In the midst of the imbroglio that is Toyota's current multi-recall snafu, there's a ray of good news shining through: during yesterday's Digg Dialogg, Toyota U.S. president Jim Lentz confirmed the FT-86 for U.S. sale.
We've suspected it would come here all along, as the U.S. is Toyota's biggest market, but on the other hand, it wouldn't be the first time we Americans missed out on a hot Japanese car. The confirmation came with some slightly less-good news, however: the Supra won't be coming back.
With the FT-86's rear-wheel drive and aggressive styling, however, we're sticking to the bright side. It's been years since Toyota last produced a real sports car (the MR2 Spyder left the U.S. in 2005), and the wait for a new one has just about killed Toyota's sporting credibility, so we're looking forward to answering the questions on everyone's mind: did they get it right?
On paper, the joint Subaru-Toyota FT-86 project looks the part of an affordable, sporty ride. A 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine powers the rear wheels, and though power figures aren't yet known, it's expected to turn out about 200 horsepower. With a track-prepped version in the works--possibly presaged by the G-Sports concept shown at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon--it could be well-placed to compete against the likes of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec. Though the Hyundai's 2.0-liter turbo four may prove a bit punchier, particularly once you bolt on a few mods, the FT-86 should prove to be somewhat lighter than the R-Spec's 3,294-pound curb weight.
We'll have to wait until we get the chance to hop behind the wheel to render final judgment on Toyota's return to sports cars, but color us intrigued. Jump to 14:20 in the video below to see Lentz's confirmation for yourself.