• Jul 6, 2007
Back in March, Winding Road floated the idea that Toyota may be in the process of developing a rear-wheel drive vehicle in the same vein as the Corolla AE86 of the 80s. At the time, it was easy to pass it off as pure speculation. Now, the GTChannel says that its sources in the Land of the Rising Sun have also confirmed that a 2+2, front-engine, RWD vehicle is in the works and that if and when it comes to market its sticker will be "well under [$] 20k" – maybe even $16,000.
Considering that the Scion brand has quickly emerged as a cost-conscious means of stylish transport, it wouldn't be hard to imagine that such a vehicle would slot in nicely within the youth-oriented marque, even if its price would make it a direct competitor to the tC. The only rub is finding a suitable platform to build the new vehicle atop, and the only RWD vehicle that could fit the bill would be the Lexus IS. Granted, the $30,000+ sports sedan's underpinnings might be a bit of a stretch (or shortening, in this case) to make a budget performance car, but the ability to cut costs via platform sharing isn't out of the question. Maybe some of the old IS's architecture could even be used.

In the meantime, we're hoping to see spy shots of a tC-bodied mule making the rounds around the 'Ring, rear-wheels a blazing and powersliding into the Carousel.

[Source: GTChannel]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota can either let the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger duke it out on their own, or throw their own cheap RWD coupe into the mix.

      I know the photo is just a visual aid, but it looks SO much like a Civic coupe (although the roofline is less obnoxious) and we're talking Toyota here. The image could also be a doctored tC (probably is.)

      I suppose they're doing the big expensive semi-supercar first 'cause it will make a higher profit - like the Nissan GT-R and new Acura NSX - than a cheaper car would.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Halo cars are not made for profit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      But is this car going to come to the US
        • 7 Years Ago
        if they build this thing and it doesnt come to the us, i am going to have to choke a btch
      • 7 Years Ago
      sigh.. this is the car i have always hoped and dreamed for, but i seriously doubt the reports. the pic is from Best Car Magazine, a car mag in Japan. they first reported rumors of a rwd ae86 replacement back in 02!!!! five years later and still, all we have are rumors.

      i read the article with the pic at my local japanese bookstore. unfortunately, because toyota is so heavily invested in fwd platforms, making a rwd car in the $20g range is next to impossible for them. according to the article, to meet the fantastic goal of $16g the platform would have to be bought from another company, manufactured overseas (not in japan), or be taken from an existing Daihatsu 600cc car (extremely unlikely because of massive re-engineering required). using the IS platform at that price would not be feasible.

      now according to the article, this is why toyota is "seriously considering this vehicle" after all these years. unlike in the US, in Europe and Asia, the younger generation is becoming more and more disinterested in cars. sales of new cars in the japan domestic market are expected to plummet as the young generation ages. to capture the younger demographic in japan, toyota wants to put out an exciting rwd sports coupe at a ridiculously low pricepoint, EVEN IF IT MEANS LOSING MONEY ON EVERY CAR IT SELLS.

      now forgive me for being skeptical, but i doubt toyota has the balls to actually make this car. even if they do, i seriously doubt they will bring the car to the US. why? because, according to the article, the car will be so difficult to sell at a low price, they will lose money on every car they build. the only reason why they want to sell it even if it's not profitable is to capture young buyers in the japanese market. in the US, they've already had success capturing young buyers with Scion. their reasoning would be, "why sell a rwd coupe that loses money when we are making money with Scion?"

      years and years of rumors of ae86 replacements, silvia replacements, mx-5 coupes, rx-7 replacements, fixed roof Kappa cars, and nothing, nothing ever happens. maybe i'll save up for that bmw 1-series.
      • 7 Years Ago
      DROOL... I wish this was real. I could finally replace my '93 Nissan 240SX. Please, Toyota, Honda or Nissan - make that 4-cyl RWD coupe/hatch for ~18k. I'll be the first in line.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM could have ruled this segment like they did with SUVs & trucks. Instead they chased premium priced RWD. Now it's getting too late, the window is closing.
      I hate to say it, but Toyota will have new segment buster and this will replace all the FWD ricer cars as the vehicle to have.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Solstice and Sky would like to have a word with you. No, they aren't coupes, but it brings GM a lot closer to a coupe than speculation of something built from a much more expensive platform.

        And the Camaro should be starting close to 20K

        Oh, and the small RWD coupe isn't a "segment Buster". It's been done before (like 1964). It's been a LONG time since Toyota's produced anything fun. They can call it a Trueno all day long, but if it drives like the tC, enthusiasts won't bite.
        • 7 Years Ago
        To shiznannigan,
        See my replies below..

        "The Solstice and Sky would like to have a word with you. No, they aren't coupes, but it brings GM a lot closer to a coupe than speculation of something built from a much more expensive platform" Rene says...I don't see anyone from the GM camp throwing out any news on a small affordable 4 seater RWD coupe or sedan.

        "And the Camaro should be starting close to 20K" Rene says...We will see, I would bet you will not see anything under 26K. Pricing has not been set at this time, it will mirror Mustang, it's the benchmark.

        "Oh, and the small RWD coupe isn't a "segment Buster". It's been done before (like 1964). It's been a LONG time since Toyota's produced anything fun. They can call it a Trueno all day long, but if it drives like the tC, enthusiasts won't bite" Rene says...In todays world there is no low cost RWD except Mustang, and there is a segment to be created under the Mustng."

        Side note: I am not an import fanboy, I would only buy a domestic. I am just pointing out that they are missing another opportunity.
      • 7 Years Ago
      could also be the basis for the rumored scion compact pickup... would lower the cost per vehicle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why is everyone comparing this to the 135i? There is no way anything Toyota releases is going to make 300 horsepower. The 128i is a more natural competitor.
      • 7 Years Ago
      nice, but you can view the exclusive here

      http://www.7tune.com/?p=63
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The only rub is finding a suitable platform to build the new vehicle atop, and the only RWD vehicle that could fit the bill would be the Lexus IS. Granted, the $50,000 sports sedan's underpinnings might be a bit of a stretch"

      Of course the fact that it starts at $30,125 for a manual with a far more expensive powerplant and drivetrain than that of the 2.4L I4... Its plausible... Plus the IS is already set to payback any R+D and Sunk cost in the platform leaving the Yota to only have to cover marginals and any extra costs in tooling for new panels and such, not hard... Heck at $22k I'm still a buyer for a well-balanced RWD vehicle, $16k only makes it sweeter, but I'll pay $6k if the components and tech justify it...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why are Toyotas so ugly?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish the rumors would just finally result in something this time... I really can't understand how the formula of an affordable, basic-equipped, RWD car is so hard to follow through with. All you have to do is look at the classifieds and see how much original AE86 Corollas are going for, and how incredibly fast they sell, and you'll have an inkling of hey maybe people want this sort of thing. Hell, you'd think even this whole drifting thing would have clued them in by now!

      Give me 4-cylinders, ~180-200 horsepower, power to only the rear wheels, a 6-speed manual, ~2500 pounds, no BS interior, hatchback (and maybe offer a coupe along side it a la the AE86 again). Make it come in under $20,000, and I would be willing to bet both of my testicles that it would sell great.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Doesn't the Miata, I mean, MX-5 sort of fill that slot, though? =D

        Well, except the hatchback part - and the fact you really won't have much room for more than yourself ;-)

        Regardless, I think it'd be interesting. However, I think it *might* make more sense to just turn the tC into this vehicle - although, at the same time, that would completely change the "touring cruiser" nature of the tC, methinks.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ummm... VW Rabbit? Too bad that's FWD, which is the whole point of wanting Toyota to follow through with this, since there are no affordable fun RWD coupes/hatches out there.
        • 7 Years Ago
        no, convertibles suck. they are more expensive, heavier, they have more body flex, they are more dangerous and they almost always look worse.

        GM, its not to late to beat everyone else to the punch. put a roof on the kappa twins and redefine the segment. ford is so hopelessly behind, it will be 10 years before they have a small rwd coupe below the mustang.

        chrysler should have done this YEARS ago with the razor. that is still by far the best concept car that never got produced.

        mazda needs to make an mx5 coupe, the fact that they have never done that hurts my head to think about.

        the s2000 should have been a coupe with the k20, it could have sold for $20-25k.

        the return of the rwd economy car is about 10 years overdue and the first company on the market with something in this segment is going to be shocked by the demand. the customers have been screaming for this product for years and finally we got someones attention.

        took you long enough aholes
        • 7 Years Ago
        the rabbit?

        its about 500 lbs too heavy and wrong wheel drive. it is absolutly nothing like what i am talking about. nothing like what i am talking about has been sold in this country for at least 20 years
        • 7 Years Ago
        Add 10hp to the 2008 VW Rabbit and you have almost exactly what you're asking for.
      • 7 Years Ago
      yeah i know but the fable look of pop up lights will really make it justice
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