The “Toyobaru” saga continues…
When news first broke that Toyota and Subaru would combine forces to create a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sports car priced at $20K, the auto blogosphere went abuzz.
Like most things, though, when something seems to good to be true, it probably is. Cost overruns in development mean the FT-86 will be priced somewhere in the $25K range. Still a relative bargain, but just missing the affordability most 20-something street racers want.
Enter the “baby” FT-86.
According to Road & Track, Toyota wasn’t too happy with the price increase and is working on a milder sports car priced some $5,000 less. R &T says,
This car will measure about 150 in. overall length and come powered by the company’s 3SZ-VE engine, a 1.5-liter inline-4 that produces 109 bhp. It will feature a front-engine/rear drive layout.
A hundred and nine horses isn’t a lot, but in a RWD lightweight coupe and with (hopefully) a fun six-speed manual, those 109 ponies priced south of $20K would likely gallop happily off dealers’ lots.
A baby FT-86 also would allow Toyota to price the grown-up one firmly in the $25-30k range, allowing the company to use higher quality materials and give it a bit more power.
Any RWD sports car is worth producing in my book, especially an affordable set of them from Toyota. What I’m having a little trouble with is where this leaves the Scion tC… a front-wheel-drive coupe that may not get much attention once the FT-86 twins hit dealers (supposedly) in 2011 and 2012.
Which Toyota would you buy: FT-86, Baby FT-86, or Scion tC? I’m thinking the grown-up FT-86 for me… maybe even over a Mustang.