The Subaru BRZ is many things: fun, affordable, communicative... but premium is not one of them. Yet that is precisely more of that upscale look and feel Subaru is going for with its new BRZ Premium Sports Edition.
2013 Subaru Brz
Sources in Australia are reporting that we'll be seeing a small, rear-drive sedan from Toyota, based on the GT 86/Scion FR-S. Yes, a convertible variant is still in limbo, but a four-door sedan is in the works. It's unclear if the rumored GT 86 sedan would spawn Scion and Subaru variants (it's hard to cross all ten fingers while you type, but we're having a go).
The Sydney Morning Herald has spoken to Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 (our version of it, the Scion FR-S, is pictured above), and they've been promised that more power is on the way. We've heard a lot of speculation about a more powerful Toyobaru since before the standard model was even launched. The only question now is how the power will be delivered, and among the engine concepts we've already heard about – turbo, supercharger, twin-charged, hybrid – is a new one:
Fans of the sweet-handling Subaru BRZ awaiting some performance enhancements got their hopes up earlier this month when parent Fuji Heavy Industries dropped some teasers hinting at an apparent STI version, but as was subsequently suspected, the model in question – now revealed in full – stops short of being a full-on STI model.
On the surface, there's very little that the Ford Fiesta ST and Toyota GT86 (or the Scion FR-S that is sold in the US, or the largely similar Subaru BRZ) share in common. One is a hatchback with power coming from a turbocharged engine routed to the front wheels. The other is a coupe with power coming from a naturally aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine routed to the rear wheels.
According to the Toyota UK blog, engineers for the automaker were so excited developing the GT86 coupe that they investigated producing a whole family of models based on the rear-wheel drive sports car. And at least one engineer – product chief Tetsuya Tada – still hopes it can happen, even if not everyone at Toyota is onboard. Tada: "Actually we tried to do this secretly but the executives found us out. They said: 'What are you doing? Will you please focus on the coupe.'"
From what Autocar has to say, Toyota has even more plans for the GT86 beyond the convertible concept we just saw at the Geneva Motor Show. Along with a planned midcycle facelift, Toyota is reportedly looking at how to pack some extra ponies under the coupe's hood, and while there has already been a lot of talk about superchargers and turbochargers, it sounds like a performance-boosting hybrid system could also be in the works.
There's nothing wrong with going topless. And Toyota is proving that its FT-86 (read: Scion FR-S/Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ) coupe is just as excellent with its roof removed. It may only be a concept, but this FT-86 Open previews a new droptop from the Japanese automaker to round out the Toyobaru sports car family. We're finally getting the chance to see the open-air FT-86 in person here at the Geneva Motor Show, and we're already yearning to take it canyon-carving.
It's about time we saw someone cook up a legitimate race version of the delectable Toyota GT86, and now it looks as if GPRM has done just that. The Buckingham-based race engineering team has built the creation you see here, complete with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder boxer cooked up by Nicholson McLaren Engines. The team says the new mill delivers between 360 and 400 horsepower to the rear wheels depending on final testing, which is a sight bit more than the 197 horses
Marketing can be a very strange business. Convincing a man or woman (or child, really) that they absolutely cannot live without the latest, greatest new bit of technology oftentimes takes a unique approach. In the "online film promoting the Toyota GT86" you'll see below, created by agency Happiness Brussels, men are reverse-psychologied into thinking a new sports coupe will make them more masculine by getting their loved ones to hate them. Or something like that. We think.
Scion made a huge investment in the 2012 SEMA show, and its spanking new FR-S coupe, by putting hundreds of cars in the hands of tuners. The result on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center is unmissable, as just about everywhere we turn we find another FR-S peeking out at us.
There are many reasons why we love the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, and now safety can be added to this list. Both of these track-friendly fraternal twins were just named as 2012 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety making them the only sub-$30,000 sport coupes to make the list.
The folks at Consumer Reports are a lot like the Ben Steins of the automotive world. At first glance, they are the dry-as-saltines, facts-only crew that can't be bothered by anything but the empirical data with which they distill to arrive at their coveted "Recommended" accolades. It isn't always this way with CR, though, as we found out when they hopped behind the wheel of the Toyobaru coupes of our collective dreams, the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.
Everybody loves a good dystopian story, right? From classics like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 to modern works like The Hunger Games, people are fascinated by the imaginative tales of a future society beset by the decidedly unfortunate consequences of human activity. Someone in Toyota's UK marketing team has been paying attention to the trend.
On paper, the Scion FR-S is a great little performance car with its light curb weight, peppy engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, but as Road & Track recently found out about the car, none of that matters on the track if you have the wrong tires. The magazine's staffers found the Scion and Subaru cars were out-handled by competitors like the Mazda Miata and Hyundai Genesis Coupe, so they tried a simple tire swap on the FR-S to see if replacing the stock rubber with something with a bit more g
Coveting a new Subaru BRZ? Be glad you don't live in Australia. Apparently the Aussies were allocated only 201 cars for delivery this year, so Subaru Australia decided to sell them all online starting at noon today, kind of like concert tickets. Of course, you can imagine what transpired.
Sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but Subaru isn't offering any incentives on its BRZ after all. Company spokesman Michael McHale tells Autoblog that the $400 figure quoted in a recent USA Today article can be traced to an analyst's calculation of the value of the current Subaru 2.9-percent APR program. Subaru says the company committed to selling 6,000 BRZ units in the first year of production and it is already well on its way to hitting that figure.