Geneva Motor Show 2011 - Toyota hints at future sports model

Toyota took another step towards a new sports model March 1 with the unveiling of the FT-86 II concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

The biggest hint yet of the styling expected from a new production sports model, the FT-86 II was described as a model that paid homage to Toyota's previous sports cars of the past such as the 2000 GT of the 1960s.

The model, which could make its way to the market as a production vehicle next year, features a long, low hood and rear-set cabin and measures 4,235 mm long and 1,270mm high.

It is fitted with a boxer petrol engine and six-speed manual transmission, which are set far back (like the cabin) to optimize weight for the car's stability and agility, which Toyota says gives a "lively, accessible performance" from the rear-wheel drive.

The FT-86 II has been developed with Subaru, something which could serve to liven up Toyota's now rather staid reputation which has grown with the success of its family cars.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at the Geneva show that he wanted "to transfer the thrill of the race track to our vehicles, and make driving fun and exciting for our customers."

Media reports in Japan have suggested that Toyota's fellow Japanese rival Honda is also working on a sports car to fill a gap in its own lineup.

The Geneva Motor Show is open to the public March 3 - 13 in Geneva, Switzerland.

http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/

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