We recap the week in automotive news, including a look at the 2017 Camaro ZL1, Toyota 86, and automatic emergency braking.
Scion FR-S Videos
Toyota to turn the Scion FR-S into the Toyota 86.
Auto Express takes the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Toyota GT86 (aka Scion FR-S) to the track to see which can clock the faster lap time in this latest head-to-head battle for bragging rights.
We have entered a drifting arms race. Last year, BMW smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest drift by hanging the tail out for 51.3 miles around a wet skid pad in an M5 at the BMW Performance Driving School in South Carolina. That beat the previous milestone of nearly seven miles. Now, Bimmer's record is up in smoke as well and is in the possession of a Toyota.
Cosworth stands on the list of the most famous engine tuners in the world with its DFV engine engine dominating Formula One for a time in the '70s. So when it teases plans to take on the FA20 engine from Subaru and Toyota found in the BRZ, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 abroad, our interest is indeed piqued. Cosworth is promising to take the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine from its current 200 horsepower all the way to 325 hp and even 380 hp in a future track version through a series of staged
Part of the fun in taking your sports car to the racetrack is going over your telemetry and seeing how you did from one corner to the next. We've seen a variety of these onboard systems at work – with the Performance Data Recorder on the Corvette Stingray emerging as one of the latest and most advanced – but Toyota is taking things a step further with its new Sport Drive Logger.
Gazoo Racing has teased a new take on the Toyota GT86 (our Scion FR-S) that it is bringing to next week's Tokyo Auto Salon. Having only posted a picture of the coupe's rear wing and backlight on its Facebook page, we have no idea what the rest of the concept will offer. If last year's introduction is any guide, there should be plenty more bodykit and power to go along with that wing.
Scion brought four FR-S concepts to SEMA this year and one xB concept, while another three Scion tCs were brought to the show by three different shops that are competing in Scion's Tuner Challenge. The modified Scions range from mild to insane, and show how popular they are in the tuner world.
There's not a lot of breathing room between the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ – the two rear-drive coupes are about as close to badge-engineered as the auto industry gets in this day and age. In this case, that's not a terrible thing, though, since they're both so engaging to drive, but it does make for interesting comparisons when it comes to pricing and model year updates.
The Toyota GT86, in all of its forms, is one of the best-handling cars money can buy, a trait that can put a smile on the faces of all but the most jaded car enthusiasts. But if good handling isn't what they're looking for, then what is? Our first guess would have to be more power, something the 200-horsepower Toyota would benefit from. Autocar tries out that theory by driving two turbocharged GT86s on track, then pitting the more powerful one against the 616-hp McLaren MP4-12C in a track battle
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.
There are very few vehicles available today that compare directly with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins. A case could be made for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and possibly even six-cylinder versions of American coupes like the Ford Mustang. Pretty much everything else is either too expensive or is powered by the wrong set of wheels.
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.
Okay, okay – by this point in time just liking the Toyota GT86 (Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, what have you) doesn't make you special. Even if you're a sort of funny sounding, funny looking Irishman, who probably isn't the most seasoned car reviewer ever, digging the GT86 is not news.
EVO has come out with another gotta-watch-it video, throwing its 2012 Car of the Year contestants around the UK's 1.5-mile Blyton Park track. It's actually a 15-minute teaser for the full-length DVD detailing the magazine's Car of the Year selection, but the tease is worth every penny free second.