When Toyota debuted its FT-86 concept in 2009, the model generated lots of excitement among auto enthusiasts. It had been awhile since the auto manufacturer released a compelling sports coupe with racing capabilities. Developed over the last decade largely by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, the vehicle finally made its debut and fell into the hands of Motor Trend at Fuji Speedway.
Dropping the concept name and going simply with “Toyota 86,” the model received a loud ovation from the crowd of over 20,000 people who gathered for a glimpse of the new model at Fuji Speedway, 60 miles south of Tokyo. While the design and product development was provided by Toyota, the 86 is a collaborative effort between Toyota and Subaru. Subaru was called in to provide the chassis, engine, brakes, transmission and suspension.
The result is a surprisingly well-rounded vehicle given its class. Featuring a 2.0-liter Subaru boxer engine with Toyota’s DS4 direct injection technology, the two technologies result in a significant increase in fuel economy from a standard engine. The model achieves an impressive 200 hp at 7000 rpm and 151 lb-ft of torque, easily exceeding the Mazda MX-5 – the model’s closest Japanese competitor.
Motor Trend was able to get their hands on the model for 3 test laps and was more than impressed with its capabilities on the track. While the back seat is best suited for individuals 5’7″ and under, the driver’s seat provides plenty of room, perfectly set peddles and surprising visibility for the sporty vehicle. The driving experience on the pavement was called firm but not harsh, with accurate and tight handling around the corners. The full package was said to be a “true driver’s car”.
We’re excited about the development of this model and look forward to more news about the American-market release. Stay tuned right here on our blog and Facebook page for more on all of the latest Toyota models and news!