Toyota Hints At Cheaper, Lighter "Baby FT-86," Is A Mid-Engine Hybrid Roadster Next?

With rumors coming in that Toyota is repositioning its planned FT-86 “Toyobaru” sports coupe to reflect higher price and higher buyer age targets, word around the enthusiast fring of the autoblogosphere has been downright apocalyptic. After all, the promised combination of a $20k base price, manual transmission and rear-wheel-drive were what launched the FT-86 to internet notoriety. But development overruns are a fact of life, and Toyota says it has no choice but to bump the FT-86’s projected price point to $23k base, $26k loaded-level. So while the FT-86 faces the bloat that comes with a more upmarket target, another sports coupe aimed at undercutting the FT-86’s prices by about $5k is already under development according to Road & Track.

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Toyota Guns For 10 Percent Of Indian Market


Business Week
reports that Toyota are planning to capture 10% of the Indian market. “India will play a pivotal role in Toyota’s global expansion plans,” Vice Chairman Kazuo Okamoto said today at the Delhi Auto Show. “The time has come for us to strategically accelerate our growth here.” Toyota is using the Delhi Auto show to showcase the cars which will lead the assault for 10% of the Indian market, the most important of which is Toyota Etios (which will also be produced in Brazil). Autocar.co.uk reports that Etios is 90% production ready and that it will go on sale in India at the end of 2010 (with first-year sales projected at 70k units). Because of the price (around $10000) it’ll go head to head with the Maruti Swift, the very boys who hold a huge chunk of the Indian car market. To help combat Maruti, a larger and better quality interior is key to the Etios. Autocar also reports that in order to keep costs under control, Toyota went on a cost cutting exercise. Measures taken include, limited sound proofing, a hard, but durable, interior and one windscreen wiper. But before you cry “Toyota are turning into GM”, don’t be fooled. Toyota tried the same thing with the Aygo in Europe and the end result was a good car which sells very well.

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  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.