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Toyota has very kindly informed us that when it designed the GT 86 - the same GT 86 we awarded the Car of the Year 2012, don’t forget - it was designed ‘package protected’.

Now, this doesn’t mean it came sporting a protective cup to shield its motoring vegetables from an ill-timed tackle, but, it means should the roof ever need removing in the case of a) a cabrio or b) an ill-timed tackle, the impact on its structural rigidity would not be too heavy.

See more pics of the new Toyota FT 86 Open concept

Meaning this FT-86 Open concept, previewed here ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next week, should display the same rear-wheel-drive lunacy as the coupe version.

At least that’s what Toyota’s hoping for, anyway. It admits that while the fabric roof “will have a positive effect on the centre of gravity”, it needs to take an even closer look at the nuts and bolts of making a GT 86 convertible not fall to pieces upon the mere mention of the word ‘apex’. Plus, whatever strengthening measures are needed, the weight must be kept in check.

Still, it’s a tentative bit of Good News. The other bit is of course, the fact it looks rather pretty indeed; somehow, scalping the GT 86 has given it a very pleasing silhouette.

It gets the same platform and powertrain as the coupe, meaning there’s a 200bhp 2.0-litre flat-four ‘boxer’ engine from Subaru up front, a six-speed manual in the middle, and drive diverted to those poor, poor rear tyres.

This Open concept features an automatic multi-layered fabric roof together with a glass rear screen, that folds away neatly behind the fixed rear seats, maintaining the 2+2 layout and impacting luggage space only minimally. We’re told.

Toyota has turned to Milan for the interior, and as such, it features bright white upholstery, including lots of leather together with a golden yellow carpet and seat leather stitching. All in all, a very attractive, smart package.

Let Toyota know below what you think. Remember, the company is still gauging customer reaction to a potential GT 86 convertible, so be very careful with your considered discourse. For some reason, it cannot compute reactions such as ‘first comment’…

Meet the brains behind the Toyota GT86

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