Toyota stole the show at the Tokyo Auto Salon when it unveiled this stunning, new-shape FT-86 G Sports Concept. The car is an evolution of the "Toyobaru," the lightweight rear-drive sports coupe that Toyota and Subaru are working on together. The FT-86, which may get the Celica name, is still set for a 2011 production launch in Japan.
This latest interpretation has a sharper front end and more aggressive side body treatment, new wheels and matt-black hood. The lower front air intake is both larger and more dramatic, with central vent and air blades on either side. There are new side sills and deeper body vents for cooling both front and rear brakes.
At the back, Toyota's bolted on a far more businesslike trunk spoiler that's straight out of Japan's D1 Drift series and the meatier diffuser treatment and twin exhausts.
Under that vented hood, the FT-86's Subaru-derived 2.0-liter Boxer four now gains a turbo, but there's no word on power. As it stands, the FT-86 is still 6-speed manual, but the car is now a touch bigger: length up 30mm to 4160mm while width is now 1,780mm – 20mm up on the '09 car. The car sits 30mm lower down, however, at 1230mm and at road level, rolls on slick Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tires: 245/45 R19 at the front with 275/35 R19s at the back.
The new concept car also has a GPS-track day unit co-developed with the creators of the "Gran Turismo" computer game franchise and automotive technology giant, Denso. The GPS unit allows users to drive the real FT-86 around a real racetrack and then remove the memory card from the car, plug it into a PlayStation3 and either watch the lap virtually or race against yourself, as the real car appears as the car that you battle against. The GPS unit was tested in a fully race-prepped Lexus IS F at the Nurburgring last October.
Intriguingly, the original FT-86 concept car's dashboard had an outline of Fuji Speedway, a lap timer and an altimeter, hinting at Toyota's plans for the technology. Reports suggest Toyota will offer this technology on most future models, starting with the launch of the production FT-86.