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Toyota ‘to build 86 convertible’

Lose the roof: A topless Toyota 86 appears to be on the way, shortly behind the coupe.

Engineer confirms topless Toyota 86 on the way, according to German report

2 Mar 2012

TOYOTA appears to have confirmed the inevitable – the zippy rear-drive 86 sportscar will be produced as a convertible, as well as the existing two-door coupe.

And if Toyota takes the open-top route – as reported exclusively by GoAuto three months ago – then Subaru cannot be far behind with a similar version of its near-identical BRZ.

German magazine Autobild has quoted Toyota 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada as confirming the development of the convertible version of the boxer-engined sportscar that has been a joint development of Toyota and Subaru.

“The GT 86 was designed from the outset (so) that we can build it as a convertible,” he said.

Autobild said Toyota had not yet decided the launch timing of the convertible, which would go head-to-head with the iconic Mazda MX-5.

The possibility of the topless version was reported exclusively by GoAuto last November when the Subaru product planning chief responsible for the BRZ told us in Japan: “Everyone who sees this coupe wants a convertible. If demand is enough, they can have it.”

8 center imageLeft: Subaru BRZ.

A frameless door design – necessary for a convertible – is already in place on the coupe, providing at least one clue that the designers and engineers were thinking about a roofless version from the outset.

The Toyota 86 – to be called GT 86 in Europe and Scion FR-S in North America – is set to be launched in Australia about mid-year, with the Subaru version arriving about the same time or a little later.

The 86 and BRZ share a normally aspirated 2.0-litre twin-cam flat-four engine that develops 147kW of power at 7000rpm and a modest 205Nm of torque at 6600rpm.

Subaru engineers have told GoAuto that turbocharging the engine will be difficult because of its low-slung packaging towards the rear of the engine bay, but hopes for a more powerful variant are alive, with UK’s Autocar quoting Mr Tada as saying Toyota has been evaluating supercharged versions of the boxer engine.

The engine is a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, with Toyota supplying the D-4S dual-injection system that employs both direct and port injection.

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