Toyota FT-86 "Trounces" Mazda MX-5 in the Fun Department: Report

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

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

[Source: CAR]

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Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Marcus Marcus on Oct 30, 2011

    ummm... pretty sure torsen is mechanical... I put one in my car.

  • Soakee Soakee on Nov 22, 2011

    Convertible=fun; fixed roof coupe=not so much. Agreed, there is NO comparison.