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First look: Toyota winds up Celica’s wick

G wiz: Toyota has stepped up the hormones in its new-age 'Celica' concept, the FT-86.

High-performance version of Toyota’s Celica-reviving FT-86 emerges in Tokyo

19 Jan 2010

TOYOTA has offered another indication it will produce a high-performance version of its FT-86 coupe concept – which is expected morph into production reality as a born-again Celica in 2011 – by unveiling the wild FT-86 G Sports Concept at last week’s Tokyo Auto Salon.

The more highly-strung iteration of the rear-drive FT-86, which made its global premiere at last October’s Tokyo motor show and is based on Subaru Impreza underpinnings, was accompanied at Japan’s answer to North America’s SEMA show by a GranTurismo-badged video showing the G Sports coupe drifting sideways from all angles.

While Toyota provided no details of what lies beneath the G-badged coupe’s more aggressive bodywork, it is safe to assume the FT-86 G Sports is not motivated by the same four-cylinder boxer engine that powered the first FT-86 show car.

Officially, Toyota said the concept was designed to showcase a newly developed range of G Sports (or G’s) conversion components that will be gradually rolled out across its Japanese dealerships from mid-2010.

“The series, to be sold through Toyota-brand dealers, is meant to offer to a wider range of people the ‘automotive seasoning’ that TMC has pursued through its Gazoo Racing activities,” said Toyota.

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“The G’s series is designed for customers who strongly desire to own a unique vehicle, offering them a personalised interior and exterior design along with sports-driving performance. TMC has directly designed this sports conversion series, instead of the conventional approach of outsourcing development to a customisation firm.” Toyota says its G’s menu will comprise both internal and external upgrades including sports suspension, improved aerodynamics and race-style seats, with mechanical components fine-tuned by the same Gazoo racing test drivers that drove the Lexus LF-A in the 2009 Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.

“In addition to the ‘FT-86 Concept’ rear-wheel drive compact sportscar and the Lexus ‘LFA’ shown at the 2009 Tokyo motor show, plans call for TMC’s sports model line-up to expand through the introduction of conversion models and sports-trim models of mass-produced vehicle series, such as the (iQ-based) GRMN and G’s series,” said Toyota.

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