Pumped Up and Stripped Down: Toyota FT-86 to Come Track-Ready

Toyota FT-86 concept

How much would you expect to pay for a track-tuned 200-horsepower rear-wheel-drive 2+2 sports coupe with a 6-speed manual tranny?

Walk into a dealership with those demands, and you’ll probably be looking at a $40,000 Infiniti G37.

Walk into a Hyundai dealership, though, and you’ll see the Genesis Coupe, which can be had for as little as $22,000 (or as much as $31,000).

Now Toyota wants into the game, and according to the good people at Leftlane, is preparing to offer a stripped-down, track-tuned version of its new FT-86 for around $22K.

The FT-86, if you’re not familiar, is the result of a Toyota/Subaru partnership that has many Supra fans anxiously awaiting the return of a RWD coupe to the Toyota lineup. The estimated price for a nicely optioned version is expected to come in around $27,000.

The track version is said to include bigger brakes, stiffer springs, and fewer luxury items. That probably means there won’t be any air conditioning, cruise control, power seats, or iPod hookups (or even a radio, for that matter.) But if Toyota can manage decent steering feedback and Brembo brakes at all corners along with a Boxer turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, all for $22K, I’m foreseeing a line of BMWs lined up at Toyota dealers ready for a trade.

If anything can start to reverse Toyota’s fortunes after a rough 2009, the FT-86 looks like the one that could finally bring some excitement back to the struggling automaker. We’ll know soon enough – the FT-86 could debut in 2011.

Is Toyota making the right move with an entry-level RWD sports coupe, or should it compete head-to-head with Nissan’s 370Z?


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