Two Sporty Japanese Rivals of the 1980s are to be reincarnated but which fan camp will you be sitting in and will either of them actually live up to the legacy of their forefathers?
Impressive photos of the 2010 Honda CR-Z Hybrid, priced to compete with the Toyota FT-86.
Twenty five year-old Toyota AE86 Corolla and the Honda CRX are two radical examples of manufacturers meeting the needs of consumers. There was nothing hugely complicated about them, they just shot off the starting line like it was covered in paraffin, kept their noses where you pointed them and made ordinary men look sexy. Now already the last of the criteria is out for its newbie replacements and that is because the Toyota FT-86 and Honda CR-Z are both likely to be priced around £17-£20K. Power will be fairly generous for both but weight is still a bit of an issue with all the modern safety equipment and technology nudging its way in. That brings us to the handling which we will stick our necks out to defend. The point is though are lithe movements and the stamp of sturdiness enough to sell these cars or were you hoping for more oomph?
We have to say itís a strange choice to make a sexy CR-Z a hybrid as thereís risks from both sides. Will the green brigade find it green enough and wonít the CR-X followers feel their heart sink when they put their foot to the metal? Well we expect that people that are truly committed to saving the planet will carry on using their bicycle and at least at slow speeds CR-Z drivers wonít be poisoning their lungs. When the 1.5-litre VTEC Petrol engine gets to have its way though, 130bhp will stir things up a bit and a 0-60mph of around nine seconds is pretty decent for a car that has to compromise. We wonít be signing a cheque for it at its launch in Summer 2010 though as we are holding out for a stripped out, souped-up, RWD Type-R version which as of yet is not on the cards.
Talking of RWD, Toyota won our vote when it announced that the new FT-86 will, like its predecessor have the rear end doing all the dictating. The new Toyota promises to shave off as much weight as possible as well as being aerodynamic and low slung. It uses the 148bhp Subaru 2-litre Boxer engine but hopes to improve on the performance of its donor car (0-60 in 9.2 seconds). Like its rival Honda CR-Z and the VW Scirocco, its looks are very enticing however the Toyota and Honda models are still officially concepts and we can only pray they donít lose any of their sparkle when they arrive in showrooms.
Now modifiers out there, we are sure you neither have to pray or look elsewhere for your new sexy coupes as both models have incredible after market potential. Like the cars they are modeled on we have every faith the CR-Z and FT-86 will be firm favourites on the track and tuners everywhere will have a whole selection of performance add-ons closer to launch.
FOR: Thereís a cool hybrid coming to Britain! RWD is back in Vogue!
AGAINST: We know thereís a better pocket rocket version of them both just waiting to be unleashed but for now itís up to the tuning market to make that happen.
VERDICT: If youíve got mechanical know-how and you donít mind going without some modern conveniences, the original sports cars will be much more thrilling. We love the idea of reincarnating these very worthy classics but we arenít convinced they will be as much fun when they arrive fresh from the factory.