News Scoop – FT-86 is on time

Good news FT-86 fans. I was invited as one of the only foreign journalists to attend a press day on Wednesday where the JDM only Noah and Voxy Minivans were being showcased by G’s, the sports vehicle oriented arm of Toyota Japan. The FT-86 though, didn’t take long to come up in the conversation…

Most importantly, Toyota held the strictly invite only event not only to show off the G’s upgrades to their people movers but also to offer access to some of Toyota’s innermost engineers and sports department managers.

This presented an ideal opportunity to discuss Toyota’s involvement in the current market and inevitably, questions regarding the FT86 surfaced quickly.

A private 20 minute question and answer session I had with Dr. Shigeyuki Hori, Project General Manager for the Sports Vehicle Management division and Kazuo Okino, Group manager for the same division uncovered a number of promising pieces of news.

I can confirm that the cars development is on schedule and that the reports for the cars release in 2013 are erroneous. Toyota reiterated its intent to release the car by the previously appointed date, in November 2011. I can also confirm that the car is approximately 50% complete with the target price remaining steady for the mid level spec FT-86 at approximately 2.5 million yen ( approx. $29,000 USD ). One can only speculate at the moment what the base grade spec and price will be and no mention was made of the price for the top spec model but one can be led to guess this will involve a turbocharged motor.

While on the subject of turbocharging, Hori san and Okino san both confirmed that discussions were still being held and nothing had been decided yet. Both were hesitant to provide any confirmation on the radical Gazoo Racing model that wowed the world at last years Tokyo Auto Salon. It needs to be remembered that G’s is ostensibly a street car oriented arm of Toyota and as such the cars will be basically stock power wise with most of the modifications coming in the way of aesthetic changes and suspension, chassis and brake upgrades.

But take heart – the Voxy and Noah concepts at Wednesdays conference appeared in almost exactly the same configuration as the cars that were displayed at the TAS last year. This bodes well for the FT-86.

Another interesting fact about the cars development is that it will remain virtually unchanged, design wise. Okino san was clear in his remarks when he said that the FT86 will only be modified in regards to its aesthetic parts, namely items relating to the body but the overall shape will not change.

One last piece of news that is sure to bring some relief, was the comment made that a hybrid version was not being considered for the FT86. Hybrid technology is indeed being considered for the sport car segment but in another form of car. This car is most likely to be the new Toyota Hybrid sports concept.

Later in the day, the Chief Officer for Toyota’s Motor Sports Division, Tadashi Yamashina, held an exclusive round table conference for the assembled journalists of which 7tune was privy to.

One of the journalists at the conference reminded Yamashina san that there is a very high level of anxiety amongst the public over the FT-86, to which Mr Yamashina replied categorically that the cars development was on schedule and that because of Toyota’s connection with Subaru, there was no way that the car wasn’t going to be great. Read from that what you will but it is clear that Toyota is holding this hand very very close to its chest and is intent on releasing news and coverage on the car when it feels the time is right.

Who can blame them really? This is one of the most anticipated cars to come from Japan in over a decade, so Toyota and its members are quite within their right to be guarded with information.

I was very encouraged by the positive signals coming from within the organization and the general tone appears to be one of positivity in the changes taking place.

I would like to personally extend my thanks to the Corporate Communications Department personnel, and Toyota as a whole, for offering 7tune the opportunity to be a part of this important conference.

Words – Adam Zillin

Photos – Toyota

28 thoughts on “News Scoop – FT-86 is on time”

  1. Great news! Thanks!

    Now, I wish they could put a Toyota desgined Inline-4 with Yamaha cylinder heads… and maybe put a different name on the car.

  2. Great to hear – hopefully next week 7Tune will also confirm that the rumours around the Subaru 216A are also untrue and that it will be getting awd!

  3. That’s some good news. Though, me thinks the original target for the FT might have shifted slightly to more powerful prey.

  4. Yes…..YES…. awesome news and now that they’re still hinting at the Nov 2011 mark I can go back to my original plans for complete and utter ft-86 or “FR-S” mode I was before all those rumors started circulating. Cannot wait to see it out on the highways in all its rear wheel drive glory….YES…..

  5. Sign me up for the Full Spec Version, nothing less 😀

    Hopefully we can choose G’s parts to be added from the factory.

  6. Its good to hear some reliable news on this. So relieving. Your a lucky man Adam! Keep up the good work. I check this site fairly regularly. Every second day or so.

  7. Hmm, are there any new facts other than just denying rumors? I never believed any of the rumors (baby FT, 2013, target age increase, etc).
    Everything has been said before by Toyota officially about design, tech and release date :/ Can you share something that is fresh? some new specs or anything?
    Ive heard that G’s version would be much more expensive (way more than 50k) and it will be more limited than LF-A?

  8. sweet!

    my faith has been restored in Toyota…

    As a better indicator of price for the hypothetical Australian pricing, how much yen do the 370z, wrx, and mx5 cost?

  9. Around $29,000? That’s wayyy too much for 86. Cost more than MX5 and doesn’t even have the performance of 30k cars. Since it’s still early for the price and specs but I hope they don’t mess up. Cross fingers*

    The good news is NO HYBRID! Non after what they learn that CRZ isn’t sporty at all because of heavy weights and sluggish performance of hybrid.

  10. I am a bit worried if the car will cost around 30k, because at that price range there are a lot of options. I think it be a good idea to drop the 700 speakers and satnav for some weight saving and price saving. When it comes to sports cars less is more Toyota!

  11. Disgruntled Buyer

    “…the target price remaining steady for the mid level spec FT-86 at approximately 2.5 million yen ( approx. $29,000 USD )…”
    What exactly is “mid level spec”? Im hoping that “mid level spec” means tacky body kits, power windows and locks, and other unnecessary items that add weight and detract from style. This car means so much to so many, and not just young buggywhips trying to be fast and furious. For those of us who actually will be seen driving this car to their professional job every day and may not wish to be mistaken for the supermarket stock boy I sincerely hope that the base level car brings to the table what any true sports car should. Good seats, good handling, and balanced performance in keeping with the cars intended purpose. The sad yet true fact for the hardest of the hard core car people is that at near $30k this car not only competes with other newish niche vehicles with overwrought styling (if you want to call it that) as well as several refrigerator box sedans with hairdryer engines, AWD, oscillation over-thrusters, and numerous other Buckaroo Banzai features (Google it), it also brings light to very nicely preserved examples of mostly organic sports cars of the past that are completely hands-on (for those of us who know the craft) and are equal if not superior in performance and definitely knockouts in terms of style. $30k will buy a beautiful 115 series Alfa Romeo GTV and leave enough in your pocket for what if scenarios. $30k buys the best 240Z running and driving with current tags that isnt a trailer queen with history. $30k buys (barely) a steel bumper Porsche 911. $30k would buy 3 perfect MGBs for you and two friends, (or one perfect MGB and permanent parking at the specialists shop. I’m not that rosy eyed). I’m sure there are those who can think of other examples. My point is, as with most any great idea that starts at the engineers what if think tank, by the time it gets shot across the bow of any blog or focus group the original intent is lost in the name of submission to groupthink in the hope of pleasing everyone, and in the end pleasing only the douche-bags of the group. THE BASE MODEL BETTER BE GOOD. I love you guys at 7TUNE and thanks for keeping us informed.

  12. Thank you thank you thank you! The small Japanese car loving community can now give a collective sigh of relief.

  13. I just hope that they will take a page from Hyundai or Honda’s book and make a discount stripper model with all the high-performance goodies and none of the fluff.

  14. The 306 bhp V6 from the IS 350 would be a great engine in this car, with the Scion tC’s 180 bhp 4-cylinder for the base model.

  15. I agree with Uncia on the IS350 engine… or if they scrap Subaru’s entire involvement, just reskin the IS platform… it’s already rear wheel drive, and there’s already at least 3 engines available for it… the 2.5L, 3.5L and the ISF v8. That’s ignoring the jdm chaser/mark x variants that are also on a rwd platform.

    Oh god, I may have just pointed out something obvious and the Toyota engineers are going to delay things while they go back to the drawing board and working out the cost benefit analysis of doing this…

    I want one so badly, I will dip back into my mortgage to buy one.

  16. Poor old Toyota, they are getting a bashing both here and on PH for loading their cars with extras. Has everyone forgotten the Mk3 MR2? (I haven’t, i’m on my thrid). Believe me, Toyota know how to do without the creature comforts! The dash is made out of chocolate box plastic, it doesn’t have a meaningful boot, the radio is supplied from Fisher Price… i could go on but i’d like to reassure everyone that Toyota do have a track record for producing a decent RWD sports car.

    That said, it’s rare i see another on the road.

    I’m writing this whilst waiting for my local dealer to get back to me confirming i’m the first in Manchester to get this new one – ten years of MR2’s tends to push you towards having a fixed roof!

    Thanks My Toyoda for giving me a reason not to buy a generic german car.

  17. Im so excited i am already thinking of going to japan to get one. I really hope this car will finally be able to compete with the monopoly of the Honda type R’s here in my country…I wonder if there will be a TRD version with 260hp natually aspirated 4 cylinder engine now that i would like to see toyota pull off and make all those Honda and Nissan People cry!!!!! sorry i guy can dream right?
    now that would be nice

  18. To the people that are saying scrap Subaru’s involvement…This car is being made by Subaru and re-branded as a Toyota. Get rid of Subaru and the car doesn’t exist. lol

  19. NICE !!!! I just hope they can bring the price down a bit, 30k is a bit steep for an 86.
    On the flip side looks like Nissan might join the fun: “Autoblog Report: Nissan considers relaunching 200SX as a fuel-efficient, affordable fastback”, that rumor is starting to be a industry joke already… 7TUNE can you please investigate if there is some truth behind this, any info will help.

  20. wallabout wallabout !!!

    I don’t know if the FT-86 is one of the most anticipated car at this time as suggested by some media or even Toyota. When Toyota says they don’t know if it will have a turbo on the FT-86, apart from the chassis, what they have developed to 50% ? Have often forgotten that Toyota is a major player marketing and enjoys watching people’s reaction and it’s perfectly normal. Indeed even after this last meeting, there are many things unclear about this concept car ! About the FT-86, we often forget the difference between, marketing, development, market research and final product.

    Although America has long been interested in having propulsion Camry with 2jz twin turbo, 6 speed mission. In many markets as america, Toyota has long paid attention to his image, his name, and did not import sport car in some market with some potential for this kind of vehicles. Today on this continent, Toyota has not dived for a long time with sports car after the AE86 and the Supra in 1995 ! Ironically, we find all around the world of Hyundai Genesis, a small sport car, affordable, propulsion, cool car, with 4 cylinders 2 liter turbo and V6 3.5 liter. In America still does not have Toyota sports car since the Supra after 1995. There is still no Toyota turbo propulsion and yet less Turbo 4×4 ! We have been banned of 2JZ since 1995 ! But it was the famous Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru STI, and Toyota will perhaps one day entered the world of affordable sports car through Subaru ! Elsewhere in the world, the marketing of the FT-86 is more easy !

    The journalist is a little lane Customers. Me, when I hear the story of the last meeting between some journalists and Toyota about the FT-86, it is recognized there, Toyota. There’s no better way to get the best answers and satisfy the expectations when issues have known !

  21. damn, the G concept looks butt ugly and ricey, hope they change the stock appearance. It’s probably gonna be some cheap quality wannabe sports car haha

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *