FT-86 …Holy S&%T

This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Toyota and Subaru have announced a joint venture. It’s called the FT-86, and is billed as a new breed of lightweight, rear-wheel drive, 2+2 coupe.

Ooooh Sexy!

Like the original AE-86 from Toyota, the FT-86 should emphasis balanced handling, and the Japanese concept of Jinba ittai or “Horse and rider as one”. (Thank you Mazda for bringing that one to my attention :) ). This concept of Jinba ittai really strikes a cord with me, and I don’t think modern car manufacturers give it enough credence.

I’m particularly excited about this concept because it gets back to the essence of true sports cars. A small lightweight chassis, willing turbo motor, and (hopefully) predictable balanced handling that rewards the skilled driver. As each year passes new “sports” cars get heavier, more sluggish, and tamer than ever before. And car companies keep adding new gizmos (which are an insult to a purist like me) to help the cars produce better lap times. Think twin-clutch or auto rev-matching gear boxes and you’ll catch my drift. Yes, they do make cars faster for the majority of the public, but the car-control skills that are cast aside are more than I can stomach. Unless you drive an F1, GT, Rally, or similar dedicated racecar, then stick to a stick. You”ll find yourself more involved in the driving experience, and as a bonus you’ll get better! (But really that’s up to you.) /preachiness

The prospect of this car tickles my fancy. If it lives up to it’s namesake, and I know that’s asking a lot, it may be the first new car I buy. If it’s a flop, either through too much weight, too little power, or sloppy handling characteristics, then chalk it up to today’s stringent safety standards and environmental concerns. If it delivers, expect Toyota/Subaru’s stock index and street cred’ to go up by a few points.


For more pictures of this awesome looking car, please visit FT-86Club.com.

I’ve also found a few track test videos that I’ve favorited on my YouTube page. Check them out! Things are looking very promising. :)