Toyota FT-86 Open Concept (2013) drop-top GT86 revealedFri, 01 Mar 2013
Toyota will show a drop-top 'FT86 Open' concept at the 2013 Geneva motor show. It's supposedly a concept version created only to gauge customer reaction to a GT86 convertible, but with test mules already hard at work elsewhere, this is one concept car you can be sure will make it to showrooms almost unchanged. After all, that 'FT86' moniker stands for 'Future Toyota'...Will the roof-chop destroy the GT86's fine handling?
Toyota says no, thanks to the GT86 being designed with an open-top model in mind from the outset. Crucially, that should avoid the GT86's body gaining too much stiffening weight for the 197bhp 2.0-litre 'boxer' engine to haul. Toyota aimed for the FT86 Open to be 'weight neutral' compared to the 1257kg GT86 coupe.
The FT86 Open Concept is equipped with the GT86's optional six-speed automatic transmission, complete with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.Does the Toyota FT86 Open lose out on practicality?
Not too badly. The FT86 Open keeps the coupe's small rear seats, unlike its Audi TT Roadster rival, which is strictly a two-seater when equipped with a fabric top. The FT86 Open's cloth roof stows electrically behind the passenger compartment, with minimal intrusion into boot-space, says Toyota.That interior looks unusually bright for a Toyota GT86...
The white and blue interior colour scheme isn't something you'd find in a regular GT86 (thankfully, some might say). The upholstery, including the gold stitching for the bucket seats, has been inspired by the city of Milan and its fashion design heritage. Note the '86' boxer-piston phone holder and extra dashboard gauges too.When will we see a production Toyota GT85 Open?
That's the (likely) £30,000 question. Toyota was notoriously tardy turning the original FT86 concept into a production model, but given the car was engineered for drop-top duty, we should see convertible versions being stamped out by the end of 2013.
By Ollie Kew