Toyota Racing Bloodline
Many past Toyota sports cars can be attributed to the development of the FT-86. For 50 years, Toyota has been spawning highly enjoyable sports cars, both in race tracks and in the streets.
In 1965, the Toyota GT2000 was first displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show. The 2.0 liter straight-six, rear-wheel drive classic, paved its way to third place in the Japanese Gran Prix by 1966. It also claimed several world endurance records under its belt; that includes the fastest average speed (of 207 km/hr) over a continuous 16,000-kilometer drive. Also, it had several victories against the formidable Porsche 911's with Carroll Shelby behind the wheel in the 1968 Sports Car Club of America's C-Production category.
In 1968, Toyota stepped in with a different weapon. As a response to the Japanese Gran Prix demands for race cars with larger engine displacements, Toyota deployed the Toyota 7 with its 3.0 liter V8, rigged with a turbo, making it the world's first turbo-engined racing car at that time.
But probably, the most inspiring tale that galvanized Toyota into producing the Toyota FT-86 II, comes not from its superior race cars it extensively developed. In fact, it ironically comes from an underdog Toyota Trueno (AE86), that despite its lack in horse power, managed to overtake more powerful sports cars with its weight advantage. The compact AE86 established itself as a favorite in rally and the lightweight racing world.
Pushing the Envelope
Like the AE86, the Toyota FT-86 II is filled with the promise of unparalleled thrill and excitement. Rather than using a large displacement engine, the FT-86 II returns to its racing roots focused on balance and light weight.
It employs a free-revving boxer petrol engine, accompanied by a six-speed manual transmission, a highly aerodynamic body shell, and a low center of gravity chassis. Paired with a front engine, the rear-wheel drive configuration ensures driving pleasure derived from highly accessible and engaging performance, and exploitable dynamic abilities.
Due to the many aspects it shares with its predecessor, the FT-86 looks like an AE86 sprang back to life. A modern revival of the old, it promises a similar driving experience for the new generation; although of course, to greater heights this time around.
Watch the Toyota FT-86 Teaser video rendered from Gran Turismo 5: