The Spanish magazine Autopista has some cool pictures and information about the pre production model of the Toyota FT-86. Key points I read from FT-86Club.com:
Two manual gearbox options with different ratios
Toyota FT-86 model will be the least expensive of the three cars being developed
Michelin Primacy HP 215/45 on 17″ wheels were on the test car
The ECU is tunable!
On sale June 2012
What does this all mean? Well, a two manual gearbox option may mean one for more fuel efficiency and one geared for sportier driving. So, depending on what you want the car to do, depends on what gearbox you choose. The Toyota model being the most affordable doesn’t mean much, because we won’t see it in the U.S. anyway. Does this mean the Scion and Subaru model has more features and options then what we know due to a higher price? We will have to wait and see. The Michelin tire choice is a “Grand Touring Summer tire developed to provide longer tread life and lasting performance throughout the tire’s life, as well as better braking, steering control and handling on wet roads”. (Tire Rack) Toyota obviously wants this car to be drivable in a variety of conditions out of the box for any buyer. On sale June 2012, I marked it on my calendar. The ECU being tunable is the best news so far. This means the electronic control unit will be fully customizable for tuners and consumers for more power, and even better fuel efficiency and reliability. This information confirms that this will be a truly amazing car!
Take a look at the engine bay picture above, there are a few things to point out. The engine sits low and rearward, the battery is located rearward, there are bolt in strut tower braces, the oil filter is designed for easy access, and the intake is fed directly into the top of the engine from the front of the car. This is all good news. Engine and battery placement for a better center of gravity and weight distribution. Strut tower locations means that strut tower braces will actually serve a purpose to stiffen the front of the car. I mention this because the location of the struts on a Subaru Impreza chassis are so close to the firewall, that a strut tower bar only slightly stiffens the chassis. Oil filter access means that changing oil in this car will be a breeze! I hate it when oil filters are in the middle of the engine so when you change the filter all the oil leaks over chassis braces and suspension parts; more oil ends up on the floor and the car then in the pan. Just a pet peeve we won’t have to worry about with the FT-86, FR-S, or BRZ. Intake location means that cool air will easily be attainable from the front of the car. Don’t forget to check out the link above for more pictures!