Toyota & Lexus news at 2009 Tokyo motor show

Published: 21 October 2009

The vibe on the Toyota stand is subdued, yet upbeat at the same time. They're chuffed to bits with their new products on show, but we can't help remembering Japan's – and the world's – premier car maker's $4.9 billion loss last year. And it's forecast to lose a similar amount in 2009.

The undoubted star of the show is the FT-86 concept, a rear-wheel drive sports coupé that we've been crying out for since the demise of the Celica and MR2.

Unfortunately even CAR can’t blag its way past the ultra-tight security to get inside it – forum stalwarts Batty and car4mh want us to try and 'unzip' the fascia; those over-designed zips are just begging to be tested, they reckon.

Word is that the FT-86 is nearer production than you'd normally hazard a guess with a brand like Toyota. Let’s hope it doesn’t have the awful drawn-out gestation period of the LF-A – can’t help thinking the two look pretty similar though, yet there’s £300k between them.

Yes - £300k. Lexus finally showed its new LF-A supercar – and dropped a price bombshell. It'll cost a whopping £325,000. We wonder if they'll shift all 500 of the planned limited edition production run at that cost.

Just 13 will come to the UK. And don't go expecting a roadster version to swell numbers, as we'd predicted after the open-top LF-A concept. It's not in the plan.

Even at that cost, Lexus is going to lose money on every single LF-A it sells. Think of it as a loss-leading halo car in the classic sense, then. It might be business folly, but we're still grateful as enthusiasts that they have delivered on their promise. Read our first drive here

Bit of a double whammy, then: the Lexus LF-A at the top, the FT-86 at the bottom, carrying a latter-day Capri-type price tag of some £20,000. Bring it on.

Also on display was a plug-in Prius, the FT-EVII electric car which hints at a Toyota EV we’ll see in a few years time, and seven – count 'em – iQ's in a line in different colours.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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