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A concept car manufactured jointly by Toyota and Subaru.

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2011 Toyota FT-86: Start Saving Now

  • Feb 25, 2010

So, you like cars, but don't have enough money to buy something from Italy or some Swedish super-car that has 254 letters in it's name. What do you do? Well there's lots of cars available right now to choose from. If you don't mind FWD (front-wheel drive) the Volkswagen GTI is an easy choice, or to save a little money you could get a Honda Civic SI. If you think FWD is awful, which it is for true performance driving, you might consider a basic Subaru Impreza WRX, which gives you 265hp with AWD, a good combination.

But if you want to get the most fun from a car, and learn about driving, RWD is the way to go. And entering the competition next year with be the 2011 Toyota FT-86, and I have already started a piggy bank for it. Here's why: 

Starting at $20,000, it will be one of the cheapest RWD coupes on the market. Subaru and Toyota are teaming up to build the car, meaning it will run until I'm too old to drive. It will have a flat-four 4 cylinder engine, similar to the Impreza, so it will be light and get good gas mileage. If it is offered with a turbo engine (from the WRX probably) it will be the only turbo RWD coupe in that price range. For those of you not keeping up, it will be a very fast, light, RWD coupe that costs about as much as a Honda Civic. If the Civic is the dinosaur, the FT-86 may be the ice age.

It's also a damn fine looking car. I wouldn't put it up against the 8C, but the concept is very slick. It's got an aggressive face, sharp curves and a wedge shape that makes the car look pissed. The interior is still in concept form but it will probably come with NAV, Bluetooth, a stereo, a place to put your latte and some seatbelts. I think that all adds up to a very good package.

And if it's offered with a turbo (it had better be!) the tuning potential will be incredible. Parts will carryover from the WRX market, so reflashes and downpipes will be in the mail the second someone gets their keys. For example, if the car comes with the WRX's current engine, a reflash and turbo-back exhaust will give you over 300hp. That means you have almost as much power as a 370Z, which is twice as expensive.

The FT-86 will have the drivetrain that driver's want, an efficient engine that is powerful in stock form but has huge mod potential, wrapped up in a sexy coupe body. For $20,000, that is a hard combination to beat. The ONLY concern I have is if it turns out nothing like the concept. Yes that's a fairly big concern, but the response to the concept was so positive, you'd have to be a vegetable to change it too much. This car will not only give Toyota it's spine back (sorry Prius, you're as boring as dead air), it will give the driving enthusiast a great option if they're looking for cheap, yet practical, fun. This has "bargain of the year" written all over it. Now go look for change in that couch.

For a full-length article and more pictures on the FT-86, click here: sub5zero.com

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I'm an automotive journalist, actor and comedian. Currently I'm a writer for www.sub5zero.com, specializing in performance cars, and www.TheSmokingTire.com, an entertaining and informative automotive … more
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The Toyota FT-86 Concept is a concept car manufactured jointly by Toyota and Subaru. The vehicle consists of many design cues from the earlier FT-HS  concept. All that is known about the car so far is that it will be a light front engine, rear drive, 4 or 5 seat coupe, with a new 2 liter Toyota-Subaru "D-4S" Boxer engine.  The FT-86 rides on a modified Subaru Impreza platform with 101.2-inch wheelbase, with length, width, and height measuring 163.8, 69.3, and 49.6 inches, respectively.  A base price in the USD $20,000 range is expected when the car hits the market in late 2011 with a Toyota badge, with the Subaru version following shortly afterwards.  According to an interview by Digg, Jim Lentz, COO and President of Toyota Motor Sales USA confirmed that the production version of the FT-86 is scheduled to be sold in America but an actual date wasn't yet disclosed.

The vehicle was unveiled in 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

It is expected that the Toyota and Subaru versions will be styled similarly on the outside, with the Subaru version getting different head and tail lights and a different hood. It has a 2.0 liter naturally aspirated boxer engine mated to a Subaru 6-speed manual transmission. The concept is fitted with brakes from Advics, a joint venture company formed between Aisin Seiki, Denso, Sumitomo Electric and Toyota.

According to chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, the unique shoujyouhi red colour was based on the colour of a Japanese ...
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