2009 Toyota FT-86 Concept
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.