What's Wrong With This Picture: The FT-86 Mystery Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The autoblogosphere is agog this morning over what appears to be yet another leak of a Toyota JDM catalog, this time of the highly anticipated Toyota FT-86 sports coupe. But is this what Toyota’s lightweight, rear-drive sportscar will actually look like? Not exactly:the image above is clearly labeled as a Modelista version, which means it’s been visually tweaked by Toyota’s in-house tuner. On the other hand, if you pull off the Modelista bits, specifically the front fascia and ground effects kit, you’ll find that this model more closely resembles the FT-86 Concept than the FT-86 II Concept, most notably in its proportions. With a more compact, cab-forward look, these images show a car that shares the first Concept’s basic shape with just a hint of the II Concept’s wild wheel arches and sweeping character lines. That comports with what the FT-86’s chief engineer told TTAC in a recent exclusive interview, when he said the initial Concept was “kind of close” and the II Concept was “not close at all.” Another clue that this is the real thing (or close to it): ft86club shows that the interior appears to be similar to mules that were caught testing.

Finally, there’s one key issue with this FT-86 image leak that must be considered: when this car comes stateside, it will be as a Scion FR-S, not a Toyota. Which means it could well be visually tweaked even further for our market, as it transitions to Toyota’s youth brand. In any case, the mystery won’t last long: TTAC’s Bertel Schmitt will be on hand for the FT-86 (and Subaru BRZ) reveal at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show. Until then, speculate away!

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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5 of 16 comments
  • OmarCCXR OmarCCXR on Oct 27, 2011

    The Scion brand needs to die. I just hope they don't release it with those taillights. They look awkward.

  • MidLifeCelica MidLifeCelica on Oct 28, 2011

    I just need to know where it fits in my short list : Mustang V8 Coupe ---------- $41,000.00 Genisis Coupe 3.8 GT ------ $44,000.00 MX-5 Miata GT Convertible - $48,000.00 RX-8 GT ------------------- $54,000.00 G37 Coupe ----------------- $56,000.00 G37X AWD Coupe ------------ $58,000.00 135i-Series Coupe --------- $59,000.00 135 M Coupe --------------- $64,000.00

  • Hachee Hachee on Oct 28, 2011

    While I hope and expect this car to be great, and is exactly what Toyota needs, it's too bad it doesn't look as good as it should. But I think most people who want this sort of car can live with that. But it needs to be a Toyota. I still don't get the need for Scion. Making a "young person's" brand only makes Toyota more of an old person's brand, and it will be harder and harder to recover (jeez, just see GM for text book cases on this). Keep throwing some good stuff like this into a Toyota showroom and they'd head back in the right direction very quickly.

  • Darex Darex on Oct 28, 2011

    Ugh... just put out the damned car already, or don't. Who cares either way? Such build-up! Better off just picking up a Genesis Coupe and calling it a day. More than likely, Toyota will disappoint with this car, or charge too much. Has anyone really been waiting with baited breath for this thing, or is it just nostalgia for the Supra and the idea that maybe Toyota is still capable of making fun vehicles?

    • Imag Imag on Oct 29, 2011

      They designed a completely new platform just for this car, just to get the center of gravity low enough to make it a sports car instead of a converted sedan (like the Genesis Coupe, the Z and the TT). It's going to be well under 3000 lbs, unlike any of the former. The CEO of Toyota now is not the one who was running the company when they went ultra-bland. He is the grandson of the founder, is a decent hand at actual racing in the LFA (which he greenlit), and is personally acting as one of the test drivers for this car. I don't think it's going to be like the Genesis Coupe. And yes, some of us are excited to see Toyota's return to making fun vehicles.