|A New Lightweight Champion: The Toyota 86|
Toyota and Subaru have been set to release several different prototypes of their rear-drive sport coupe that, after several alterations, appears to finally have a name: the Hachi-Roku. Well, at least in Japan that’s what they are calling it and it simply means: eighty-six.
In Europe it’s referred to as the Toyota 86, and in America it’s called… Well, it’s called the “Car with No Name”. In addition to its lack of American designation, it still does not have a set release date. I, for one, certainly hope that they are not holding back the launch date simply because their titling division has a severe case of “writer’s block”.
This driver-focused sports car has been designed with the concept in mind of reviving the thrill that drivers once felt behind the wheel. Toyota will have essentially returned to their roots with this roadster; promising driver’s the punchy reactivity that is reminiscent of the speedsters of yesteryear. That is, of course, if they ever release it. To date, it is still uncertain whether this car will be released under the Toyota name or their Scion breakaway.
Toyota 86 – Eighty-Six Features But a Name Isn’t One
The drawing board at Toyota HQ in, Toyota, Japan, is covered not by stencils of aerodynamic framework; instead it is likely filled with ideas for the car’s identifying title. The most prominent of the company’s working ideas (so far) have included:
- The FT-86
- The FT-86 II
- The GT 86
- The Scion FR-S
- The Toyota 86
The designers of the Toyota 86 took tips from many of Toyota’s previous models such as: the MR-2, the Celica, the Supra, the 2000GT, the Scion TC, and (perhaps most importantly to Toyota racing enthusiasts), the legendary AE86 Corolla Levin. The Boxer engine technology that the 86 will contain is being designed in collaboration with Subaru. The vehicle’s current Japanese and European names have been derived specifically from the AE86.
The AE86 Corolla was a big hit in the racing community when it was released by Toyota in 1983. It was popular because it was a lightweight, rear-wheel drive vehicle with a 4-cylinder twin-cam engine, and not because of its 112hp and 96 lb-ft or torque, which was nothing to brag about. The AE86 was very popular for rally and club racing. As a matter-of-fact, it still is in many racing circles.
The demand for the AE 86 started due to it being a rear-wheel drive vehicle, unlike most of the lightweight coupes that were available at the that time. The AE86 has seen a notable resurgence in recent years; mainly as a result of its popularity in the drifting scene.
Toyota 86 – The Specs
Toyota has recently announced and confirmed some specs for the 86. Under the hood, enthusiasts will find a Subaru 2.0 liter Boxer engine and Toyota’s D-4S injection system. The car will be equipped with a 6-speed transmission, available in either automatic or manual. The engine of this elusive vehicle is said to provide around 200 horsepower at 7,000rpm and 151 lb-ft of torque at 6,600 rpm. It is also described as being very fuel-efficient, meeting consumer demands on economic and environmental concerns.
This exciting car is designed with the customer in mind. Many contemporary sports cars are being produced with the ability to provide customers with a massive amount of horsepower. Now, typically, horsepower isn’t something to complain about; however, many of these latest racers are heavy, so they don’t grab the road as much as most customers would prefer; or more importantly, as much as they demand.
Luckily for anxious buyers, the Toyota 86 is taking a different angle. It comes with a front-mounted engine seated far back in the engine bay and has a rear-wheel drive. The car is also lightweight, compared to many other sports cars, weighing in at an estimated 2,600lbs. This will provide a low center of gravity and excellent handling. The overall length of the car will be about 166.7″ which would make it bigger than the Mazda MX-5 coupe, but smaller than the Hyundai Genesis.
Some more of the key specs, according to a recent press release from Scion, as to the size of the car are:
- Width – 69.9″
- Height – 51.2″
- Front Track – 59.8″
- Rear Track – 60.6″
- Wheelbase – 101.2″
The price range of the Toyota 86 is expected to start at around $20,000 for the base model, with accessories pushing some versions up near $25,000. This price is a head-turning feature of the sleek roadster; as it fits within the price range of their average target market for purchasing a new car. Those with a slightly higher budget in the aftermarket community will be able to buy the 86 and still have the funds to add enhancements and aesthetic customizations to their liking.
The Toyota 86 will come with 17″ wheels that are 7″ wide, and a ventilated braking system for all four wheels. This combination should provide for both superb handling and braking, which if you are considering purchasing this car, you will probably need.
The exterior of the Toyota GT 86 is designed to be very sporty and aggressive. It has a low roofline as well as a low and wide stance. It has bold and beefy looking fenders. The rear end of the car is designed nicely to help show off the dual exhaust. The car will also sport some bright and sleek looking LED taillights. The overall appearance is sleek, but also, muscularly-defined. For all you performance enthusiasts, this is definitely not what you would call a “sleeper”.
The interior of the car is situated to be functional for the driver. The car will have a 2+2 seating configuration and will have a trunk, rather than a hatchback. The back seats will be able to fold down to provide more storage space and versatility, if necessary. The seats are said to sit low while still being comfortable. This will definitely add to the excitement of driving the Toyota 86; as well as prove functional for any racing the vehicle.
The car will have a 3-gauge cluster with the tachometer in the middle and will have speed indicators that are both digital and analog. The design is in place, the names are being dropped; so what’s the hold-up on the 86?
Toyota 86 – Toyoda Slams The Brakes on The 86
Originally, when the GT 86 was announced, it was expected to have a release date near November, 2011. However the current date is sometime in the 2012 year, possibly spring. It is currently being listed as a 2013 model vehicle.
There have been multiple reasons given for the production delays of this vehicle. To put it simply, it has been delayed due based on the wishes of Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota, who is a true car aficionado. He wanted this car to be perfect; and nothing less. He has played a big role in the production of the 86, not just as the president of the company; but also, as a test driver who provided continuous feedback.
When the 86 was first revealed it was a concept car and part of a design study. Toyota wanted to review their design options after the initial revealing and see if any changes were needed. There is also some talk that the economic downturn played a substantial role in the delay.
A third reason that we all must wait is for that more research on the powertrain options is required, according to Toyota. It was stated that a possible hybrid version may also be in the works. However, there hasn’t been any mention of the hybrid in recent news. Basically, Akio Toyoda just wanted to make sure that when the vehicle was released, it was both what he envisioned and what the consumers desired.
This latest teaser, which is considered a sports coupe by TMC, is being targeted at the younger market. Toyota’s successful Scion line has been winning over the youthful generation for several years. The Toyota GT 86 (as it will be called until it is either officially named by Toyota or simply dubbed so by the public) is a front engine rear-wheel masterpiece. Regardless of the brand name on the body, it is sure to be a hit in with car lover’s worldwide.
While the exact specifications and details of the Toyota 86 are most likely going to change by the release date, this is sure to be an exciting addition to the automobile market.