FT 86 To Go Live On Saturday Night! Shall I Take Slushbox Or Stick?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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? Newcompactrearwheeldrivesportscar.com? 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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Nov 17, 2011

    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.

  • Bumpy ii Bumpy ii on Nov 17, 2011

    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.

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.