Overseas, the Scion FR-S is called the Toyota GT86, harking back to the rear-wheel-drive Toyota Corolla AE86 that’s become a cult icon in the automotive sport of drifting. The FT-86–”Future Toyota”–is a foreshadowing of the roadster version that’s bound to show up within the next year, competing with the Ford Mustang convertible as well as the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
Using the same 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-4 as the Scion FR-S, the Toyota FT-86 Open concept also has the available automatic transmission and an interior decked out in much higher-quality materials than what come in the standard car, including perforated white leather seats, a contrasting mustard yellow carpet, leather on the dashboard, and a cell phone holder built into the center console. It’s evident that Toyota isn’t anticipating this car to be the track toy the hardtop Scion FR-S is.
Toyota’s engineers say that the FR-S was designed to be weight-neutral from the onset, meaning that they don’t expect too much of a penalty over the coupe’s 2,800 pounds when the roadster hits production. And they don’t expect the 50:50 front to rear weight distribution to change that much, either.
We’ll get more details about the Toyota FT-86 Open concept next week when it’s officially unveiled in Geneva. Until then, feast your eyes on these prematurely released pictures of the new open-top sports car.