Newest Dream Car?


In the last five years, Subaru, and certainly Toyota have done lots with the FT86 platform.  We’ve seen minor iterations from the production car, and a few interesting special edition models.  On the motorsports front, both STI and Gazoo have put out some great looking and functional competition machines.  In terms of concept cars, we’ve seen convertibles, and sedans, and shooting brakes… 

But now they actually have my interest.

Arriving at the Toyota Motor Show this morning, is this heavily massaged Toyota 86 carrying the name of Gazoo Racing HV Sports.

The car is obviously ZN6 based, but is quite distinct in appearance.  Taking cues from various Toyota consumer products and race cars, it creates some dramatic emotion in me, a hardcore Toyota owner.  

It’s a post modern look… maybe even cyber punk.  Flat black paint aside, I feel like it would have fit perfectly on the set of the recent Ghost In The Shell.

Those tail light remind you of the new Prius? Yah this is a hybrid too.

Further clues of its dual element powertrain come from the headlamps, styled after Toyota’s most recent WEC project, the TS050.  I can imagine as well, that the wheels are identical to the forged magnesium Rays Engineering rollers worn by that car… with five M12 holes drilled in them for road car usage.

This is what dreams are made of!

If there is a downside… it might be the Targa roof… but I think I’m aging to the point where not every car has to be a hard-core track machine.

It’s not actually that kind of hybrid is it?

Fuel economy aside (the current ZN6 already exceeds expectations) hybrid power brings the potential for real actual torque output.  Mounting the battery back behind the front seats, improves the weight distribution of the ZN6 which is realistically nowhere close to 50/50 anyways.  I imagine an electric motor supplementing a proper Toyota branded I4… and start to imagine that this might finally actually be something closer to the AE86 successor we’ve been imagining.

Sad that the back seats are gone? Nope… no one ever wanted a back seat in their FRS or their AE86.

Sad that the clutch pedal is gone? Not really… it’s a new world folks.  

The manual is truly on its way out… now manufacturers are creating nostalgic feels by controlling automatic gearboxes with H pattern gear leavers.  I’m not sure I mind it one bit. Let’s face it, cars are so heavily automated and nannied these days, that even the clutch pedal is often buffered to do something differently from what your left foot demands.

Call me a sell out… but I feel like despite changes to the experience of driving, cars themselves are just getting better and better.  Safer. More efficient. Better performing.  This looks like a great step forward from the current car, and I have desire.

 

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