At the Toyota stand in Frankfurt, the focus is on hybrid drivetrains and sustainable technology, but if you're looking for a sustainable storyline you need go no further than Toyota's FT-86 II Concept. First shown in Tokyo in 2009, the concept jumped to Geneva in 2010 and is now on display in Frankfurt. Various tweaks - new color and Brembo brakes - are in evidence, and the car is coming closer to actual production, but while the enthusiast community waits impatiently for a showroom appearance Toyota waits to pull the trigger.
There have, to be sure, been distractions. The rash of recall issues obviously consumed corporate resources, and the one-two punch of a tsunami and nuclear meltdown is something any entity - even Toyota Motor Corp. - is hard pressed to overcome in a short period. To Toyota's credit, the storyline did move forward last spring in New York, where a seemingly close-to-production FT-86 - in Scion guise and dubbed FR-S - was shown.
Despite the delay - or perhaps because of it - the coupe remains an attractive and intriguing proposition. Given the scarcity of affordable rear-wheel drive packages, and the novelty of a front-mounted, boxer-type engine, we're all about the potential of the end result. And here's hoping we're reporting on that story in Detroit.
See more coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
|DAVID BOLDT began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.|