Making its world debut in Geneva as a one-off, the Toyota FT-86 Open Concept is the de facto precursor to a future drop-top version of the automaker's new FT-86 sport coupe - a vehicle marketed here as the Scion FR-S. While Toyota admits that a few engineering issues still need to be worked out before the final production spec is approved, it also notes that the FR-86/FR-S was designed from the start to accommodate an al fresco variant.
While maintaining all of the standard powertrain and chassis components of the rear-drive FT-86 Coupe -- including its 200-horsepower/2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, choice of a 6-speed manual or paddle shifted 6-speed automatic transmission and superbly sorted suspension -- the Open Concept swaps its fixed steel roof for a power operated multi-layer fabric soft top with an integrated glass rear window. The compact design of the top and its operating mechanism allow the FT-86 Open Concept to retain most of the Coupe's trunk space as well as its 2+2 seating configuration, although here too, space in the aft quarters remains at a premium.
In keeping with its show-car status, the distinctive pure bright white and navy blue color scheme of the FT-86 Open Concept was created by Toyota Boshoku Milan Design (TBMD) to capture the spirit and atmosphere of the Italian world style center. Inside, the cabin of the Open Concept features the same palette, complementing perforated white leather upholstery layered over a navy blue backing with golden-yellow accent stitching and carpet/floor mats. The Open Concept also has a unique center stack that swaps out the basic FT-86 audio package for a different head unit and a trio of supplemental gauges plus an auxiliary iPhone holder.
No word yet on exactly when an FT-86 Convertible and its Scion FR-S counterpart might arrive in showrooms. Despite Toyota's claim this one-off was created merely to judge public response to the idea of an open-air addition to the lineup, we wouldn't be surprised to see production start sometime within the next 12 months.
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