Discovering the designs that car companies choose not to make is always bittersweet. On one hand, they offer a glimpse at truly unique, sometimes ingenious ideas before they're hit with regulations and safety constraints. On the other, they remind us of what we could've had. One such example is this Toyota 86 shooting brake concept that didn't make it past the mockup stage in the early part of the prior decade and hadn't been revealed to the public, until last week.
The 86 and Subaru BRZ blew minds across the globe by offering an incredibly fun, drift-happy rear-wheel-drive sports car at a price that us normies could afford. It was the everyman's sports car but, more than that, it was fun. It had famed figures of the car world, such as Jeremy Clarkson, singing its praises. With that status, Toyota decided to see if there was any more juice to squeeze from the 86 platform and turned to its Calty Design Research (CALTY) team in California. What they came up with was a sleek, stylish, and more practical variant: a four-door shooting brake called the X86D.
With rear doors and a hatchback body, the 86 shooting brake could fit a quartet of passengers comfortably and all of their stuff in the trunk. More than that, CALTY paired the car's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with all-wheel-drive, replacing the normal car's rear-drive layout. That, coupled with this version's additional weight, would have robbed some of its tail-out, hooligan fun. However, it also would've made the 86 far more livable all year long, particularly in snowy climates.
CALTY's design was killer looking, with rear-biased hatchback proportions, swollen rear wheel arches, and swoopy front and rear ends. I also really like how the windows and windshield appear as a singular wraparound piece of glass, by virtue of tinting the windows and blacking out the A-pillars.
Why did Toyota shelve the X86D shooting brake, rather than putting it into production? The automaker doesn't say, but we can only guess it was down to the same reason many enthusiast-minded concepts die on the cutting-room floor: focus groups and bean-counters determined there was no market for such a vehicle, and it ultimately wasn't worth building. Which is a damn shame because, with its funky looks, all-wheel-drive layout, hatchback body, and hopefully manual transmission, the X86D would've been one of the most unique, kick-ass cars on sale. Like a budget Ferrari FF with a stick.
Got tips? Send 'em to email@example.com