Yep, the much-anticipated FT-86 has slipped the hangman's noose and looks ready to run loose. As much as the fledgling coupe has been up and down in Toyota's boardroom, it feels more like a rollercoaster than a car at this point.
With all the confusion abounding, a high-level meeting was held to clear the air. But while we have learned that the Toyota-Subaru collaboration is scheduled to hit the road in November 2011, the meeting also produced just enough info to keep the buzz at fever pitch. Make no mistake, there's a lot riding on this car - for Toyota and the import tuning market.
Here's the rumor: Toyota will offer three versions of the car and reportedly two engines. The big dog in the lineup will feature a turbocharged powerplant. The middle variant will cost around $28,000.
Translation: The key to the FT-86's success from a tuner standpoint is what you get and how much, or more precisely how little, you pay. The clipping points are under $20,000 and under $25,000. If the mid-model is $28,000 and the top-of-the-line model is turbocharged, the big dog could be well over $30,000 and in competition with the EVO and Subaru WRX STI. The base model will most likely be powered by a 260hp Boxer engine, but will it a) come in around $20K and b) be embraced by buyers and tuners in spite of its naturally aspirated status? This story has a few chapters left for sure.