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Rumor: Toyota Working On Four-Door FT-86

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File this one under speculation and balderdash for the time being, but an anonymous Japanese source has tipped the auto world that there may be a four-door version of the Toyota/Subaru joint rear-drive coupe project known as the FT-86. It does make sense in an economies-of-scale kind of way, but it also runs contrary to the front- and all-wheel-drive lineups at both Toyota and Subaru.

Expanding the FT-86's platform to include two more doors would hugely expand the potential market for the car, though its rear-wheel drive layout works against it in that regard, as consumers of low-to-mid-range vehicles tend to opt for front-drive vehicles.

The idea of a rear-drive sports sedan from either Toyota or Subaru is a heart-warming thought, however, as it could offer a dynamic solution not to be found at sleepy Toyota and offer Subaru fans a tail-slinging option that's both more efficient and slightly less costly than the current U.S. all-wheel-drive only lineup.

There's even talk from the source about tossing the 3.6-liter H-6 engine from the Subaru Outback under the hood, though we're not sure if there's room for it. If that were to happen, the car would be more likely an entry-level luxury car, as pricing and performance would put it beyond the reach of the typical mass-market sedan. It could even make its way, in heavily rebadged form, to the Lexus lineup, though that's just as shakey a guess as the rest of the information.

Our verdict? Don't expect this--if it comes at all--before 2013 at the earliest, as the coupe version of the FT-86 isn't due until late 2011 or thereabouts according to the latest reports.

[Cars Guide via Autoblog]

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Comments (5)
  1. It is an interesting idea, a samll, affordable rwd to take on Kia's upcoming rwd sedan maybe?
     
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  2. Consumers of "low to mid-range" vehicles are forced to buy front-wheel drive because there is nothing else available. As manufacturers will be increasingly forced to produce niche vehicles in the future, somebody is bound to discover that it is not just well-to-do buyers who desire rear-wheel drive. Combine good quality, great styling and rwd and a manufacturer will likely discover an untapped market. Not everyone wants the blandness currently produced in the mainstream market.
     
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  3. I hope a next generation Toyota Corolla four doors with RWD and Subaru WRX like 1970's. it will back to RWD layout.
     
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  4. Will never see the light of day.
     
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  5. Charles O'Dell, I agree with your above comment. I totally agree with it.
    This would be the first Toyota product I will actually get beyond filibustering with myself over buying. No kidding. That bodystyle is a knockout and I want 4 doors in everything I buy. RWD, affordable, quality(in all honesty I am pulling for Toyota to get beyond this managery of gloom and doom and out-of-control ECU's to pull in to the clear again, I think definitely they have the skill and hopefully the patience to do it)and a bodystyle like this and I'll be thinking trade-in for my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. Putting this to the test is the fact that Mitsu is designing a Hybrid Lancer GTS for 2013 output that would win out over the Toyota. Unless the FT-86 4-door RWD coupe-ta-sedan thingy is priced competively to the Lancer Hybrid GTS for 2013? Huh? My pulse rate is starting ta pound a bit, no kidding! Go forward with this, Toyota. You may very well have a large, untapped market waiting for this car out there. The key is pricing it competitively, though! And the co-op with Subara only helps win the argument, yes-sir-eee-bob.
     
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