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Toyota FT-86 Concept: Design, Dissected

Illustration for article titled Toyota FT-86 Concept: Design, Dissected

The Toyota FT-86 Concept is an exciting step forward for the vanilla automaker, blending cues from the past (the Toyota AE86) with hints of ToMoCo future. We dissect the design below to see how they've accomplished this delicate feat.

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A Legacy In The Front Three-Quarters
The original Toyota AE86 is a legend, offering the fun of RWD in an extremely light-and-tossable platform. Despite having econo-car dimensions, the AE86 was able to incorporate a sports car look with its long, sloping hood and a line carrying itself through the A-pillar. Click through to see how this element transformed into the final concept.

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Toyota's Design Evolves In Profile
The RWD is teased in the Hofmeister Kink, which goes through quite the metamorphosis before ending up with a look that combines the wild integrated kink of the first sketch and concept with the practical C-pillar on the original coupe and three-door.


A Sexy Swoop In Back
The new swoopy design language on the FT-86 has less to do with the AE-86 and more to do with where Toyota is going as a company. The two-box design coming to a point at the rear evolves from the LF-A Roadster concept to something more dramatic on the sketch and concept before ending up with a design incorporating the same rotary look into the trunkline.


Looking To The Future Up Front
Toyota has lacked a distinctive front fascia for years, with little similarity between a Camry, Corolla and Avalon, to give just one example. Though you don't quite see the emergence of one in these drawings, it's clear with the introduction of the 2010 4Runner that Toyota is attempted, at least, to create a more aggressive look with the use of a trapezoidal shape.

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Conclusion
The FT-86 in name and purpose is the heir to the AE86 legacy but is far more important to the brand. Though still a concept, this near-production vehicle is perhaps Toyota's best answer to Aiko Toyoda's complaint that the company has become distant from its customers.

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DISCUSSION

Am I alone in my distaste for the high belt line in modern cars? With the AE86 or a mid 90's Civic I can rest my arm comfortably on the door with the window down. I can see more of the road to my side. I can see more of the hood and road in front of me. In general I feel that most older cars allowed me a wider viewing angle and thus greater driving enjoyment. I'm guessing it's safety related that they're constantly being raised? To me, that essence of being in touch with your surroundings is lost when you bring the sides up too high.