Here it is! Take a look at the first official images of the Toyota FT-86 Open concept – a potential forerunner to a GT86 convertible.
The concept will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next week (Tuesday March 5th), and we’ll bring you complete coverage of the event, live from the show floor.
See the full set of pictures below, or watch the video here:
UPDATE 05/03: Ahead of the official reveal of the FT-86 Open at Geneva, this new video shows the car is much more than static concept. Wind in the hair anyone?
As we reported last month, the FT-86 Open concept has been created to gauge public reaction to the possibility of an open-top GT86.
The concept has been designed to deliver the lively, highly engaging and accessible performance and dynamic abilities of the GT86 with the added appeal of top-down motoring. As an added bonus, the soft-top design allows a 2+2 seating format to be retained, with little impact on boot space.
Its external dimensions match those of the coupe (length 4,240mm, width 1,750mm, height 1,270mm), with the fixed hard-top replaced by a multi-layered fabric roof that folds down behind the fixed rear seats, and a glass rear screen.
The show car has a special pure bright white and navy blue colour scheme designed by Toyota Boshoku Milan Design (TBMD) to capture the spirit and atmosphere of Milan, one of the world’s leading centres for fashion and design. The bodywork is finished in white, contrasting with the blue of the roof. Inside, the perforated white leather upholstery is layered over a navy blue backing, with golden yellow accent stitching and carpets.
The FT-86 Open uses the same platform and powertrain as the GT86. At its heart is the naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed 1,998cc four cylinder ‘boxer’ engine. Equipped with Toyota’s D-4S direct injection technology, this compact unit is set low, helping lower the car’s overall centre of gravity, and is capable of producing 100bhp per litre. It drives the rear wheels through a short-throw, six-speed manual gear shift or a six-speed automatic – the latter with the world’s fastest paddle shift speed, just two tenths of a second.
As with the production GT86, it features MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension to give a direct handling feel, instant response and a high level of control. The electric power steering has a quick 13.1:1 ratio that’s on a par with racing models, while large ventilated front and rear disc brakes deliver excellent pedal feel for car control finesse.
Toyota has pinpointed numerous areas that will need further engineering evaluation to assess the impact of the cabriolet design on performance, vehicle rigidity, balance, weight and aerodynamics. However, with features such as frameless doors, the GT86 was designed with the development of a cabriolet in mind, which means the impact on structural rigidity by converting to an open-top design should not be great. Efficient measures to preserve rigidity are being analysed, such as the use of door lock reinforcements.
GT86 has a near-perfect 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution, helping deliver ideal response to even subtle steering, throttle and brake inputs, and a low, 460mm centre of gravity – no wonder it’s taken car of the year awards from Top Gear, Auto Express and Autocar.
While introducing a fabric roof is likely to bring the centre of gravity even lower, further engineering analysis will be needed to match the balance of the coupe.
GT86 tips the scales at only 1,257kg, thanks to comprehensive weight-saving measures, giving the car a power-to-weight ratio of around 160bhp per tonne.
This is crucial to performance, given the car uses an engine with a relatively small capacity. Engineering the cabriolet to be ‘weight-neutral’ relative to the coupe will be a key area of study should Toyota decided to progress with the project.
Find out more about GT86 on the Toyota website.