According to our recent and completely unscientific poll, the majority of our readership prefers the Subaru BRZ to its kissing cousin, the Toyota GT 86. Just about half of those who clicked an opinion on our poll sided with the Subie, while the remainder were split – a quarter went with the Toyota and a quarter said the two cars were so similar that it didn't matter.
Similar they are, with different grilles, front fascias and badges standing out as the main differentiators. The rest is pretty much the same, right down to the front and rear lights. And, according to Automotive News at least, there's a little bit of Toyota trickery at work in the styling.
Take a close look at the rear of either the GT 86 or BRZ. Incorporating both the reverse lights and a rear foglight in the center between the dual exhaust tips is a distinctive element with a prominent inverted triangle shape. According to Toyota, that design "stands for Toyota's 'T' shape" and is meant to 'express its identity.'
That's all well and good, but it's also present on the Subaru, which is otherwise completely absent of any Toyota badging, for obvious reasons. This is especially noteworthy since Toyota led the car's styling and bodyshape while Subaru invested its resources on the engine and chassis.
Is there a conspiracy at play? We doubt it. It seems more likely that the rear element is meant to recall nothing more than the safety light on Formula 1 cars, and the fact that it's an inverted triangle is a clever way for Toyota's marketing team to highlight the dual-headed-machine's Toyota-bred styling work.
Finally, consider the fact that the Scion FR-S, which is what Toyota's version of the coupe will be sold as in the United States, also features the exact same rear lighting element. In case you hadn't noticed... there's no 'T' in Scion, either.