Last week the Internet was ablaze with rumors that the Toyota FT-86 was due to be completely redesigned after the initial concept's shape was ill-received at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. But Jaromir Cech, the project's lead designer, says that's not the case at all.
In an interview with Autocar, Cech makes it plain that the car will stay largely the same, though a few elements will change due to safety regulations and production realities. The front end, for example, will have to be raised a bit to comply with pedestrian impact standards.
We also expect the exterior to see changes similar to those between the Lexus LF-Ch concept and the production CT 200h: more rounded corners and less intricate shapes than the concept, the addition of conventional lighting in place of the highly stylized units on the concept, and, of course, a production-style interior.
The FT-86 is set to be one of the most exciting products to come out of Toyota in a decade, filling the sports car gap left in its product lineup since the exit of the MR2 Spyder and Celica--and it's definitely coming to the U.S. Rear-wheel drive, a 200-horsepower Subaru-sourced flat four engine and manual gearbox are the key ingredients in the enthusiast-friendly package. For more on the FT-86, read our concept coverage.
How's that? Some positive Toyota news on a day when the company is being raked over the coals in Congress.