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12 March 2013

Toyota's FT-86 Open Concept is perfect for wives and comb-overs (w/ video)

Words by Carl Trocio | Photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation
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Still basking in the success of creating “THE” drivers’ car to have - the Toyota 86 - Toyota came to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show to unveil their most-probably-to-be-produced concept of a topless version of their new starlet. And similar to a child star who “grew up” in all the right places, seeing a topless version of that would get mixed reactions. Set your eyes on the FT-86 Open Concept.
Aside from the obvious loss of a roof, an automatic tranny, and interior cosmetics, Toyota says it’s the same banana. Instead of a fixed metal roof, they put in an electronic-folding multi-layered fabric top with a glass rear screen all stowed behind the rear seats - all while maintaining the 2+2 seating format. Some genius might say that the headless horsey will be lighter than the coupe, but the top mechanism doo hickies and additional chassis strengthening doodads might make up for the loss of sheet metal weight.
As for the performance side, the FT-86 open concept will still be launched by a 200 hp boxer engine but might only be offered with an automatic six-speed flappy paddled quick draw tranny.
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Now comes the sad part (for most of us). In nicer terms, the FT-86 Open Concept bears an elegant white exterior body which is carried over to the accents on the dashboard. This is then contrasted with golden yellow carpets, while navy blue leather covers the rest of the interior. Umm... is it just me or does it look like it was colored by a four-year-old watching Sailor Moon? (Queue “In the Navy” and “The Love Boat” songs.)
It seems that Toyota has made a compromise to target a wider market band. The hard-headed Toyota 86 was targeted to be a real drivers’ car. It's for people who has the passion to drive and enjoy the labors of such exercise. These are people with dirt under their nails, a racing line in their heads, and helmets in the trunk. All they think about are stuff to put in the car to enhance the driving experience.
And then they took the roof off…
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The FT-86 Open Concept now attracts women, middle-aged men with comb overs, and douche bags. When the Toyota 86 first came out, its natural habitat was on an asphalt road, a track, or somewhere we can enjoy the full perks of what the car can give. The Open Concept looks like it belongs in a shampoo commercial.
I admit the car is a looker. It should enter your family as a “and” car not an “or” car. Get the coupe first. And if the wife doesn’t start yapping, get her the Open Concept. The world is full of compromises.