Toyota is taking a bold concept car to Paris next week. Should it make production?
The Paris motor show is shaping up to be rather bustling. The latest concept car to reveal itself ahead of the hall doors cranking open next week comes from Toyota. It’s called the C-HR Concept, and it looks quite unlike anything you’ll currently find in a Toyota showroom. Which is to say bold and beguiling as opposed to a little bit boring (GT86 excepted, of course).
It’s essentially a future design study, hosting ‘the introduction of themes which signal a future direction for Toyota vehicles’, but it’s also the clearest hint yet that Toyota has the Nissan Juke in its crosshairs. Toyota helped bring the SUV to the mainstream via the original RAV4 20 years ago, lest we forget.
But now that the RAV4’s matured a bit, Toyota has no direct rival for the Juke (and the myriad other crossovers you can currently buy). And it’s a hugely successful market with a plenty of buyers to mine at the moment… [x]
You thought Jeremy would immediately pick the most expensive or most powerful car here, didn’t you? Well, he didn’t… he picked one of the cheapest and least powerful. But he had his reasons. The Toyota GT86 is a new way of looking at an old problem: how to have fun in a reasonably priced car. Now, TG has a long association with cheap thrills, but the GT86 tries very hard to re-educate a generation of hot-hatch motorists on the joys of rear-wheel drive. And it succeeds, by being exciting, relatively cheap and accessible to mere mortals. It’s good, people. Be excited.
“I like the GT86 because it’s come barrelling into the bottom end of the marketplace with a big dirty smile on its face and a suggestion in the way it stands that it wants to have fun with your middle parts. It’s a car designed for one thing only: fun.”
See video of Jezza in the GT86 at TopGear.com
Big supercar crash in Japan… but we’re a little fuzzy on the “most expensive” bit.
The internet’s been fizzing all day today with reports of a very painful, very expensive 14-car crash on the Chugoku highway in Shimonoseki, Japan. Largely because it involved a convoy of Ferraris. And a Toyota Prius.
The lead driver of said convoy, which was journeying to Hiroshima for a supercar meet, attempted to change lanes but hit a barrier, spun out and caused all the cars to crash horribly, embroiling a Toyota in the process. Luckily, nobody was injured. But it remains a deeply troubling sight.
Something else has also unsettled us.
Depending on your news source of choice, there were eight Ferraris involved, three Mercedes-Benzes, a Nissan Skyline and a Lamborghini Diablo.
Now, we’ve had a look at all the footage and we can only identify six Ferraris (two 355s, a black 360 with racy bolt-on parts, a red 360 with racy bolt-on parts, a 430 Scuderia and a cocaine-white 512 Testarossa). But no Lamborghini. Or Skyline.
What’s got us most confused is the estimate of these destroyed cars collective worth. If you believe The Telegraph, the total adds up to as much as $4 million, while BBC News claims 300 million Yen (or $3.8 million)….
But the costs of these cars do not equal up to anywhere near $1MM.
So what *is* the most expensive supercar crash in the world?
Remember the Scion FR-S/Toyota GT-86 we showed you the other day? This BRZ is essentially the same car, so you’re looking at the same 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed flat four engine - a ‘boxer’ - producing 197bhp and 151lb ft of torque.
And underneath the near-identical body sits Subaru’s lightweight, front-engined, rear-drive chassis, held together in the middle by a proper six-shift manual gearbox. Subaru tells us the BRZ gets an aluminium bonnet, high-tensile steel in the ‘upper structure’ and a low centre of gravity - helped in part by the flat-four engine.
They’re both lookers and they’re both proper sports cars so we’ll have to see how pricing and options shake out — but until then: which one would you rather have?
Toyota gets inspired by that ‘MarthaMarcyMayMarlene’ movie, names new car ‘FR-S’, ‘GT-86’, & ‘86’.
You know that Elizabeth Olsen movie with the four names? Martha Marcy May Marlene? We’ll it seems Toyota was inspired by it in giving it’s FT-86 sports car a different name in each market:
Firstly, and for no obvious reason, Toyota’s ditched the F and hyphen. Secondly, they’ve added RULES. Europeans get the GT 86 (but we have to call it the eight six, not eighty six), in Japan it’ll be the 86 (as in eighty six and no GT prefix) and America gets the Scion FR-S.
So, what else is there to report? Beyond these heavily Photoshopped pictures, not a lot. We’ve spotted some slight styling and interior differentiation from the concept - there’s a big diffuser on its lower rump, and Toyota’s fitted a Very Small Steering wheel (365mm in diameter, which is the smallest it has ever fitted to a road car).
Well, it’s still good looking.
Want to see more of the pics? Release the clicken.
Subaru has done the decent thing and stolen Toyota’s thunder by announcing it will show a ‘Concept - STI’ version of the forthcoming BRZ at the Los Angeles show in two weeks time.
The Subaru BRZ is being developed under the same program as the Toyota FT-86.
Naturally, what with this being a ‘concept’ and all, there are no details, but this surely means that once the standard BRZ appears next summer, it will be quickly pursued by a hot version with a turbocharged version of the flat four. So let’s guess that it’ll have at least 300bhp for the rear wheels to cope with.
While the above are renders, here’s what’s supposedly a pic of the real thing:
It’s everything a Subaru should be: shiny and blue with a ginormous wing. Now if we can just get over the RWD thing…
Readenmore at TopGear.com
Just last week the company announced it would finally, finally, reveal the production version of the FT-86 at next month’s Tokyo motor show, alongside the co-developed Subaru BRZ sports coupe. And if these images are genuine, barring the Modellista bits, you can clearly see Toyota has stayed very close to the concept.
For the first time, we can see the interior of the FT-86 too, featuring those sports seats, instrument display, stubby gearlever and climate controls. There’s even a cupholder.
It’s been a long time coming. Toyota and Subaru have announced that they’ll be showing their co-developed Toyota FT-86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes at the Tokyo motor show next month. Finally.
Both get a Subaru-derived flat-four engine and six-speed manual ‘box, with the option of a six-speed auto. Though ticking that one would be unbridled heresy. Output differs between the marques - the Scooby BRZ gets “less than 300bhp” while the FT-86 dangles around the 200bhp mark.
Underneath, they’ll be identical, both getting limited-slip differentials and independent suspension. On the outside, they’ll be differentiated by grills, badges and wheels.
The FT-86 especially is designed to appeal to the drifters - the stability control system even allows a dab of sideways before it tells you off. It’ll be lithe, too - Toyota says it’s 200kg lighter than a VW Scirocco (around 1100kg). It gets some trick suspension refinements, too - top-spec dampers and Euro-biased handling. Price? Around £20,000. Which seems very reasonable.
Details on the Subaru are a bit hazier. But we do know that it won’t be four-wheel drive and will be a touch dearer - around £25,000, though no numbers have been confirmed - on account of the extra 100-odd bhp.
Both sound pretty promising.
BBC Top Gear
As fans of Top Gear, I’d like you all to comment on this… particularly “interesting” Toyota commercial for new lines of the Prius.
What do you think: Super Creepy or Super Cool?