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
      • 10 Months 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
      djvinnybricks
      • 10 Months Ago
      Sounds like a catch-22, buyers won't buy because they are waiting for the high-performance version, but Toyota won't build the high-performance version because no one is buying it. I think they screwed up by not having the base model at a lower price point and a much higher-priced high-performance model available right after the base model first came out.
      James
      • 10 Months 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
      • 10 Months 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.
      Poe
      • 10 Months Ago
      Hmmm... I may have to recant my complaints about the cost of this car. I see it as very comparable to an old Nissan 240SX. I bought a brand new 240SX Fastback in 1989 for just below $14,000. According to the CPI inflation calculator, $14,000 in 1989 has the same buying power as $26,409.87 in 2014. That's pretty spot-on. http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=14000&year1=1989&year2=2014
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Poe
        And I remember that the car was deemed a little slow. But I liked that car a lot, I was just too young to afford one.
        Paulevalence
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Poe
        I have driven the FR-S and BRZ so many times wanting to convince myself that I want it, but honestly it neeeeeds more power. more torque specifically. In daily driving situations I like the way my 240sx delivers power much better. The 22 yr old car has more torque than the FR-S...
      Number23
      • 10 Months 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
      • 10 Months 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.
      Derek L. Washington
      • 10 Months Ago
      Shoulda called it a Celica, that alone would've gotten it more sales.
      Gator
      • 10 Months Ago
      Shouldn't have cost more than 23,995. I rather buy a used s2000 than this car. I love the car, but after tax and license, not worth it.
        Bungle
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Gator
        The original MSRP target was $20K. That would have been a bargain, but they missed that by a full 25%. I really like the car, but I wouldn't personally buy one new for that price.
      FutureDoc
      • 10 Months 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
        • 10 Months 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.
      sampson
      • 10 Months Ago
      There's numerous ways of adding power without increasing cost drastically.. Besides, spread out over thousands of units it could really be a small increase in cost. If they increase the car to have X amount more power at a with little to slight increase MSRP the sales would increase. EVEN IF they decreased their profit margin by a point or a fraction of a point, the increase in sales would be an increase in profit. Right now here's an accurate description of the GT86/BRZ/FRS to the average person.. "It's kinda fast, gets ok gas mileage, it's not too expensive, but it's not really cheap." Basically it doesn't stand out in any category. If Toyota made it stand out in any one of those categories, sales would increase. The majority of buyers looking for a sports/sporty car are looking at the power numbers vs. the MSRP. Right now the FRS is: 200 hp for $25,255 It loses in the HP vs. MSRP ratio to everything on the market, right now you can get: 263 hp for $24,200 Mazdaspeed 3 305 hp for $22,000 Ford Mustang V6 265 hp for $25,999 WRX 201 hp for $22,515 Honda Civic SI 332 hp for $29,990 370z 323 hp for $23,555 Camaro V6 375 hp for $26,295 Dodge Challenger 274 hp for $26,350 Genesis Coupe
        Ron
        • 10 Months Ago
        @sampson
        Great list but you forgot 29k for the 3.8 rspec gen coupe, 348hp, brembo brakes, sport suspension, 19 wheels, etc. etc.
        Krazeecain
        • 10 Months Ago
        @sampson
        "375 hp for $26,295 Dodge Challenger" Oh god how I wish, but no, the V8 challenger starts around $38k. That should be 305 hp.
        clquake
        • 10 Months Ago
        @sampson
        With a bit of haggling, you can get most of these for less than MSRP. The Scion sales model doesn't allow for any real negotiation of the price. Granted, there isn't much room between invoice & MSRP for these, but most people who have money to buy this, expect to get something off the price. In my area, they're selling (when they sell) for 1% more than the MSRP.
      R3TRO
      • 10 Months Ago
      Give it more horsepower... it's not rocket science guys!
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