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Category / Concept Cars

In the previous post on Mitsubishi FTO, I’ve mentioned Japanese car maker’s reluctance on making affordable performance cars in the past decade or so. This painted a pretty bleak picture for sports car enthusiasts (who aren’t also super loaded).

There’s good news on the horizon. Apparently this trend might see a reversal with the news of the concept car from Toyota – the FT-86

Toyota FT-86 concept sports car

The FT-86 is pretty much inspired by the popularity of AE-86 that is made popular by the comic series Initial-D. Nicknamed the tofu car, AE-86 has a huge cult following especially in the drift racing series, and still cheered upon whenever appeared at Autocross events.

interior of Toyota FT-86

A collaboration between Subaru and Toyota, the FT-86 is to come with a new 2 liter Toyota-Subaru “D-4S” Boxer engine. Targeted to cost around US $20,000 when it is eventually launched, that’ll place it cheaper than a fully loaded Honda Accord (or Toyota’s own Camry for that matter).

I, for one, welcome Japanese manufacturer’s return to this segment, 6 speed manual with 2.0 liter boxer sounds like a good combination to me.

Check out wiki page for more details.

After hanging around the car industry for around 2 decades, the Korean manufacturer Kia Motors is finally gaining some respect by coming out with models that are actually very attractive, especially in terms of look. The Kia Soul 2009 is a production car that was first shown as a concept car at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show.

Kia soul concept car
Kia Soul concept in the Autoshow

The design of Soul is very distinctive and quite unlike any other compact SUVs, the chief designer at Kia Motors Europe Gregory Guillaume was quoted saying “The all-new Kia production car will be a car that defies classification and encourages customers to build an emotional bond with their new purchase by providing a creative platform that they can customise to match their car to their own character. It will appeal especially to the young-at-heart – whatever their age”.

white kia soul
Kia Soul on the road

A 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission would be driving the Soul. Although an SUV, this car is most likely to get only front wheel drive, there is no 4 wheel drive version as yet. You can call this a car-type SUV rather than something you would want to take off road.

To give you an idea on the power from this car, the current 2.0 liter engine used in Kia Spectra produces 138 bhp. Pretty tame for an SUV, hopefully they boost up the power output a little since the Spectra is certainly a lighter car.

interior of Kia Soul 2009

This car is definitely going along the line of Mini Cooper and VW Beetle 2.0, with attractive styler that will likely to capture the younger crowd. Pricing should be around US $16-18k when it is launched this summer.

Audi came up with the A3 Clubsports concept car that really shines not only in the way it looks but also in terms of the overall performance package.

In the heart of this compact 2-door 4-wheel drive sports sedan is a heavily tuned 2.0 liter TDI diesel engine that churns out 221 bhp with a massive 332 lb/ft torque that you would expect from a diesel. A six speed gearbox completes the package. The car is capable of 0-100km in about 6.6 seconds.

Audi A3 Clubsport quattro concept car
Audi A3 Clubsports quattro

The car was built specifically for an annual VW and Audi get together in Austria, lets see if Audi will bring this baby to the market. With that kind of performance and look it should be able to sell very well alongside popular offerings such as the VW GTi

Ford presented the Mustang Giugiaro 2006 concept at the prestigious L.A. Auto Show. The external design is done by Italdesign, led by styling director Fabrizio Giugiaro, making it an American machine with an Italian shell.

This concept car has a panoramic roof, with the front wind shield, roof, and rear screen forming a single unit that provides almost 180 degree of unobstructive view. Not entirely sure how one can get away from the sun though. This Mustang also comes with the scissor doors made famous by Lamborghini.

Ford Mustang Giugiaro 2006 Concept car at LA Auto Show
the next American stallion?

Although this pony comes in at a hefty 1,500 KG, it does have an engine capable of 500 hp with huge amount of torque (480 lb/ft). Those fat 20″ wheels should come in handy to distribute the power onto the tar.

Will this concept make it to the road? We shall see, the major hindrance might be the unique roof though. A big piece of curved glass is expensive to produce and not easy to take care.

Specs at a glance:
Engine: front mounted, rear wheel drive,
estimated 500 hp, 480 lb-ft of torque
4.6L, 24-valve SOHC V8 Supercharged
Curb Weight: 3,307 lbs (1,500 kg)
Wheels (front/rear): 275 40 ZR20 / 315 35 ZR20

abc news