By on June 24, 2014

FT86-Tada

The Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ may only exist for one generation, as comments by the car’s chief engineer suggest a dissolution of the partnership between Toyota and Subaru.

Speaking to an Australian outlet, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada was cryptic about whether a next-generation sports car would have Subaru’s involvement. Tada left open the possibility that the future alliance with BMW could yield an entirely new product, one that abandons the boxer layout for an inline engine or alternative powertrains.

Tada suggested that supercapacitors, like those used in Toyota’s LeMans effort, would provide a new solution for adding hybrid technology to a next-generation sports car. But Tada was adamant that turbocharging is not an avenue he wanted to pursue, stating

The trend of powertrains is of course downsizing and turbo charging, but my opinion is to retain natural aspiration in the future.”

Adding hybrid technology would allow the future sports car to keep its N/A engine while adding power and reducing its emissions and fuel consumption. But in the near-term, Tada’s team is exploring ways to improve performance of the current car, including more displacement, better intake and exhausts and even a revised final drive ratio.

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103 Comments on “Toyobaru Might Only Last For One Generation As Partnership Under Evaluation...”


  • avatar

    Easily, the most overhyped car of the last decade.

    I heard it referred to as:

    “like a Nissan GT-R for a post-college student weighted down by debt – still living in his mom’s basement”

    NOPE – not fast enough to be that awesome.

    Get yourself a Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      Cue traditional Toyobaru flame war in 3, 2, 1…

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Except the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a fat oversized pig of a car. I agree that the Toybaru twins are overhyped but they are the only cars sold in years that are actually a good size.

      I kicked the tires on a Hyundai Genesis Coupe at the Dallas Auto Show when I was looking for a new car. It was nice but I couldn’t bring myself to actually buy anything that big. I probably would have bought an FR-S but I wound up finding my “diamond in the rough” in the used lot.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t feel the need for any more power than these cars have. They are an exceptionally well-balanced compromise. I don’t need to feel like I’m being launched into orbit.

        My quibbles with them:

        1. not enough greenhouse
        2. roof too low (I’m only 5’10 1/2″–but with long torso–and I do’nt fit).
        3. I’d love a halfway usable rear seat, something on the order of the RX-8.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Agreed: the low roof is a deal-breaker. I understand the look, but I did so hope that this car was going to be the Miata that I always wanted, but couldn’t shoehorn into.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          I don’t mind the lack of a green house. You see a big green house and think “I can see!!!”. My Texas eyes see a big green house and think “I am going to fry in July!!!”. A limited greenhouse is just fine to me; the key is smart mirror placement, and a small backup camera in the license plate area.

          Personally, I like low roofs. My first cars were a Miata, 240SX, and 4th gen Civic. The 240 and Miata were both around 4’3″ and the Civic was 4’5″ tall. I love cars that sit nice and low and I bemoan that everything these days is close to 5′. But, I am only 5’8″ to 5’9″ ish, and I am mostly leg. That may color my point of view some.

          I do agree on the backseat though. It is a little tight. But if you were to ask me if I want a bigger back seat (but larger car) or keep the car the same size (with a tiny back seat) I would keep the car the same size. I don’t sit back there and my daughter is far more flexible than I am.

          • 0 avatar

            I hate having difficulty seeing out. Well placed mirrors and backup cameras are no substitute (IMO) for having a clear view all around the car, both for safety, and to enhance the enjoyment of driving through beautiful places (I know you have some in Texas, although I also know that they may be as far from where you are as Washington DC is from Boston (where I live).

            If it’s hot, you can use the AC.

            If the greenhouse were big enough, and the roof high enough, I’d buy the FR-S if it were several inches longer, if that could be added to the back seat.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            In reply to David C Holzman:

            I respectfully disagree. I would rather have smaller windows and well placed mirrors. With that setup I can keep my head pointed forward and check to the sides and rear with quick glances to mirrors. A reverse camera is only there to check for small objects (kids, dogs, etc) before reversing out of a spot. With well placed mirrors in a small car I have near 360-degree vision with my head permanently facing forward.

            In regards to the temperature. It isn’t so much about while driving. At the hottest in mid August temperatures in Texas can get up to 105 to 108 Farenheit. Inside car temperatures can reach 120 or higher on those days, the direct cause of tragic deaths during summer. It simply sucks to get inside a car at those temperatures. Sun shades help and are necessary, and having less glass helps as well, but it is never going to be pleasant.

            As for your statement “just run the AC” I remember when I owned my Cobalt coupe(don’t laugh please, it really isn’t as bad as you think) and I had an outside air temperature indicator that on those hot August days the outside temperature on the road deck could reach 115F. On those days the AC is necessary but it will struggle and it may not get it to what you would consider cool.

            Now I will willingly concede that small windows can be taken too far. When I was a Boy Scout my troop visited Fort Hood on a tour, and I got to sit in the driver’s seat of an M1 Abrams tank. Now that was terrible visibility. So I like smaller windows and higher belt lines but I am not ready to take it to the extreme of “tank driver viewport”. I would say that the FR-S is about at the just right level of window in my view.

          • 0 avatar

            @DevilsRotary86 @DCH

            Well, only you can say what works best for you. And I’ve spent very little time driving in Texas in the summer, and then, only in the Panhandle which is probably not as hot as where-ever you are, although I did live for 23 years in DC, which got pretty bad. I do know I would want a white car in Texas, to reduce the heat load.

            The one thing about slit window cars is that they often have windshields that are long in the horizontal, with solar collector dashboards, so I’m not certain you do any better on the interior heating.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m 6’5″ and I do fit FWIW.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “I’m 6’5″ and I do fit FWIW.”

            Human bodies are tricky things. There is tall and then there is tall. Anyone “leg heavy” tend to fit well into shockingly small cars; especially coupes. Those of the “torso heavy” variety or as my friend calls them “sitting giants” have a much harder time and are largely restricted to SUV’s, minivans, and trucks.

            For me, I am certainly leg heavy and I find that long low coupes give plenty of legroom especially up front. However, cars that sit more upright like my wife’s Honda Fit or the FIAT 500 Abarth tend to put me more over the pedals and it really causes me to get stiff in a hurry and drive me nuts. At 5’8 ish or so I am not tall by any measure but to be comfortable in her Fit I have to shift the seat all the way to the rearmost position to drive with any amount of comfort.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “Except the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a fat oversized pig of a car.”

        Have you driven one with the DI V6? VERY fun car, I dated a woman who had a 2013 with the 8sp AT – she actually traded a ’09 CTS-V for it (now THAT car is a fat oversized pig, and handles like one).
        I almost bought a Gen Coupe but it won’t fit enough stuff for my DD needs.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      I think it’s a battle between the Toyobaru twins, the 2013 Accord, and the Odyssey Touring Elite (vacuum, eeeeeeee!) for the most overhyped cars of 2012 and 2013. I used to hate the 2013 Accord because everyone kept overplaying it.

      But then, once the hype ended, I understood why people liked those vehicles. I toured a neighbor’s 2014 Odyssey EX last summer, and it was amazing. I’ve always liked the FR-S/BRZ for what they are: sporty, fuel efficient, inexpensive little cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I kind of agree with you. They were extremely overhyped, and have quite a power deficit. But the BRZ and FR-S aren’t the kind of car I’d buy anyway, so I couldn’t care less…

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      hogwash. their failure was a non turbo powertrain.

    • 0 avatar
      DrGastro997

      It’s no GTR by any means but the driving dynamics of it is to be praised. If it’s so overhyped as you suggested I suppose the many driving pros have no idea what they’re talking about. I can’t compare it to a 911 Turbo I drive but the handling on the Toyota is spectacular.

    • 0 avatar
      Disaster

      Hyundai Genesis Coupe is not a bad car but it is more of a Pony car, a Mustang competitor. The “Toyobaru” is more of a modern Miata coupe, light and neutral handling. I do agree it was overhyped plus there were reliability issues. Would love to see Toyota invest in a modern affordable sports car with it’s own engine technology. Always thought it was strange to use the dated Subaru engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The FA20 is a brand new engine. It has all the same technology that you’d find in a Toyota-only developed engine (roller rocker valvetrain, direct injection, variable valve timing).

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Hmmm, more power, hybrid engines, links to Le Mans, perhaps the next one will be the mooted Supra, with nothing beneath it?

    The Le Mans link is particularly interesting as the TS040 has a naturally aspirated V8 that Toyota has been quite secretive about. The diesels always had some efficiency edges to gasoline powerplants, but Toyota supposedly has found various tricks to boost that V8′s thermal efficiency to competitive levels. I wonder if a Supra would be an appropriate venue to debut some of those tricks in production-car form?

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I hate to be that guy on this but…Muted vs. Mooted. Muted would be understated or limited in some capacity, Mooted would mean it would be irrelevant.

      As for the rest, interesting, I haven’t kept up with the car tech on the racing front but I would be surprised to see an FR-S with a V8 anytime soon. Super-small displacement V8s have their place but they’re hard on wear and tear for their capabilities, we could see a V6 using the same tech basically lopping off two cylinders or introducing a small E-assist motor more likely.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Re: moot, please see meaning two:

        http://i.word.com/idictionary/moot

        I never said a V8 was likely, just that some of the development work might have production car applications, which could be appropriately debuted in a Supra halo-car.

      • 0 avatar
        sitting@home

        I hate to be the grammar policeman’s watchdog, but ‘moot’ as a adjective means “irrelevant” and ‘moot’ as a verb means “bring up for discussion”. I think the use in this context is correct.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I’ll take my lumps on that one. Genuinely surprised that mooted is a word but I’ll expand my vocabulary today. The supra name though I doubt is coming back, stateside atleast. The FR-S may not be a scion in a few years but it avoided thenaming cconventions of the brand for a reason.

        • 0 avatar
          CRConrad

          And being the flea on the dog, aN adjective. ;-)

  • avatar
    frozenman

    I hope Mr. Tada’s views on “natural aspiration” receive strong support during development of any shared platforms, an FRS with inline six would be sweet.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      There is no way you’re going to cram an inline-six in that engine bay without stretching the front bumper waaaaay far forward, and the hood a good pit upward (unless we’re going to revive the Slant-6)

      A blown three, though, that could work.

      The RX-8 has a similar dilemma: what made the car was the extraordinary space efficiency of the motor. The boxer four, though not as much as the Renesis, is very short and very low.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Mount it far back and transverse, and ditch the drive shaft for a chain, and we’re getting somewhere…..

      Longitudinally mounted, I feel an I6 up front is too long for proper mas centralization/low cog in a car that small. Of course, my feelings are perhaps a poor substitute for Toyota’s engineering……

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        A transverse I6 would be impossible: at any reasonable displacement you’d be right against the fenders and, frankly, a maintenance nightmare. Does Volvo still do transverse inline sixes?

        The chain might not be a bad idea: you could use a traditional I4 mounted Saab 99 style. That might jank with balance and shift quality, though.

        • 0 avatar
          Chicago Dude

          Yes, the transverse Volvo I6 is still available – strangely because the Drive-E setup doesn’t fit in the current AWD cars.

          It’s compact because none of the accessories hang off the end of the block – they are driven by a gear in the middle of the block. According to Wikipedia (which calls it the Ford SI6) it can be mounted longitudinally or transversely. It’s a pretty nice engine, but likely way too complicated and expensive to produce – otherwise it would have been in Jaguars and Fords.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Agree with Psar, the 3 liter inline 6 in my Z3 is amazingly large, partly because of the camshafts sitting on top. BTW, it is slanted. I see this car as having been built around the shape and size of its engine. Change the engine, and you’re going to have to change the car . . . a lot. A boxer 6 of about 3 liters might work. Doesn’t Subaru have one of those on the shelf?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    its funny, at this point I’d almost rather this car retain the N/A power train and add a mild hybrid/supercapacitor setup to improve fuel economy rather than go the hybrid route, especially if they put the hybrid system more under the control of the driver as it is in the racecars or in cars like the 918 Spyder.

    • 0 avatar

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      friedclams

      Wouldn’t that add weight though? A turbo might provide the best power/weight tradeoff. This car was intended to be light and simple.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        How much does all the piping and an intercooler weigh? Would a 40hp boost from an appropriately-sized supercapacitor be about the same?

        At this point, likely only TMG knows for sure.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          What i don’t get is the supercapacitors and their integration would have to be developed. The WRX turbo motor is done and ready to go in. It would even help to spread the development costs across more cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            TMC is already working on developing a hybrid that uses a super capacitor.

            http://www.gizmag.com/toyota-details-yaris-hybrid-r/28827/

            Higher-end models of the Mazda 3 also use a super capacitor, although only for limited functions.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          For cars that are often tracked, or even driven hard for extended periods, hybridization tricks isn’t really all that useful. You’ll get the 40hp supercap dump off the line, and then you’re stuck either robbing power to recharge, or wait…. All while dragging all that weight and complexity around.

          500hp monsters won’t notice the recharge (nor weight) penalty nearly as much as a car that is at full throttle almost permanently if driven in anger.

          Instead of turbos, they could just pretend to be (bygone, glory days..) Honda, and chase 10,000rpm/250-300hp. Much more thrilling in a light sports car if you ask me.

      • 0 avatar

        simplicity is often more reliable

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        >Wouldn’t that add weight though? A turbo might provide the best power/weight tradeoff. This car was intended to be light and simple.

        This right here. Adding cost and complexity even for a fuel economy gain won’t help sales. Give the bargain sports car customer more value in the form of a power boost or just cancel the thing already.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      turbos, intercoolers, and all the associated piping and plumbing can certainly add weight, as well as take up space, and not always in areas you want or can control. Look at the advantage that Mercedes has gained in Formula 1 thanks to their ingenious use of the electric turbos to separate the compressor from the turbine.

      Supercapacitors, otoh, do not require nearly as much stuff, basically just the energy storage, a motor/generator, and a way to transfer power between the two (obviously more is required if you want to make the car driveable in all electric mode versus just using the hybrid as a power booster), and you have a great deal more flexibility in where you put them, which could help preserve the cars’ proportions, weight distribution, and low center of gravity if done right. If the combination of a hybrid drive and a normally aspirated engine put them at a competitive disadvantage against turbos (Porsche) or diesel (Audi), Toyota never would have gone for it at Le Mans.

      You don’t have to use this as a fuel economy boost necessarily – it would make for an interesting street car application of the Toyota racing technology using the electric motor as a power booster in leu of a turbo. Considering that the TS040′s electric motors nearly double the car’s horsepower, I think the performance application of the technology is well on it’s way to being proven. A lap at Le Mans is over 70% at full throttle and the cars are built to be as light as possible. Indeed, an advantage of capacitors is that while they don’t store as much energy as batteries (therefore limiting their usefulness for pure EV running), they can charge and discharge much quicker, meaning they can more effectively capture energy under hard breaking and discharge it to boost acceleration.

      Yes, a Subaru turbo 4 has cross applications, but there’s no reason this system couldn’t find applications elsewhere in the Toyota Lineup to amoritize the development.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Tada-san will always appear 15 years younger than he really is and will never develop diabetes. Plus, all cars fit him better.

    Next time around, I wanna be Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      He may also suffer from early-onset dementia from eating too much tofu, get esophageal cancer from smokes and pickled foods, and suffer from functional alcoholism depending on how much of a good salaryman he is.

      The grass is never greener, just different.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve seen references to studies indicating a geographic/racial variation in testicle size, with east Asians the smallest, and Africans the largest, and Caucasians right in between. Among primate species, testicle size is correlated with frequency of sex–primates with larger testicles relative to body size have more of it. The primates with the larger testicle to body size ratios have more promiscuity and more sperm competition than those with smaller ratios. H. sapiens are probably in a transitional stage–bigger ratio than most primates, but distinctly smaller than chimps and bonobos.

      I’ve also seen references to studies indicating that among various countries, frequency of sex is very low in Japan–something that could probably just as likely be due to cultural factors as to testicle size.

      For more on this, see Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        That is about the most elaborate attempt at explaining the lack of a usably sized rear seat in the FR-S I have ever heard……….

        Might even explain the stereotypical African American pimp rolling in a 70s era Eldorado……..

      • 0 avatar
        hgrunt

        There seems to be a lot of issue here, since cultural and political forces seem more likely to affect population growth, rather than testicle size.

        Was Japan’s frequency of sex compared to China’s?

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I would like one supercharged for more low end torque, with no lag.

  • avatar
    omer333

    1. I like those wheels, if the Toyobaru had those at launch… I still would not have got one. But they look good.

    2. It would be nice to see a cool-looking “sporty” hybrid. Sorry CR-Z you just don’t cut the mustard; you look kind of cool, but are lacking the “sport”.

    3. I know a lot of people like turbocharging, but as FCA had to admit with the turbo Dart, you have to run premium fuel for it to operate correctly. If you’re an enthusiast on a budget N/A is the way to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The FA20 in the twins requires premium. They are pretty easy on gas, though.

      http://www.fuelly.com/car/scion/fr-s/2013
      http://www.fuelly.com/car/subaru/brz/2013

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        I forgot high-revving four-bangers like premium. It was the one thing I hated about my Si sedan, you love to hear the revs, but hate how quickly you use up gas to hear the revs.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      Reg; “turbocharging, you have to run premium fuel for it to operate correctly”

      Not so, it is just more efficient and produces more power just like any other IC engine.

      The SVO’s had a switch on the dash for regular/low octane and premium/high octane. These days, the ECM automatically adjusts for octane.

      You can run any octane fuel you want, you will just get better MPG and power with the higher octane gas. Lower octane fuel doesn’t hurt the engine.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        agree with 3deuce27 re: turbos and regular unleaded. I’ve driven two rental cars with VW’s new 1.8t motor running on regular and that engine is a honey. Powerful while still turning in fantastic mpg numbers.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Niche vehicles rarely can sustain continued production. Everybody that wanted one bought one, and demand dies down drastically.

    As I suspect I’d agree with Jack Baruth’s opinions on WTF anyone would put a Subaru engine in a zippy little sports car, I’ll eagerly await news of new projects with a different power train.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I’d rather see them use their alliance with BMW to get low cost CFRP technology in order to drop the weight. Maybe platform share with the Z4 successor.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    In the United States, Toyota’s most important external market, Subaru is growing rapidly. Meanwhile, the Toyota brand has been slowly losing marketshare, and Scion is tanking. The FR-S provides half of Scion’s volume and is also sold in Subaru dealerships. If the FR-S’s replacement isn’t a joint venture with Subaru, that’s a small way to combat the growth of a rival. It could also be a prelude to killing off Scion. The cancelling of Camry production at the Subaru plant in Indiana and its concentration in Kentucky could also be interpreted as a sign that Toyota doesn’t want to give Subaru any more free business.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      “The cancelling of Camry production at the Subaru plant in Indiana ”

      This is likely a net win for Subaru, as they can apparently sell every single car they can build. WRX and Forester are the two fastest selling cars in the US right now – imagine if one of them were to be built here, saving on transport charges.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    All this car needs is 500ccs of displacement. That would enable them to break the 200lb-ft torque mark, and get the HP in the 220-230 range, which is plenty for a 2800lb car. That would also broaden the car’s appeal tremendously without killing its core values. They should have went with a 2.5 from the start.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      And the easiest way to get that TQ and HP is… (wait for it)… a turbo! As someone above mentioned Subaru makes a great turbo H4 already. Now why this car wasn’t designed to take that engine I’ll never know. Actually I can guess: simplicity and cost. But I’m not buying it (literally), they could have had two models: Normal and GT. N/A and Turbo.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        No, the easiest way to get that TQ and HP is with a bigger crank and pistons. Tons of engines have various displacements within a given block. Subaru’s flat 4s are no different. Turbos add weight, complexity and cost while dulling response and sound. Aside from consistent power at high altitudes there’s no reason to install a turbocharger for a measly 20-30HP. Plus with the bigger NA motor they could have the power increase across the board, at zero added cost. It’s a no brainer.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          “Aside from consistent power at high altitudes there’s no reason to install a turbocharger for a measly 20-30HP.”

          Well, maybe no reason other than the measly 100 lb/ft of torque.

          C’mon – it’s 2014. Do we have to keep acting like turbocharging is some kind of moonshot? Especially from a manufacturer known for its well-done turbo applications? And NOT known for getting big power from a larger NA engine.

          Cars should have had a turbo from the beginning.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            I’d rather 40lb/ft N/A than a 100lb/ft from a turbocharger. And there’s a first time for everything. Nobody saw Subaru ever making a light RWD sports car.

    • 0 avatar
      Noble713

      Cars over 2.0L displacement face higher taxes in Japan, and possibly also in much of Europe. I wouldn’t be surprised if that affected their choice of engine specs. In terms of power adders for GT86, I prefer the twin-screw superchargers like the kit from Innovate. They’ve dyno’d @ 300whp/250wtq with basic supporting mods, less complex install/piping than a turbo.

      Too bad even used ones are still too expensive IMO. For now I’d rather sink money into my Chaser.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    The original vehicle used specific philosophies and problem-solving approaches while taking maximum advantage of all resources and knowledge available to them. A vehicle becomes iconic when the sum of all the parts greatly exceeds the individual pieces. The original wasn’t an icon BECAUSE it was RWD, had X wheelbase, Y horsepower, etc.

    This time around Toyota gave the car an awful lot of arbitrary specifications, and the result is, predictably, disappointing. They could have done better. They should have done better.

    A few weeks ago I was reading a discussion thread about the interior photos of the new XC90 that Volvo had released. There were a small number of people complaining and ready to write off the entire brand as ruined by the Chinese. The inexcusable offense? The headrests in the photos appear to be height-adjustable. A true Volvo, according to these people, doesn’t have height-adjustable headrests. They sure “look” like Volvo seats. Time will tell, but to me it looks like Volvo had more resources and knowledge available to them and applied the the “Volvo” philosophies toward design – exactly what should have happened. Hopefully these are their best seats yet, but again – time will tell.

    I think that people would have a lot more respect and a higher opinion of the Toyabaru if they had done what Volvo appears to be doing.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      As a Volvo owner, its not the Chinese that ruined Volvo as much as they sorta ruined themselves and changed their priorities.

      That being said height adjustable headrests would be a GOOD thing, Volvo probably didn’t incorporate them earlier due to whiplash concerns, when safety was still their thing.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I still think the Scandies could have held onto an automotive industry a bit longer if they could somehow have managed to merge Saab and Volvo, instead of letting each go under on their own. Scandinavia is a small place compared to the locales the auto industry is moving to, but it is a place which at least used to have a rich motor culture. Along with a population living a lifestyle at the leading edge of what many people around the world are aspiring to.

        Now it’s basically all gone, or on the way out. The bike makers (Husqvarna, then Husaberg), and also the auto makers. Even the big rig makers are increasingly becoming little more than managed brands within conglomerates, where more and more of the development and production is handled elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Care to elaborate on the arbitrary specifications? My experience behind the wheel of the twins is that they ARE more than a sum of their parts. On paper, it doesn’t look particularly impressive with skinny tires that aren’t particularly grippy, 100 fewer hp than a V6 Mustang, and 53/47 weight distribution. 2700lbs doesn’t seem that light until you consider that the V6 Mustang is over 700lbs heavier.

      The only thing I can think of that would be “arbitrary” is the 86×86 bore-stroke. But the 2.0L (which is about as high as you can go for an affordable world car these days) that resulted from the square bore and stroke plays pretty well with the higher revving naturally aspirated engine they were looking for.

      For affordable and fun as the primary target (that isn’t mostly blunt force like a Mustang), I’m not sure how you can describe the result as “predictably disappointing”. The car is great fun. MSRP is probably $1k higher than it should be. It isn’t like they are asking $35k for it.

      • 0 avatar

        I will second “great fun”. Wonderful driving dynamics, and plenty of power in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        These cars are not 2700 lbs – they are 2900+.

        Edmunds had 2 of them, one they tried to make into a track-day car, which is what many people looked for from Toyobaru.

        Not enough power – so they paid big bucks to add more power. Not enough tire…they paid big bucks to add bigger and better tires. Not enough brakes – they went up in smoke…spent big bucks to install better pads, but the rotors were still too small and the modded brakes were still no good for more than a few laps.

        Car was just over $25k new…they spent another $10,000 on upgrades for it, and it still was not a satisfactory track-day car.

        Being able to mod the car is nice, but HAVING to mod every go/stop/turn component in order to go fast is not nice.

        Keep it stock and it’s fine. Adding another 40% via mods to the purchase price, while killing the warranty…that’s another matter.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Where do you get 2900lbs?

          http://www.cars.com/scion/fr-s/2015/specifications/

          2758lbs. IIRC, the high spec BRZ Limited still gets in under 2800.

          Several guys on the forums have taken theirs to a weigh station and the specs are correct (there were slight differences – not 150lbs – based on amount of gas in the car).

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Ya got me – it’s 2758. Still too heavy for a dedicated-platform car like this. Why does a Fiesta ST (with a turbo, intercooler, back seats, four doors, much more heavy glass, a real sound/infotainment system with real speakers, etc.) weigh less?

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Because it’s cut down from an Impreza platform. If you want something the size and weight of the old AE86, you’d have to start with a Yaris or Aygo.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            As 3duece27 shows below, they are basically the same size. RWD is heavier than FWD. IRS is heavier than a torsion beam rear suspension. I’m not shocked that they are basically the same weight.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          Fiesta ‘St’_ _ _ _

          DIMENSIONS:
          Wheelbase: 98.0 in
          Length: 160.1 in
          Width: 67.8 in Height: 57.2 in
          Curb weight: 2745 lb

          C/D TEST RESULTS:
          Zero to 60 mph: 7.0 sec
          Zero to 100 mph: 17.6 sec
          Zero to 130 mph: 39.0 sec
          Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.5 sec
          Standing ¼-mile: 15.2 sec @ 93 mph
          Top speed (drag limited): 143 mph
          Braking, 70-0 mph: 159 ft
          Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.92 g

          FUEL ECONOMY:
          EPA city/highway: 26/35 mpg
          C/D observed: 25 mpg

          FR-S/BRZ_ _ _ _

          DIMENSIONS:
          Wheelbase: 101.2 in
          Length: 166.7 in
          Width: 69.9 in Height: 50.6 in
          Curb weight: 2757 lb

          PERFORMANCE: NEW
          Zero to 60 mph: 6.4 sec
          Zero to 100 mph: 16.9 sec
          Zero to 110 mph: 21.6 sec
          Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 8.0 sec
          Standing ¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 94 mph
          Top speed (drag limited): 139 mph
          Braking, 70-0 mph: 172 ft
          Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.89 g

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          You need to go back and read Edmunds articles on their experience with the FR-S.

          Subtract the cost of the Hp adds, and you have a figure substantial less then $10,000. And to expect a stock car to be track ready for a paltry $25,000 isn’t dealing with reality. It cost upwards of $10,000 to build a competitive Spec-Miata and can easily run to $15,000 .

          As for braking, I find on base lining cars at PIR, a flat track with no down hill braking segments, that almost all stock performance cars brakes fade in one to two laps, Mustang’s, Camaro’s, Gen Coupe V-6′s, Challenger RT’s, S2000, Boxster’s, 350/370Z’s. Race pads help a little, but rotors, calipers(6-piston), and race pads are going to be required to be competitive.

          All things being equal, braking is the most important factor on the track. A car with the best brakes and a driver who knows how to brake competitively and can manage his brakes life, has the upper hand in competition, as the recent F1 races demonstrate.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Has anyone bothered to ask how much the new car would sell for? I guarantee it will be at least $10k more than the current one.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Subaru already has salesmen bad-mouthing the BRZ in its showrooms. They trusted Toyota to deliver decent cylinder heads and port/ DI injection that doesn’t go pop on not infrequent occasions, and an Aisin manual transmission with synchros that, you know actually work for a few thousand miles. Maybe even specify a HPFP that doesn’t squawk like a demented cricket ….

    Then Subaru designed an overweight chassis with desperate weather-sealing and built-in rattles as their part of a bad deal.

    No wonder the two of them want to call it quits. The cars are dragging down their quality scores at CR.

    As for fitting the FA20 turbo in the BRZ, forget it. All you have to do is visit a Subaru showroom and open the hood of a WRX. The crank pulley is about six inches higher than in the BRZ with the engine sloping down towards the rear. It won’t fit.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      I always enjoy reading your informative posts. My car is at 8000km and the manual gearbox still feels like it hasn’t been broken in yet, very temperamental, and crickets get loud in warm weather despite of ethanol free petrol. Hope my DI seals will never pop. Sometimes I feel like I really just bought another VW lol!

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      “No wonder the two of them want to call it quits. The cars are dragging down their quality scores at CR.”

      Yeah and I’m really not feeling a Toyota-BMW marriage bringing up reliability points.

    • 0 avatar
      Disaster

      It is a modern Mazda Miata coupe minus the reliability and convertible option.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    Toyota sells car that a lot of car people pretend they want, then everyone finds reasons to dislike it. That’s why we (car enthusiasts) can’t have nice things. A shared platform FR car with BMW will likely be far more profitable for them.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This car will be a one generation wonder all for want of 50hp.

    I don’t care how you get it (turbo, displacement, but NOT electric = too much weight) but 50 more hp would have at least given this platform a fighting chance of living up to the hype.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Toyota has 16.5% share in Fuji Heavy Industries so far but it’s changing because their visions of the upcoming Chinese market is different. China views Fuji as Toyota and they’re rejecting proposals to build a plant in China to produce Subaru cars only, no Toyota. There’s the conflict but it will never sever ties completely.

    Fuji recently announced they’ll no longer build Camrys in Indiana. I believe that’s one of the first signs of the upcoming shift in joint venture with Toyota.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    This car is what happens when you listen to focus groups.
    Car Company: “Would you consider purchasing a sports car?”
    Consumer: [Thinks about the Ferrari poster on his wall as a child, and how maybe sports cars will get him laid more] “Yes!”
    Car Company: “And how much would you be willing to pay for a car like this?”
    Consumer [Thinking about the $172 in his bank account, and also that he can never admit that he doesn\'t make enough money for a new car without somehow shaming himself] “Maybe 30, 35 thousand?”

    Then what happens is this:
    Salesman: “Here we have the BRZ. It’s the first lightweight, performance oriented driver’s car in a generation.”
    Customer: “I dunno. How many cup holders does it have? I won’t consider anything that doesn’t have leather, navigation, bluetooth and all-wheel drive. Hey, is that thing a manual? I only drive automatic.”
    Salesman: “We have the limited model, which comes with all the things you’re interested in, except all-wheel drive. Would you like to take a look at that one?”
    Customer: “How much is that one?”
    Salesman: “Right around $29,500, plus taxes and fees.”
    Customer: “I mean, maybe if you could do it for $250 a month. That thing’s tiny!”

    And then the customer goes and buys an Elantra, because it has lots of cup holders, leather, nav, sunroof, heated seats and other gizmos, and he’s heard it’s a good car, and it’s cheaper. It may drive like crap, but who cares?

    For the few remaining people who still want one, where can you have any fun with it? Let a cop catch you winding it out, or drifting around an entrance ramp, and see if he doesn’t act like you just stole the crown jewels.

    • 0 avatar
      TorontoSkeptic

      Wow. That is quite the tour de force comment and I agree with all of it. It’s sort of painful to watch a car like this fail, because it probably was designed in the manner you describe… the best intentions of getting customer insight and feedback, and then the complete flop when everyone buys the budget option instead.

      I’m not personally a huge fan of these, they are a bit juvenile looking and impractical, but it’s still kind of sad to see it get killed off.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Hey man, it’s an Elantra GT.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s nothing wrong with this car that a nice LSx (or now LTx) wouldn’t fix.

    No more discussion about turbos and superchargers and capacitors. Good old V8 power in a nice shiny aluminum block. Light and efficient, but I’m pretty sure we’ll need to beef up the rest of the drivetrain.

    It should have been an option from the start. You know someone out there is working on a kit to do it.

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    all this bla bla bla from CEO to boost a weak sales ?
    [.. and whats the cooperation-deal theyare breaking with Subaru if Toyota owns Subaru !? ]

    They’ll kill that car instead of differenciate them(diferent design-Subaru shouldn’t look like Toyota!) and put some more muscle(i.e Subaru – turbo , Toyota – SuperCharger or these ‘Le-Mans’ tricks), because these cars look like ’5sec to 60′ and deliver times worst than slower hot-hatches..

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Here we go again, the same mostly lame comments by keyboard jockeys who would never buy an FRS/BRZ, don’t understand what it is, and have never driven one on the street or track.

    All those complaining about power, couldn’t use the power it has on the track or serious twisties, just a bunch of on-ramp cowboys who think they are real macho auto jocks.

    But hey! It’s good for clicks.

    And a bigger back seat, it’s a GT, not a 2-dr saloon with sporty intentions. It can’t be everything, or it wouldn’t be what it is.

    Again… my hat is off to Tetsuya Tada creating a master piece for few dollars, and for holding the line and keeping the FRS true to its intent, which is sorely misunderstood by the so called car enthusiasts here who think their comment matters, no matter how lame.

    B&B my ass

    • 0 avatar
      bodayguy

      **Standing applause from FR-S owner**
      Geez people – find me another new car at $25K that does what this does. If I could afford a new Cayman, I damn well would have one, but otherwise, the twins are unique.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @3Deuce27 – the thing that would keep me from buying the car now is lack of easily accessible space. I have an e46 3 series sedan without a folding back seat, and now that I find myself living out of my car and spending more nights out of my own bed than in it, I really wish I had gotten something with either a bigger cargo area and/or folding seats so I could load/unload through both the trunk and rear doors. I saw rumors a while back of a 4 door Toyobaru, a prospect that I saw as the most likely vehicle to tempt me to actually swap for the BMW. A hatchback or especially breadvan would’ve been nice, but I never heard anything about that, so the sedan would’ve done nicely. I do believe the car is a masterpiece though, just doesn’t have enough ways for those of us who require a bit more (cargo) space to fully enjoy its attributes. A Fiesta ST has near equal levels of power, more useable space, and (in EPA tests) does better in mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      jetcal1

      Well 3D27, no head room. And a sales guy told me a lot of people were turned of by the lack of an extensive “options” list which to me means the average Joe or Josephine ain’t looking for cars like the twins anymore.
      Now for more power, is there room go from a boxer to a H? Wouldn’t that be a trip!

  • avatar

    Not surprised, Niche market car that is a bit bloated. I think this is more bloat for engine displacement issues here in the BR-Z, it is a hoot to drive yes, but eh. It needs something. And bloat is is the problem, only thing I can thing of besides.. grunt. Torque… This also brings me to the modern turbo problem.

    Yeah they got the torque if you step on them.. and he is right. Turbo engines are great, for sports fizzy crackling hot in your hands car. Real world, how bout a nice modern, high compression (11.5:1 sounds nice, modern cats can clean that up) with a fairly torque cam grind. It works low in real world. It works on the freeway. It feels larger, and because it is slightly lazy is easier to drive. Granted this does not make something slow.

    Now thing of what the little 1.0 eco boost is doing to make torque at 2000 RPM’s it is shoving as much air in there as it can and adding MORE FUEL!. To make um what… heat .. a hair dryer spin. Little displacement, the right gearing and well you can make any car feel like any thing if you give it enough gears.

    It is the difference around here between the 94 Legacy, the 90 Loyale and the 05 WRX. The Legacy and the Loyale are out the door faster to daily drive than the 05 WRX.. Just not something that comfortably with out a care in the world does something it all. Sure it is fun when I commute the east end of 120. But I have to pay hyper attention. In the Legacy I leave it in fifth and just do the commute. Only shifting a few times. Loyale is the same way, but someone always snags it before I commute 120..

    Note. The WRX is stock.
    Note Both the Loyale and the Legacy have 2.5′s with 2.2 heads and delta torque cams. (With the stock intake and Y pipe.. about 190 horse and 195 ft.lbs *can I have one dyno run?*) Full California Emissions. Compressions is around 11:6:1 I run premium at 5000 to 8600 ft elevation….. daily.

    PS.. The Loyale is quite lively to drive being only 2500lbs with a half tank of fuel so my scale at work says. And no I dun work at a track, sorry.

  • avatar
    bd2

    For the largest automaker in the world, Toyota is sure letting others do a lot of its development work.


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