Toyota: FT86 RELEASED !

Toyota has taken the wraps off its newest sports car, announcing it will be called Toyota 86 or “hachi roku” in its home market, Japan. The unveiling occurred when Toyota president Akio Toyoda drove a production prototype down the main straight of the Fuji Speedway, south of Tokyo. Mr Toyoda said the new rear-wheel-drive sports car was all about “waku doki” – a car that creates excitement and gets your heart racing. “I am very proud of this car,” Mr Toyoda said. “Thank you for the patience of car lovers. They are going to enjoy this car.” The 86 is a rear-wheel-drive car with intuitive handling that embodies the essence of driving enjoyment. It features the world’s first horizontally opposed D-4S engine, combining “boxer” engine technology with Toyota’s cutting-edge D-4S direct injection technology. The engine is installed front mid-ship to create an ultra-low centre of gravity and low inertia. It is the world’s only horizontally opposed engine and rear-wheel-drive package. As a result, the 86 offers fun driving at a level unprecedented in earlier sports cars.

It carries on the spirit of the AE86 Corolla in its aim to be a car that evolves with its owner. The lightweight and compact rear-wheel-drive platform was designed to achieve superior handling and create the world’s smallest mass-production four-passenger sports car (by volume). The vehicle’s newly developed engine delivers exceptional output and torque as well as superior response at low and medium speeds. The D-4S, with separate twin injectors for both direct injection and port injection, boasts a high compression ratio of 12.5:1. This provides high output and high torque over a wide range of engine speeds and contributes to improved environmental performance. The engine’s redline is 7500rpm with maximum output of 147kW. Even so, the engine achieves fuel efficiency and environmental performance that rivals that of a standard two-litre sedan. Customers will have the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a special sports-driving six-speed automatic transmission.

The 86 has the lowest hip-point of any Toyota-brand production vehicle and creates a driving position suited for driving enjoyment. The rear seatbacks fold down to the front to create a luggage space that can accommodate four sports wheels or two golf bags. The exterior design features a predatory look at the front; the sides are a modern take on Toyota’s sports-car heritage; and the rear view is wide and sturdy despite the compact cabin. The interior design seeks the essence of sports cars by emphasising the form, placement and materials of each element. The seatbacks and cushion surfaces are designed to provide support during acceleration g-forces from the front, the back and to the sides. In addition, the shape of the front seats is designed to prevent elbows from interfering with gearshift operation. The circular steering wheel has a diameter of 365 mm, the smallest in a Toyota-brand vehicle. The wheel’s surface was optimised with exhaustive feedback from test drivers to enhance steering performance and grip. A three-cluster meter built around the tachometer has been designed with particular attention paid to display placement, markings and typeface to enhance visibility and readability during sports driving.

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