costs, from research and development to marketing.

And with an RS model being based on a Focus platform, and the new Focus a genuine world car, many of the roadblocks to bringing the RS to North American in the past are likely to be removed with the all-new Focus model, which is set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show on January 11th.

Even if an RS model never does get approved for North America there are possibilities for peppy small cars, from the Focus to the new Fiesta. During a discussion a day earlier with Dan Kapp, Director of Advanced Powertrain, Engineering and Research at Ford, we asked about the future of EcoBoost engines as performance options. Ford has already announced a new 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder for Europe, which makes 200-hp and 221 ft-lbs of torque. It’s comparable to the same power a 3.0-liter V6 makes and is expected to be replace many V6 offerings in cars like the Fusion. Following the 2.0 EcoBoost will be a 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder that will make roughly 180-hp and 180 ft-lbs of torque.

While the original EcoBoost motor, the 365-hp 3.5-liter V6, is found in niche market luxury and performance cars like the Taurus SHO and several Lincoln models, Kapp suggested that future EcoBoost engines will be use as more of a mainstream fuel-economy alternatives in the future. He wouldn’t rule it out as a performance option, however, and when asked if the new 2.0-liter and 1.6-liter EcoBoost mills could be offered in cars like the Focus and Fiesta he said that he, “could imagine them being used as a performance option.”