Is this the New Toyobaru?

October 7th, 2009

Toyota_FT_86_concept_Toyobaru

Way back in March we excitedly reported on the possibility of a new sports car co-developed by Toyota and Subaru.

Today we have some news that builds on that excitement, if Toyota’s FT-86 concept (shown above) is indeed the result of this “Toyobaru” partnership. The sports coupe, which will debut this month at the Tokyo Motor Show, was reportedly designed by Toyota but utilizes Subaru’s horizontally opposed boxer engine.

The resulting design is, well… HOT.

Toyota has been in need of something exciting for a long time, which CEO Akio Toyoda readily admits.  The FT-86 concept reportedly seats four and is a front-engine, rear-drive car with a dedicated chassis and Subaru’s 2.0-liter boxer four cylinder engine.

Imagine that baby paired with a 6-speed manual and you’d be crazy not to dream of tearing off the line at stop lights and testing the car’s limits on mountain roads while enjoying primo fuel economy.

Plus, just look at it! Anyone else see a little Aston Martin in the hood? The FT-86 looks sharp, especially in the custom “shoujyouhi” red paint.

And about that paint… check out what Autoweek was told:

Sports cars have to be red, but we wanted a new red,” chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said. “So we came up with shoujyouhi red, the traditional red color of a Japanese monkey’s” backside.

Probably could’ve done without that unfortunate comparison, but I’m still gaga over this new Toyobaru’s looks; even if it’s the color of a monkey’s butt.

If all goes according to plan, the car could be available in 2011 (there’s no guarantee this version will arrive in the U.S., but we hope). Pricing should come in somewhere north of $20K but south of $30K.  I’m predicting a huge sales success as the price, design and performance are sure to provide a heavy dose Toyota excitement.

Would Toyota’s FT-86 concept meet your expectations for a joint Toyota/Subaru sports car?

-tgriffith

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