|Toyota FT-86 II Concept|
The appeal of the FT-86 is not simply that it is a rear-drive sports car - there are plenty of these available if you have enough cash. What is more exciting is the likelihood of a true sports car with a low price-point, and the prospect of a car that acknowledges you can have a lot of fun on a good chassis without a excess of power, and the associated build and running costs of a high-output engine.
In my mind two big questions remain about the FT-86. Firstly can Toyota, manufacturer of some of the best selling bland-mobiles on the planet and better know for 'green' than 'sporty', build a driver's car worth driving? I think Toyota has its intentions right in the development of the FT-86, and the collaboration with Subaru should only benefit the car's dynamics. Secondly, will it actually be affordable? Speculations on US pricing have dwelled in the US$20,000-US$25,000 range. If these are accurate, I would suspect that Australian pricing would likely fall in the $30,000-$40,000 range, despite the Aussie dollar continuing to trade above parity with the USD. A starting price closer to $30,000 would be great value, and could compete with with cars like the Mini Cooper for child-free car buyers looking for an involving drive. Where this car could fall down however, is prestige. Will fashion-conscious car buyers really buy a car with a Toyota badge? I hope that if the FT-86 is as good as it should be that the answer is yes.
There is one other question I have too: when can we see the Subaru version?