Okay, folks – it appears we've got a problem. The Toyota GT86, Europe's counterpart to our own beloved Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S coupes, is apparently not selling too well. This, according to Toyota's European Vice President of Research and Development, Gerald Killman, is what's limiting plans for additional variants of the rear-drive coupe.

"A faster version of that car would be at the top of most people's wish lists, but like the cabriolet, it is hard to justify a business case to push either model into production based on the current sales," Killman told AutoExpress. "Personally, I think that engine could use a little bit more," he added.

More troubling is that slow sales aren't limited to the Euro-spec car, with Killman claiming that the GT86 have been missing sales targets in major markets around the globe. It may not be that the US is one of those major markets, though. Scion's Vice President, Doug Murtha, tells Autoblog that his brand is happy with the sales of its version of the GT86, the FR-S. 18,000 units were sold last year, which Murtha says is "generally in line with original expectations for the car."

"We can only comment on the sales success of the FR-S and not its variants in other markets, in the US, Scion deems the FR-S successful. Considering the FR-S sales performance and the sports car's brand impact, the FR-S is fulfilling its mission for the Scion brand," he went on to say. "Given its success in the US, Scion continues to study ways to enhance and improve the FR-S' appeal in the market as this sports car's lifecycle matures."

We contacted Subaru for comment, and found them to be of a similar opinion: "We're happy with our sales of the BRZ," said Subaru spokesman Dominick Infante, who also pointed that the 8,587 units Subaru moved in the BRZ's first year on sale were "in line with expectations," while January's year-over-year sales were up 27 percent.

Even if Scion and Subaru are happy with current sales of their highly acclaimed sports coupes, it sounds officials are stopping short of being blown away by the numbers they are generating. If Killman is right about the models' global sales picture, then we wouldn't be surprised if sports car fans don't get the high-power or convertible versions they've been craving.


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  • 278 Comments
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      -Is told that people want more power -Admits it needs more power -Says more people would buy it if it had more power -Decides there's no business case for more power
      James
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota did not commit to marketing the vehicle. If I see that Nissan Rogue commercial one more time I might take a baseball bat to my plasma, and Acura is in just about every other TV series and movie out there; but for Toyota to bother to advertise something other than their rental appliance Camry is unthinkable. I've even seen a Camry commercial where they try to convince you the Camry SE is a sporty car. If there's one lesson Steve Jobs taught us, it's that people don't know what they want until you tell them.
      superchan7
      • 1 Year Ago
      The sad thing is that this car is only SLIGHTLY underpowered! You have to give it the beans just to feel any speed. 230-240 hp would do this car wonders, as well as slightly stickier tires. This should've been a 2.2 or 2.5L boxer from the very start.
      emagdnim653
      • 1 Year Ago
      You know why this car doesnt sell. Its because its marketed to car enthusiasts, the most broke, most full of ****, all talk and no walk group of people on the web. I have no doubt that even if this car was 300 hp you folks still wouldnt buy it. Probs hear the "but bro i coulda bout a v8 mustang bro" crap. Even though most of you people wouldnt buy the mustang either. And for all those clamoring for an affordable supra, keep dreaming. I would not be suprised if it ends up being in the 80k range, aka price range for people who dont spend their time crying on the web and actually buy cars.
        Toyota Winnipeg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @emagdnim653
        lol well said! I have a BRZ and I've lost count of how many people have said "I'm waiting for the STI model" The unfortunately reality is that when an auto manufacturer goes against the grain and actually builds something that people say they want but don't end up buying, it makes them think twice before doing it again. The 86 is one of the most highly regarded purpose built drivers cars released in recent memory and sales are slow? Good job, auto enthusiasts.
      Number23
      • 1 Year Ago
      I drove one last summer for two laps of the Nurburgring and I can tell you there's nothing wrong with the FR-S/BRZ that can't be fix by adding 100 hp.
      Neez
      • 1 Year Ago
      Needs a turbo or a lower selling price, like $20k to compete with civic and scion TC. If you are down on power, then that's the price range you belong.
      R3TRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Give it more horsepower... it's not rocket science guys!
      DJ_Swammi
      • 1 Year Ago
      So a great car that everyone acknowledges is under-powered isn't selling well. Instead of fixing the one glaring problem that could potentially help people embrace the car, they just bag it? Sigh.
      wem1000
      • 1 Year Ago
      So let me get this straight... In order for them to make a higher powered variant that people want, customers have to buy X amount of the lower powered cars that aren't necessarily for the same demographic/customer. That's like saying after I sell X amount of cookies I'm going to start making cupcakes... umm what?
      Brandon Allen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like the Subaru/Toyota board is struggling to understand what came first: the Chicken or the Egg? What came first here? A lack of sales preventing a more powerful model or a lack of a more powerful model preventing better sales? The sales numbers are waning because a lack of Convertible (which negates the need for extra power - see MX-5) and a lack of extra power which would make the car more competitive against the other sporty cars in it's price range. When you're asking someone to buy a 2 seater sports car, you're asking them to buy an impractical car at a price premium for a driving experience like no other. If the shopper is AT ALL concerned about absolute performance OR practicality in any shape or form, they will end up opting for or being talked into a hot hatch or hot sedan (WRX) which offer more absolute performance AND practicality at the sacrifice of fun and (depending on who you ask) looks. If they aren't concerned with overall practicality and just want driving fun, then they'll gladly sacrifice a little handling dynamic to save a few thousand bucks while getting a convertible with the MX-5. All things considered, the BRZ is in a grey market where you must be willing to sacrifice speed AND practicality AAANNDD the fun of a roadster for a smile when you turn the wheel. Given that you can't drive the car at 10/10ths all of the time, it's a fun car to rent but owning one asks too much from the owner when they can have 9/10'ths of the fun in a FWD hatchback on a backroad but more fun in traffic while still being able to haul some crap around.
      J
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a little overpriced and / or a little underpowered. Fix one of these without altering the other, and I bet sales increase significantly. Personally, the most annoying aspect of this car is that in most reviews, the "fun factor" it delivers really boils down to terrible stock tires. Not much of a selling point, I'm afraid. And that's a let-down, because on paper I should absolutely love this vehicle.
      FutureDoc
      • 1 Year Ago
      Simply it is $3K too expensive ... or 50bhp/100ftlbs torque shy of being competitive at its current pricepoint. At 26K, you need mid-200bhp/torques, a rag-top, or be mid-engine. Otherwise it is too expensive for a RWD coupe. Don't get me wrong, but it is a great car... just too expensive in its current layout. 22K (same price as a new Camry) is the right cost of the car. A 25K MR2 would have been better.
        mazeroni
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FutureDoc
        I agree whole heatedly when you consider Toyota has something like $40 Billion in cash. It seems Toyota can't get away from the bean counters. They are trying to view this car as a business case, and it isn't. this is a one-off unique car with its own platform. Of course it is not going to be a profitable vehicle, it is not supposed to be. The average Toyota buyer is something like 60. Losing a few grand on a low volume car in the name of brand image seems a good trade off compared to having your core customer die off over the next decade then be stuck with completely reinventing yourself all at once. Give us a 4-door and a shooting brake, damn the cost. Who gives a ****? Create the ultimate small RWD car lineup.
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