Photos: Toyota's sporty FT-86 II concept
Perhaps fearing that the brand is losing touch with "passionate drivers", Toyota is developing a new "affordable" sports car to fill the gap it left when it dropped the Supra and MR2 from its lineup. The FT-86 II concept, built on a Subaru platform under a partnership agreement, is a rear wheel drive coupe with smart styling that's clearly aimed at younger drivers. Toyota showed off the car in Melbourne, ahead of this weekend's Australian International Motor Show - and took the opportunity to give the press an advance look at the Prius C concept, Prius V, 2012 Hilux and all-new Yaris as well. Pics inside.
Toyota has signaled its intention of breaking back into the younger male demographic, a segment it has neglected in favor of more practical, sensible cars in recent years. The FT-86 II concept heralds a new sports model projected to sell around the AUD$30,000 (approx. US$31,380) mark when in launches sometime mid next year.
The FT-86 II is built on Toyota's partnership with Subaru - which has provided the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and Impreza chassis. The styling is Toyota's work, and reminiscent of a Supra/Batmobile lovechild in its aggressive, LED-lit front jawline and long, low stance.
At the same event, presented at the impressive new Toyota Style Australia facility, we were shown the new, broadened Prius family, including the Prius V (for Versatile) station wagon, and the Prius C (for City) compact. More on the new Prius family here.
The revised Hilux was also revealed, a facelift for Australia's most popular utility vehicle, and the local press also got its first chance to see next year's Yaris compact.
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Given the collapse of life on earth - the greatest mass extinction ever - that we are NOW in the process of - I would declare that the management of Toyota have not only lost touch with \"passionate drivers\" (another name for stupid people) - they have lost touch with reality.
I am more interested in performance and dynamics than the kind of looks that make cops notice you but if this thing handles, goes and stops well, I will definitely test one. The main issue when I do so will be the comparison between the new Toyota and a second hand MX5 of the same value.