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Geneva 2013: Toyota to reveal GT86 convertible concept
Toyota will reveal a convertible concept version of the GT86 sports car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March, suggesting a production version may soon be on the way.
The firm’s calling it the FT-86 Open concept, and has confirmed engineering tests are already being carried out on a prototype model.
Toyota’s today released just a single teaser sketch, which appears to show a 2+2 design with the folding roof neatly integrated beneath a flat rear deck.
There are no clues as to whether it’s a folding soft-top or a folding hard-top roof, but we’d hope the firm has kept it simple and lightweight with the ‘canvass’ option – although, in the image, the rear deck does look a little bulky…
However, this may be because Toyota has chosen to make it a four-seat model rather than a two-seat variant, which leaves less space to pack the roof into. Four seats are vital for all-round appeal in this sector, particularly in lucrative US west coast markets.
There’s no word on what engine the new FT-86 Open concept will use, although the lack of a bonnet scoop suggests the rumoured turbocharged boxer engine won’t be fitted. With the extra weight needed to engineer a stiff open-top car, it will mean performance won’t be a priority for this rear-driven convertible…
Toyota says the Geneva show debut will be used to gauge public reaction to the car, and test whether there’s a market for it. We can’t imagine there wouldn’t be: models such as the VW Golf Cabriolet have proven there’s demand for family-sized convertibles; Vauxhall’s reveal of the production-ready Cascada open-top model at the Geneva show will reinforce this.
The FT-86 Open tag is unlikely to be retained for production, though. ‘FT’ was also used for the original coupe concept, but it was later renamed ‘GT’ for production.
Expect a 2014 debut for the Toyota GT86 Open, then? More will be revealed at the Geneva show…
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