Toyota will unveil a cabriolet version of the GT86 this March at the Geneva motor show, according to sources. Toyota hasn’t yet revealed the complete details but it’s believed that the GT86 cabriolet will use an electronically operated folding fabric roof instead of a heavier retractable hard-top to contain weight increases.
It hasn’t been announced yet how or if Toyota will package the two small rear seats of the GT86 coupé. It also didn’t say yet where the roof will be tucked away without affecting luggage capacity. The cabriolet, which is significant in the US market, will probably keep the coupé’s 197bhp normally aspirated 2.0-litre engine. The weight gains would be minimal, lessening the effect on performance.
It’s likely that suspension will be softened a bit to handle lower body stiffness. Toyota hasn’t given the official announcement yet about the cabriolet. But according to Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of Toyota’s sports cars, a performance version of the GT86 is being worked on. Instead of using forced induction, the honed GT86 will probably use hybrid drive to offer additional boost without affecting economy.
Tada said that a GT86 performance hybrid, which can generate about 250bhp, is being developed in Japan, and may start to sell in 2015. Tada hinted that the test mule uses a super-capacitor instead of batteries. This is the same principle that pushed Toyota to enter a prototype race car and win in the World Endurance Championship.