The Truth About Cars » BRZ The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:23:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » BRZ QOTD: Choose Your Own Parts-Bin Sporting Coo-Pay Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:21:37 +0000 orochi

Oh my, this Toyobaru GT86 situation is a shame, isn’t it? QC issues, dealer gouging, controversial tire choices, sundial acceleration, the catastrophically depressing drone of the engine as it asthmatically stumbles to its powerless redline before the injector seals fail and it vomits out its component parts in a single “FehhhrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhPOP.”

If only the people at Subaru and Toyota had asked you instead of letting their own accountants engineers make the decisions. As Andre 3000 once sang, you know what to do-oooooh-ooooh.

All the parts for a great affordable sports Coop are out there, man! You just have to, like, know how to assemble them! How about an RX-8 with the engine from the Mazdaspeed3? Better yet, a Miata Coupe with the engine from the MS3! Or an M228i with roll-up windows! Or, um, a roadster body on the Ford Ranger with an Ecoboost six!

Clearly, my robotic creativity could never come close to what you humans could imagine. So hit me with your best shot. Put the parts together from various bins, come up with an idea for styling and specification. And if we need rules… let’s say an MSRP of $34,999 or less, shall we? Just do me a favor: make sure the Forester’s base motor doesn’t make the scene in your dreams.

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Nurburgring Diaries, Part I: 2013 Toyota GT86 Sat, 05 Oct 2013 15:31:21 +0000 DSC_9912_1200

(Everyone please welcome Speed:Sport:Life alumnus and Cayman owner John Kucek to these pages. Upon hearing that John was going to the famous Burgerkingring, I asked him to get me a review of a car not available here. Strictly speaking, he did what I asked him to do. Frankly speaking, if he comes back next time with a review of a Toyota iQ or any other badge-engineered cars we’re firing him! — JB)

“Get me a couple of forbidden-fruit car reviews”. Jack’s words were still ringing in my ears as I gingerly walked up to a rental counter in Dusseldorf a few weeks later. I knew what this particular outfit had to offer, having been here almost three years earlier to the day on another Nordschleife-bound excursion, and it was good stuff. Imagine numerous E92 M3 Coupes, with the Competition Package even, lining the airport garage tower stalls. There was an Aston V12 Vantage standing on display in the terminal, the circular kiosk next to it touting its availability “from 169 Euros a day”. At least, I think that was the gist. It could have been 169 Euros per hour, but since most of my comprehension of the German language has been cobbled together from watching Inglourious Basterds on repeat, I might have been wrong on that count. Either way, the fact that a run-of-the-mill rental counter in Germany even offers such metal bodes well for my reservation, a “Premium” class upgrade that promised a new BMW 1er, VW GTI, Mercedes-Benz A-Klasse or similar.


“Or similar” apparently translates in German to “or vaguely reminiscent of”, because the cars available to me when we arrived weren’t the newly released Mk7 GTI, A45 AMG and M135i I had been crossing my fingers for, but instead an Audi A3 1.4TFSI, or a *gulp* Toyota GT86. I suppose you could call the A3 forbidden fruit since we’re without a current-generation A3 for the time being, and even when one does arrive stateside, it’ll be in sedan form only, the Sportback shape of the first-generation car apparently now verboten on these shores. But the Toyota? Sure, the badge on the back might be forbidden here, but any fanboy with fifteen minutes and an eBay account can make the swap from Scion to Toyota happen. So, I was left with two car choices that were more fruity than forbidden. Still, I was here to conquer the Nurburgring: I couldn’t do it in a FWD car. It had to be something properly driven, something that could kill you if you really tried – although the ‘ring can do that to you all by itself if you aren’t careful.


And therein lies its appeal, its mystique. This track still has an air of danger to it, as former stop on the Formula 1 calendar (before the modern GP track was built next door) that killed or maimed so many greats and continues to do the same to tourist drivers and riders year after year. I left most of those details out when selling the side trip to my girlfriend, since if I stood any chance at all of visiting the place with her in the car, it had to at least seem like a fun day out. It is still quite possible to die in the “Green Hell”, but you usually need to be lacking either common sense or two driven wheels (perhaps both) to do it – most of the casualties here during the Touristenfahren public drives are motorcycle riders. In fact, we witnessed one such accident on our second day there – a bike nosed into the Armco at speed after a time-trial-prepped BMW E36 wagon got out of shape, leaving fluids on the track and nowhere for the rider behind him to go. Poor fellow left the circuit in an ADAC air ambulance, and as is often the case with accident reports on the ‘ring, the public was left in the dark as to his outcome. It’s estimated that a dozen or so folks lose their lives to the Nordschleife each year, translating to more than one per month during open season. It’s possible that what we witnessed was one such unlucky soul taking his very last lap.


You can’t have any of that in your head as you’re circling the track, however, because there’s far too much going on to even begin processing grim statistics. What in-car videos and images completely fail to capture is the staggering elevation changes that take place over a single lap. They say the track rises and falls nearly a thousand feet between start and finish, putting to shame any roller coaster extant. Such is the sensation you get when you’re driving the place – you’re strapped into a roller coaster that is controlled directly by the size of your manhood. Also, there are other drivers ahead, behind, and – often- directly next to you enduring their own roller coaster rides. Most of the time, they’re lunatic Germans in modified GT3 RSs, M3s and Renaults that give exactly zero fucks about the racing line or passing you in a safe manner. They just want to get past you post-haste, so that when they download the lap video from their GoPro later, they’ll find they were that much closer to the factory’s published time for their car.


I didn’t bother to look up the factory time for a Toyota GT86. Maybe there isn’t one – lap timers probably don’t count that high. But honestly, it wouldn’t matter anyway – we’re not going for outright speed here. As a retired racer once told me, there’s no sense in trying to be fastest at a track day – there’s always somebody faster. The best approach is to try to improve a little bit every time I go out, and while I’m at it, glean some driving impressions and try not to die. Obviously, the not-dying part worked out surprisingly well, despite the best attempts of ze Germans. In terms of driving impressions, I walked away from the FRSGT86 feeling enthused, as well as slightly melancholic.

I had a BRZ press car for a week earlier this year and absolutely loved it. On the street, it felt truly keyed in – every control reacting to your input intuitively, instantly. I had the chance to autocross it as well, and despite the laughably bad OEM tires, I still posted close to the fastest time of the day – at a Corvette club event, mind you. The Hoosier-shod-Z06 drivers were none too amused. From the rental counter in Dusseldorf to the village of Nurburg, a route which takes you over a mix of autobahn and hilly country roads for the better part of two hours, the impression behind the wheel of the GT86 was much the same. As it should, considering it’s a carbon copy of the BRZ. Nice steering, easily-modulated brakes, crisp throttle response, precise shifter. By now, I’m looking forward to a few laps.

The track is packed on this late summer Friday afternoon. DTM is at the Grand Prix track this weekend, so the whole village is busting at the seams. Coupled with the region’s waning annual warm season, now every keen driver within a day’s drive has come out to enjoy a few laps, or watch others doing the same. Having secured four laps on a Ring card, the only thing standing between us and destiny is a thin automated gate arm. Card swiped, gate arm up, we’re off. Flooring it down the main straight under the bridge toward Tiergarten, I’m reminded of the unavoidable truth that I hadn’t been confronted with on the street: the Toyobaru twins are slow. Pissy slow if you’re on a racetrack. I’m getting passed by everything from warm hatches to 5-series estates, which I’ll assume were not diesel just for the sake of my GT86’s pride. But by the first series of real corners near Haffenbach, I’ve already put that out of my mind. I’m instead focusing on keeping the Toyota’s slithery tail in line, since any unexpected drift antics can put me either into one of the perilously close Armco barriers, or worse, into another driver or rider. I decide to keep the ESP on, but in the looser-reined Sport mode, hoping it’ll prevent any major slides without simultaneously overcooking the brakes.
It overcooks the brakes. By about the four-minute mark on track, an area of raucous downhill bends, the brakes are starting to stink and the tires are ready to give up the ghost.

You already knew this, but if you’re planning on tracking a FRS/BRZ, upgraded tires and brakes aren’t recommended, they’re required. Unfortunately, I had no such options for this excursion. Better nurse it through the next uphill section and stay right – way right – on track. At least it’s a good way to take in the scenery, which is, it must be said, pretty spectacular. After a short breather from any heavy braking zones, the GT86 has regained some of its composure and I decide to press it a little harder. The next section is my favorite, a snaking portion between Karussell I and Dottinger Hohe, the last miles of bends before you’re spat back out onto the main straight to count your blessings and give your car a healthy pat on the dash. Through this section, the GT86 is on point – it lets you trim your line with the slightest whiff of throttle lift, and if you misjudge the corner exit a bit, it eats up the curbs in stride. Still, more power and more grip would go a long way toward furthering the enjoyment.


Perhaps the GT86’s only fault is the sheer accessibility of its limits. That might not sound like a bad thing, and on the street, it probably isn’t. But for someone that intends to really get the most out of the thing by taking it to track days and using it to hone their own driving craft, the Toyobaru twins come off as being a bit one-dimensional. In order to really use the car safely, you’ve got to fit better, stickier rubber – and by the time you do that, the stock car’s lovely adjustability all but goes out the window. Then, instead of sliding around, balancing on the edge of grip and feeding every nuance back to the driver, it’ll just grip and go. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have enough nearly enough go to match the grip.
They’re a bit of a double-edged Hanzo then, these cars. On the street, they tempt you with tail-happiness and sensory feedback, begging to be unleashed on a track – and when you finally have one on a track, you’ll wish you had left it on the street. I’m sure the vast majority of FRS/BRZ/GT86 owners will be perfectly happy enjoying their cars’ nuances within the confines of public roads, and in that setting, I truly enjoyed what the car had to offer. But for those looking to stretch their vehicles a bit further, to use it as a tool to access greater performance and develop their own skill at the same time, there are better options out there for the money – both in the used market, and new. I’d suggest checking out Jack’s R&T piece last month for precisely the two I would prefer.


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Okay, the Subaru BRZ Is Now Perfect Fri, 21 Jun 2013 17:55:46 +0000 Picture courtesy LSXTV

Last year, the women wept and the teeth were gnashed when we refused to award the Scion FR-S the title of Bestest New Car Spending Marketing Money And Flying People To Fun Places Of 2012. Although we enjoyed the little Subaru to no end — an impression your humble author has since had multiple chances to reinforce at various race tracks and fast roads around the Midwest — it just didn’t bring the heat from one corner to the next.

The good news is that this problem has now been fixed — at a cost of only eighty pounds and perhaps $15,000.

LSXtv has the story on the first LS-swapped Subarota.

For $3,000, Weapons Grade Performance will sell you a “basic” kit, which includes the motor mounts, transmission mounts, driveshaft, oil pan, and clutch master cylinder… This kit will get you started, but for $9,000 the Complete Kit will include all of the above, plus an exhaust system, cooling system, wiring harness, and everything else you need except for the actual engine and transmission… Ask if there were any plans to drop, say, a supercharged LS9 engine into the BRZ, Doug smiles. “Right now hood clearance is an issue,” he says. “But we’re working with a supplier to get a Z06-style hood that should allow us to run a supercharger.” A 638 horsepower Subaru coupe? Yes, please…

Seven thousand dollars will get you a 430hp crate LS3 engine. Figure another three grand for a Tremec TKO. The resulting combination weighs slightly under 2900 pounds. Building it out on top of a new BRZ would cost a total of about $40,000 assuming you needed a little help with the labor.

Thus equipped, the LS3-powered BRZ literally has no effective competition in the marketplace. Comparisons with the Miata or Genesis become ridiculous when you more than double the power under the hood. The Coyote-powered Mustang GT feels a little chunky and slow all of a sudden. The base Corvette Stingray C7 is twelve grand more and will weigh perhaps four hundred pounds above the LS-swapped Japanese coupe.

With that said, if you really want a V8-powered American coupe, you have forty thousand dollars to spend, and you aren’t too worried about a warranty… would the “Weapons Grade” BR-Z stand a chance against a $39,800 used Z06? In a straight line it might be close-ish, but around a racetrack the Vette would use its superior mechanical grip and power-to-weight ratio to walk that sucker. And every possible upgrade you could do to the Subaru’s new engine would be just as easy on the Corvette.

If nothing else, however, the guys at Weapons Grade should put a little fear into the hearts of overconfident Miata drivers at the local road course. Unless, of course, they’re packing as well

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Vellum Venom Vignette: The Aftermarket Fixes All! Thu, 04 Oct 2012 17:00:14 +0000

The problem with the FR-S’ unrefined bumps, lumps and Trapezoid Homage to the 1977 Mercury Cougar now has a decent solution.  And what of this workaround?  It’s brutal. It’s borderline inexcusable.  But my goodness, it works…too bad I’m making you click to see it. 



A gigantic wing with mounting points that emulate the Cougar trapezoid form: all of a sudden the decklid has purpose! The hunks of metal (aluminum?) empathize with the trapezoid butt and the slant of the taillights.  And will you look at the decklid’s Bangle Butt with a big-ass spoiler on it? Not for a while!

Too bad there’s a downside.

Wings are pretty retarded.  You need the stance, the wheels, the wide-body flares and all the streetability compromise that comes with.  (Piston Slap moment: insert LSX-FTW swap here) This is pure race fantasy, but this FR-S (okay, BRZ) makes it work.  And it proves that purposeful race design can be both functional and beautiful.  Just don’t try this at home, kids…

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BRZ/FR-S Hachi-Roku Beats All Cars In Off-The-Lot Race Tue, 18 Sep 2012 18:44:01 +0000

Some bloggers see the BRZ/FR-S (hereinafter hachi-roku) pocket racers as the second coming of Christ, others declared them as declassed by the Hyundai Genesis, the Mazda Miata PRHT (pfft), and of course by the Ford Mustang GT. The hachi-roku may not be the fastest around the race track with Jack Baruth on the wheel and an AWOL timing device. There is one race which they consistently win: The race off dealers’ lots.

Both hachi-roku continue to be on the top of Edmunds’s list of quickest-selling vehicles. The limited-volume FR-S and BRZ monopolized the top ranks of the fastest-sellers list since they went on sale in the spring. An average hachi-roku sells in about 11 days, says Edmunds. An average car graces the lot for 58 days. An average GM full-size truck would be a whole different story ...

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Honda Civic Si Dominates Subaru BRZ In Track Test Thu, 16 Aug 2012 19:03:14 +0000

AutoGuide’s twin team of track terror, time-trialer Dave Pratte and editor Colum Wood, have returned to Toronto Motorsports Park to take the Subaru BR-Z and the Honda Civic Si to the extreme limit and beyond. What did they find?

Click here to view the embedded video.

“Truth be told,” Pratte notes, “it takes an experienced FWD pilot to get the most out of the Honda, because techniques like trail braking and left foot braking aren’t taught during high school driver’s ed.” That’s true! So how does the Civic Si, in limited edition “HFP” trim, fare against the car that AutoGuide has already rated above the Genesis 2.0t?

Here’s where things get really interesting. Based on the lap times recorded with our Vbox data acquisition and timing system, there was just 1/10th of a second difference between these two pocket rockets, with the Civic Si HFP posting a 1-minute 26.5-second best lap and the BRZ coming in at 1-minute 26.6-seconds. That’s by far the closest battle we’ve ever had in one of these track-based comparos, a result made all the more intriguing by how differently these two machines went about their business.

That is definitely a close battle. Think about how quick a tenth of a second is!

You might be wondering which one of these cars won the comparison test. It’s not easy to choose between them.

So if there’s so little between them around a race track, which car would I plunk my $27k down on? That’s a tough call, because despite their similarities they couldn’t be more different in character and design…

With the lap times little help in determining the better performer, I honestly don’t know which one would end up in my driveway, but for most consumers out there I suspect the decision will be quite easy given just how different these two excellent and appealing sport compact offerings really are.

You could say that both of these sporty import coupes are the winners of this comparison test! In the meantime, BRZ intenders who live north of the border should be warned: there’s another great choice out there for you, and it comes chock-full of efficiency and passenger space! For the complete test, check it out!

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NSFW: Stark Naked Pictures Of Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, Scion FRS, Hachi-Roku Wed, 23 May 2012 11:56:07 +0000

It is a little bit like showing breasts at a plastic surgeon congress: At the annual meeting of the JSAE, the Japanese version of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Subaru totally disrobed its BRZ and shows it to a strictly professional audience.

According to a quick image search on Google, this would be the first time that the drive train of the Hachi-Roku has been shown without disturbing sheet metal.

The professional audience was impressed. Back home at the office, the engineers work on electric motors, or hybrid drives, so seeing a boxer engine was a bit like vintage porn, professional meeting or not.

The 2012 JSAE Annual Congress began today at the Pacifico in Yokohama. It lasts through Friday, May 25. If you hop on a plane now, then you will be able to brag that you saw a naked  Hachi-Roku in the flesh.

(Want a screen saver with belts and pulleys? There are high resolution versions of the pictures in the gallery.)

Naked Hachi Roku JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku HIGHRES JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku HIGHRES JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku HIGHRES JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Naked Hachi Roku HIGHRES JSAE Congress Yokohama. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt ]]> 24
Pre-Production Review: 2013 Scion FR-S Wed, 09 May 2012 13:00:49 +0000

Scion has had a sordid past. Originally, Scion was Toyota’s solution to a lack of 18-25 year old shoppers. Over the past 9 years however Scion has lost their way and lost their youth. Their median buyer just turned 42. The tC coupe, which started out as a car for college kids, now has a median buyer of around 30. Scion claims the FR-S is a halo car – to me, that means the FR-S will be bought by older drivers (who can actually afford it), attracting younger buyers to their showrooms. Despite being out of the target demographic, Scion flew me to Vegas to sample the FR-S’s sexy lines to find out.

The rear-drive layout, boxer engine and low center of gravity all play out in the car’s distinctive exterior. Toyota claims it was meant to pay homage to classic Toyotas of the past, but if Porsche and Lotus were charged with penning a Scion, this is what it would look like. Our time with the FR-S was limited to a 100 mile drive and about 6 hours of SCCA style autocross and road course track time in a pre-production FR-S. Jack will be flogging a production FR-S on track sometime this summer, assuming the stars align.

Inside, Scion opted for snazzy faux-suede instead of the coarse fabric of the base Subaru BRZ (the BRZ is available with  leather/faux-suede seating in the Limited model). Scion also swapped out the silver dash trim for something that looks like it might be imitating carbon fiber but is actually a motif based on the letter “T.”

Click here to view the embedded video.

Like all Scion models, the standard radio is a Pioneer unit with standard Bluetooth and iPod/USB interfaces. Instead of bringing Toyota’s Entune system to the Scion brand, Pioneer was engaged to bring their “App Radio” into what appears to be its first OEM use. Unlike traditional nav systems, the “BeSpoke” system (as Scion is calling it) is essentially just an iPhone app. The app runs solely on your phone and the head unit merely controls the app and displays the video generated by the phone. This means an iPhone is required for it work (Android phones are not supported.) It also means navigating eats up your data plan and you must be in a cellular service area for it to work. The system is expected to cost under $90 and since it’s an App on your phone, it’s never out of date. Much like iDrive, BeSpoke will also offer Facebook, Twitter and internet radio integration.

Under the lies the fruit of the Subaru/Toyota marriage: a 2.0L direct-injection boxer engine. Although it’s based on Subaru’s Impreza engine, it has been re-engineered to incorporate Toyota’s “D4S” direct-injection tech. The addition of GDI boosts power by 52HP to 200HP. Since the engine is naturally aspirated, the torque improvement is a more modest 6lb-ft bringing the total 151 at a lofty 6,600 RPM, while peak horsepower comes in at seven grand. Despite the online rumors, Scion Vice President Jack Hollis indicated there will be no turbo FR-S.

Since the FR-S is intended to be “baby’s first track car,” Scion’s event was held at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort in Pahrump, Nevada. Out on the track, the FR-S isn’t as slow as an early Miata, but it’s not especially quick either. However, the low center of gravity and light curb weight make the FR-S fairly adept in the corners, whether you’re on track or on an autocross course. The lack of torque is the one major blight, whether on or off track. This deficiency was made more obvious by my trip landing in the middle of a week with Hyundai’s 2013 Genesis 2.0T which delivers more power at far more accessible RPMs, despite its porkier stature.

Unlike most “sporty” RWD cars, the FR-S is tuned toward neutral/oversteer characteristics. When combined with the standard Michelin Primacy HP tires, the FR-S is far more tail happy on the track than the V6 Mustang or Genesis 2.0T. The lively handling is undoubtedly more fun, but inexperienced drivers beware:  getting sideways can be hazardous to your health, not to mention your insurance premiums. Without empirical numbers, I cannot say if the FR-S will out-handle the Genesis 2.0T on the track, however the Genesis feels more composed and less likely to kill you, thanks to a chassis tuned towards understeer and staggered 225/245 series tires (front/rear.) Contrary to the web-rumors, the FR-S is not shod with “Prius tires” as we would know them. The Primacy HP is a “grand touring summer tire” with “lower rolling resistance” tech added. The tire is used on certain Lexus GS, Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 models and a JDM market only Prius “with performance pack.” Still, the tire isn’t as “grippy” as the FR-S deserves, so buyers should plan on swapping them for stickier rubber ASAP.

Scion’s “single-price with dealer installed options” philosophy continues. Starting at $24,930, the only options are: $1,100 for the automatic transmission, around $900 for the BeSpoke radio and a variety of wheels, spoilers and other appearance accessories. That’s about $1,295 less than the BRZ, although the gap narrows to almost nothing when you add the BRZ’s standard navigation system and HID headlamps. The nicer standard upholstery, more controlled pricing and a plethora of manufacturer supported (and warrantied) accessories make the FR-S a compelling choice vs the BRZ, but speed daemons will want to drive past the Scion dealer and test drive the Genesis 2.oT. If you want an FR-S, be prepared to wait as Scion expects supplies to be somewhat limited starting June 1st.

 Scion flew me out to Vegas, put me up in a smoky casino and provided the vehicle, insurance, gasoline, track time and admission to the state park for the photography.

 Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.6 Seconds

0-60: 6.7 Seconds

Fuel Economy: 22MPG average over mixed roads (track time not included)


2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, side, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, side 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Rear, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front grille, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Scion logo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, FR-S logo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Boxer Engine Logo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, dashboard, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, seats and dash, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, center console, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, seats, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, 2.0L boxer engine, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail


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TTAC Publishes Exclusive Picture Of Supply-Constrained Subaru BRZ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:53:14 +0000

Merriam-Webster Definition of CANARD: a false or unfounded report or story

Car & Driver horrified lovers of unadulterated driving fun with the news that “just 6000 Subaru BRZ sports cars will be allocated to the U.S. for the 2013 model year.” The source of that report is somehow suspect: “A Subaru dealer.” Car and Driver’s telephone budget must have been cut. The magazine consulted Subaru’s website that says that the BRZ will be built in “extremely limited quantities.” Car and Driver also checked with an old C&D article that said that “Subaru thinks that 5000 ­ to 7000 per year would be enough.” Thus having performed its journalistic duty, Car and Driver ran with the story of a BRZ that will be available in homeopathic quantities only. Which, I assume, should trigger a run at dealerships.

A similar canard had been published last November by the fansite It comes as no surprise that this time also, immediately jumped on the Car and Driver story.

Time to make some calls.

Spokespeople at Subaru were very busy today, preparing for an event on Friday. Finally, Subaru spokesman Masato Saito was dragged out of a meeting and said that these rumors are not “based on official information by FHI (Fuji Heavy Industries).” He did not want to comment further.

Time to call Toyota. Toyota produces its “hachi-roku” (Toyota 86 in Japan, GT 86 in Europe and elsewhere, Scion FR-S in the U.S.) together with Subaru. The deal was that Subaru stops building minivehicles, which are now built by Toyota’s Daihatsu. As a make-good, Subaru builds the hachi-roku/BRZ in its Gunma plant in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo. According to Car and Driver, “only the front fascia, badges, and maybe wheels separate the BRZ from its Toyota—and Scion—sibling.” If the capacities are somehow constrained, then Toyota should know about it.

Toyota always maintained that it will sell as many hachi-roku as possible, with CEO Akio Toyoda personally leading the charge. A quick chat confirms that Toyota has not changed this stance.

Not surprisingly, Toyota’s spokesman Naoto Fuse says that “as for the Toyota 86, we plan to sell between 30,000 and 40,000 units annually overseas, mostly in North America and Europe.”

Why were Subaru spokespeople so busy? On Friday, there will be a line-off party at the Subaru plant. Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, GT 86, Scion FR-S will be rolling off the line as quickly as they can build them, and as many as importers order will be shipped. Expect the first ones to arrive at U.S. shores in approximately a month from now. After a few weeks of thin supplies, common to any new model launch, you should be able to choose from plenty cars. Don’t buy the shortage story and pay above MSRP.

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