The “Toyobaru” 216a (Subaru’s version of the Toyota FT-86) has been spotted (large pic HERE) on American soil for the first time — in Orange County! A similar looking test mule was previously spotted (HERE and HERE) testing on the famed German track “Nurburgring”.

These pics are not significant for seeing how the Subaru 216a will look as this is simply a test mule made up of Impreza and Legacy parts. It is however exciting to see the Subaru 216a continuing chassis and drivetrain testing, especially in North America!

Earlier today, we reported on AutocarUK’s exclusive interview with Jaromir Cech, the senior designer at Toyota’s ED2 studios responsible for designing the Toyota FT-86 concept car. As part of the interview, Autocar was able to video record Mr. Cech live with the FT-86 in a dramatic hangar setting. The resulting VIDEO is informative as well as just plain good ole’ eye candy! Check it out INSIDE.

There’s a trifecta of FT-86 related news today! Autocar recently conducted a Q&A with the senior designer at ED2 (Toyota’s European design studios), from which new FT-86 photos were captured, redesign rumors dispeled (implicitly), and rumblings developed of the production FT-86 version possibly being shown at the 2010 Geneva Autoshow during the first week of March.

See the new photo set, Q&A, and related discussions HERE.

The Toyota FT-86 will be making its first appearance outside of Japan at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show during the first week of March! We will be bringing you live coverage and pics from the event!

Monday February 15, 2010 14:39

Click here or the image below to download this new FT-86 wallpaper. We’ve made it available in multiple resolutions (including higher resolutions). Enjoy!

Publication Holiday Autos is reporting (discussions here) that the original FT-86 design we have seen at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show and the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon (based on designed by Toyota’s Europe Design Development ED²) has been passed up by Toyota in favor of the alternative design by Toyota’s North American design studio (Calty Design Research). Calty’s FT-86 version (which we’ve yet to see in person except for the sketch below from 7tune) has been picked over the ED² design and another design by Toyota’s Japanese design team (Toyota Technical Center).

Reportedly, the ED² design was rejected November of last year, the month following the original debut of the FT-86 at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The selection then came down to the designs by Calty and Toyota Technical Center, with Calty’s design winning out.

It’s being reported that the basic elements of the FT-86 in its new form are all ready, with the exception of a few minor items which will be finalized in March. The new Calty designed FT-86 will have less aggressively carved and curved surfaces, will feature increased overhangs (boo!), and have a higher front fascia (in all likelihood to meet current pedestrian safety requirements. Wheelbase and physical dimensions have not changed. As for the Subaru version of the FT-86, it will not differ from the Toyota version as much as previously reported. Expect only badge and option differences.

We’re not sure what to make of this rumor yet as we absolutely adore the FT-86 design that we have all seen in the two Tokyo car shows. The FT-86 design has been an absolute hit and it would take another knockout design to match its sharp, unique, and emotional design. However, do keep in mind that Calty was the studio responsible for the stunning FT-HS concept, so we will reserve judgment for the new FT-86 design (if there indeed is one) until we see it! There may be hope yet.

Discuss these developments with us HERE.

As discussed HERE, Jim Lentz, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Toyota Motor Sales USA was recently interviewed regarding the return of a Toyota sports car to the North American market. In the interview, Mr. Lentz is asked “It has been years since Toyota had a sports car (Supra) available for sale in North America. Are there any plans to bring back the Supra or come out with a new affordable sports car?

The answer Mr. Lentz provides is that the Supra will not be coming back (so we now know the FT-86 won’t be called the “Supra”), but the FT-86 will be coming to market sometime in the near future (including in North America since the question was asked regarding the N. American market)! See the clip below and share comments HERE.

Monday February 8, 2010 11:18

You may not yet be able to purchase a life sized Toyota FT-86 (heck, the production car isn’t even yet revealed), but fans of the concept version can now pick up a scale model version of the original red FT-86 concept car. KIDBOX CAM is now offering this 1/43 scale resin model of the 2009 FT-86 concept car, which looks to be pretty accurate to the real thing.

It’s pricey at approximately $70 USD (ships from Japan), but may be totally worth the price if we can open the hood for some confirmation on what engine lies underneath! 😉 DETAILS HERE.