By on November 17, 2011

Toyota steadfastly refuses to refer to its upcoming  new compact rear-wheel-drive sports car as anything else than a “new compact rear-wheel-drive sports car.” But Toyota sure knows how to whip up more excitement (if that is possible) before the pocket racer will be officially unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. While websites around the globe publish every scrap of paper or digits they can lay their hands on, Toyota will paint you a picture.

Starting at 10 am Tokyo local on November 20,  a group of Tokyo artists will create an outdoor street painting of the car in front of Shinjuku Station’s East Exit in the Shinjuku Station Square. In case you can’t be there in person (for Shinjuku-connoisseurs: The East exit is at the interesting side of Tokyo’s Shinjuku station, close to the many cultural attractions) no problem: The creation of the painting will be transmitted in real time at a dedicated website.  Note: Sunday 10 am in Tokyo will be Saturday 8 pm in New York – you can see the picture live before the Tokyoites!

Now it gets interesting: What is the site called? No, it will be the “FT-86 Fastest Painted Website.” And just to baffle you more, Toyota says the site is to celebrate “the production prototype of the ‘FT-86 II Concept’.” Are we confused yet?

We shall have more clarity on Sunday, November 27, when yours truly is promised a seat in an otherwise undefined “compact RWD sportscar” at a racetrack somewhere in Japan. I am told that I have to wear a helmet. I also must choose whether I want the automatic or the manual.

Help me out B&B: Slushbox or stick?

As proper preparation, I would appreciate pointers in the proper heel-and-toe technique, in discerning soft from hard plastic, and how to tell understeer from overbite. I admit having problems with all three.



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30 Comments on “FT 86 To Go Live On Saturday Night! Shall I Take Slushbox Or Stick?...”

  • avatar

    problem is they are using a conventional 6 spd auto with torque converter and vestigal paddles

    so therefore manual is the only choice

    sure maybe a model cycle down the track they will have a real DSG but until then…

    • 0 avatar

      No DSG

    • 0 avatar

      According to some of the loosely translated documents over at (which I follow with embarassing closeness), the slushbox in the ft-86 will be based on the slushbox from the IS-F, which can lock the torque converter from second gear up and has startlingly quick shifts.

      That said – get the stick. I want to hear how well the gearing matches up with what appears to be a not-overwhelming powerband.

  • avatar

    I’m pretty sure it will be at Fuji Speedway for the Gazoo Racing event.

  • avatar

    Leave heel-toe to Baruth. Given your recent experience at the Nissan drive event, I humbly-suggest you simply try to drive the car from the side that’s equipped with the steering wheel!

  • avatar

    If you have to ask, you would obviously prefer the slushbox!

  • avatar

    Congratulations Toyota & Subaru. You have teasted, titillated, and pre-production promoted this car for so long that I am completely, totally bored with it already. Any chance of your getting me into the dealer’s showroom on release (remember what that word means?) week has now dropped to absolutely nil.

    Congratulations on outdoing the Chevrolet Camaro in long term promotion on a car that still doesn’t exist.

    • 0 avatar

      You can’t blame Toyota on this. Unlike GM, I haven’t seen any TV commercials about FT86. You feel that Toyota has been teasing too long is because you visit auto blogs too often and they don’t have anything better to post.

    • 0 avatar

      Developing an all-new car with new platforms, waiting on new drivetrains to be completed, and two companies working together does take quite a long time. I guess you’d rather them have kept the car under wraps and then introduce it without concepts or word of what was going on. Tough to gauge interest in a vehicle that way.

      I don’t understand how you could be bored with something you haven’t even driven or looked at in person, way to write off something prematurely.

      I look forward to checking out the Subaru, but I don’t think a car like that fits into my plans.

    • 0 avatar

      “Congratulations Toyota & Subaru. You have teasted, titillated, and pre-production promoted this car for so long that I am completely, totally bored with it already. Any chance of your getting me into the dealer’s showroom on release (remember what that word means?) week has now dropped to absolutely nil.”

      Cool story, bro!

    • 0 avatar

      Good for you? I guess you’ll have to go buy all the other exciting new cars coming out in the ultra-lightweight affordable sports car class.

    • 0 avatar

      Designing, testing, and building a modern car takes years. A manufacturer can either choose to promote the vehicle while this is happening, or they can keep it secret.

      In this case, the FT-86 is unlikely to ever make money as a platform development, so it’s essentially a marketing exercise for Toyota. They may as well use it to its fullest.

      Personally, I prefer to have news of the car over time. I would love it if they designed and tested a vehicle in public – it could be an interesting reality check for a lot of people to see why they made a lot of decisions they did.

  • avatar

    Before I even read the post, I immediately recognized that huge red メガネスーパー (Super Glasses) sign.

  • avatar

    How many different ways can Toyobaru tease us before they finally show the production version?

  • avatar

    Bertel! You don’t need me to answer this question! Stick!!! If you ever ask this question again, I am going to make you say “slushboxes slavishly suck slaggy slugs” 1,000 times in a row, fast.

    On a different note, I don’t know why the Japanese don’t start giving their cars Japanese names. The Toyota Shinjuku would be cool. Or the toyota Shikoku. FT 86 just sounds like they tried to name it after an Olds but got the letters and numbers slightly wrong.

    • 0 avatar

      “I don’t know why the Japanese don’t start giving their cars Japanese names. The Toyota Shinjuku would be cool. Or the toyota Shikoku.”

      Maybe because most Americans don’t know Japanese? No, “Shinjuku” isn’t a Japanese name. None of the characters are found in the Japanese alphabet. It’s only an adapted English name that doesn’t make sense to English speaking people.

      • 0 avatar

        “Shinjuku” is very much Japanese, as my Japanese cohort assures me. “Shin” means “new” and “juku” would stand for town. “Newtown.” Now it just so happens that in Tokyo, “Shinjuku” also has other connotations than having a huge train station, and being the seat of the city government. Let’s just leave it at that calling a car “Park Avenue” may be alright, but calling it “42nd Street” may not be the smartest move. Toyota will call the car whatever they will call it. We may know at the Tokyo Motor Show, we may not. Their insistence on calling it a pre-production prototype or even concept is mildly disturbing ….

    • 0 avatar

      Suzuki does this, remember the Kizashi?

      Maybe that’s why nobody else does it.

  • avatar

    Bertel, since you will already be wearing a crash helmet, might as just smash it into a wall and do a write-up on its crashworthiness, before the Insurance Institute chimes in. That’ll be a useful and unique information.
    Bring Aleve.

  • avatar

    You need to to test a stick. So much of this car’s appeal will rest on the quality and slickness of the clutch/6mt combo. It’s not a laptime minimizing car to begin with; hence even the latest and greatest in robotshifters pale in comparison to a proper 6mt.

  • avatar

    Can TTAC PLEASE spring for some track days for you? You get to do all these drives – you really should get some track time outside of mfr. events.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’m saying manual also cause a computer can be tuned with an automatic trans for many purposes. I want to know about the action of that stick shift.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I’m going to be contrarian and say take the slushbox. Literally every single other publication will review the manual. Even a working class track hero like this will still sell more autos than sticks on this continent, so let’s see how much effort the engineers put into that drivetrain combo.

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