Our spies have caught the Toyota FT-86 testing in Europe for the first time, proving that the rear-drive coupe - which some sources say will revive the 'Celica' badge - is well on the way to production.
Spotted undergoing a handling shake-down at Germany’s Nurbürgring, the finished exterior design (heavily concealed beneath the camouflage paintjob) was overseen by Toyota, while Subaru took care of the rest – including the signature boxer engine, transmission, suspension and brakes.
Here's a spy video of the FT-86 at the track:
Two very different versions were caught testing at the same location - with the performance-oriented Sport version clearly identifiable thanks to an extreme body-kit, big-bore twin exhausts and a giant rear wing. Our sources say that this version will come with a sports exhaust system and ECU remap, boosting power by around 30bhp.
They’ll both be built on the same Subaru production line, but have slight variations in grilles, wheels, some cabin details and marginally different suspension tuning, but apart from that the cars will be the same.
Sitting on an all-new platform that borrows strongly from the new Impreza and the current Legacy, the FT-86 is powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated boxer engine, and is expected to produce around 200bhp. The unit will sit much lower and closer to the centre of the car than on the current Impreza, “which leads to inspired handling” claims our source.
Channeling the power straight to the rear wheels – a first for Subaru – will be either a six-speed manual or 5-speed automatic gearbox, the newcomer should manage the sprint from zero to 60mph in under seven seconds, but a quicker turbo version will not be offered.
Our source tells us that the entry-level models will get 17-inch wheels, and cost 2.3 around £17,400 in Japan, rising to £21,200 for the flagship, which will include options like Brembo brakes and stiffer sports suspension – although a weak exchange rate may see these prices rise when the car goes on sale here next spring, following a debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.