Toyota lures open top fans

The FT-86 Open concept follows the runaway success of the award-winning 86

The Toyota FT-86 Open will be unveiled at the Geneva International motor show in March. Photo / Supplied
The Toyota FT-86 Open will be unveiled at the Geneva International motor show in March. Photo / Supplied

Toyota will stoke the passions of driving enthusiasts when it unveils a concept for a convertible version of the popular 86 sports car at next month's Geneva motor show.

The FT-86 Open concept is a sneak preview of a possible future variant of the award-winning 86 that was launched here last year.

Developed in collaboration with Subaru, the 86 has been a runaway success for the Japanese brand.

The latest concept has been created to gauge customer reaction for an open-top version of the 86.

Prototype engineering assessments are already underway.

It comes more than three years after Toyota showed its first concept for a compact-rear-wheel-drive sports car at the 2009 Tokyo motor show.

The original FT-86 Concept (future Toyota 86) was designed to give the driver greater control with a compact design, light body and low centre of gravity.

It promised power and environmental performance from a two-litre boxer engine.

The next car in the series was the FT-86G Sports Concept car, which gained an aggressive styling and performance makeover by Toyota's technical partner Gazoo Racing. It retained the front-engine, rear-drive layout of a classic sports car with power from a specially tuned turbocharged engine.

The third car in the series, the FT-86 II Concept, debuted at the Geneva motor show two years ago and was also shown at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. Its compact proportions featured a long, low bonnet, high wings and rear-set cabin.

- NZ Herald

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