Toyota Motor Co. is well known for its hybrids, but it went a step further at this year’s Tokyo Motor show to unveil its first environmentally-friendly sports car.

The FT-86, first conceived in 2008, uses a Subaru engine with horizontally-positioned pistons, which goes against the typical vertically-positioned pistons found in standard engines. This allows it to handle like a race car but with less damage to the environment. According to MSNBC, Subaru and Porsche SE are among the few automakers in the world making that type of engine, which allows for a quiet drive and a low-sitting look that is a trademark for sports cars.

The ruby-red car is inspired by a sporty Corolla model from the 1980s called AE86. Toyota engineer, Tetsuya Tada, said, “Everyone thinks sports cars won’t sell, but there is a huge demand, particularly among middle-aged men who have fond memories of the Corolla 86 and who would like to drive it once again.”

Although not much has been revealed about the FT-86 concept, it is said to likely utilize a six-speed manual transmission and feature a 2+2 seating arrangement. It will also deliver the mileage of a standard car.

Tada said that with green cars becoming more prevalent, consumers will be more likely to choose brands that offer something extra.

The FT-86 will be available in Japan and the U.S. by 2011 and will cost around 3 million yen, or $33,700 USD.

Along with the new sportscar, Toyota displayed its FT-EV II, their first electric vehicle concept car that is expected to reach a top speed of more than 62 miles per hour. Toyota aims to launch an electric car in the U.S. by 2012.

Toyota FT-86

Toyota revealed its FT-86 concept at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Credit: Wikipedia.




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