It's two years on from the unveiling of the FT-86 concept and still five months until the production version makes its debut in Tokyo, but new details of Toyota's new rear-wheel-drive coupe appear to have come to light.
Information passing around Toyota enthusiast forums this week, if accurate, reveals what many have hoped: the FT-86 may just be the car to herald Toyota's 'second renaissance'.
According to Club4AG.com founder Motohide Miwa, a recent invite-only event, reportedly with Toyota Sports vehicle boss Tetsuya Tada, revealed a number of new details of the new hero car, along with an on-screen unveiling of the production model.
Mechanically, Miwa says that while the engine is the Subaru-derived boxer engine already confirmed, it has been completely worked over at Toyota.
From a revised and re-cast engine block through to Yamaha tuning and Toyota's D-4S direct injection technology, it seems this is absolutely not your Impreza's engine.
Miwa describes a development program focused as much on the enthusiast as the casual buyer.
"The front dash has a beautiful sweeping line, and yet the front corners are recessed into the front window base," Miwa reported to the Club4AG online community.
"I asked why, and Tada-san replied 'It's so you can install a roll cage to regulations for many venues, without cutting up this dash'."
Miwa adds that Tada's team is so focused on weight and handling that buyers should even expect to do without a CD player and navigation. Whether those modern conveniences will appear in the options list, however, is unclear.
On the styling front, Toyota has already confirmed that the recent FT-86 II concept offers the best hint at the production model's look.
According to Miwa, we can expect the concept's 2000GT-inspired C-pillar to carry over, along with "a little more flavour" from the Scion FR-S concept and a sharper rear-end design.
"That's all I can tell you at this point," Miwa adds.
Time will tell as to the accuracy of the report. However when Akio Toyoda was made president of the 74 year-old Toyota Motor Company, the grandson of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, he promised to revitalise the company's entire line-up.
Most importantly, Toyoda also committed his company to developing a new entry-level rear-wheel-drive coupe. With each new report, the FT-86 is looking more tantalising.
- TMR News Editor