Toyota on Tuesday unveiled a new lightweight, sporty concept car inspired by an iconic coupe from the 1980s, saying its vision of the future was both mean and green.
With a low centre of gravity and a special two-litre boxer engine developed by partner Subaru, the rear-wheel drive FT-86 is said to handle like a race car but with less damage to the environment.
The cherry-red concept car, which will go on display at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show, aims to rekindle passion for its Corolla AE86 of the 1980s.
“Everyone thinks sports cars won’t sell but there is a huge demand, particularly among middle-aged men who have fond memories of the Corolla 86 and would like to drive it again,” Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada said.
“When green cars become prevalent, consumers will choose brands that offer something extra,” Tada said at a preview of the vehicle.
Toyota will also display a new version of its electric concept car — based on its compact Toyota iQ — at the Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public on October 24.
The four-seater FT-EV II runs on lithium-ion batteries has a top speed in excess of 100 kph, and has solar panels on its roof so that it can be easily recharged.
Toyota and Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries are also reported to be considering jointly developing electric vehicles. Toyota has declined comment.