Are modest improvements in looks and power enough to revive consumer interest in the Subaru BRZ? The automaker sure hopes so.
A host of small changes were just announced for the rear-drive coupe’s 2017 model year, which sees its sister car (the
Scion FR-S Toyota 86) switch identities. Every change aims to nudge the BRZ closer to what the public feels it should be — a performance car worthy of special status. (Read More…)
The main complaint levied against the Toyota GT86 (and Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins) is its supposed lack of power, even though it pumps out 200 horses. Coming in at a close second on the 2+2 hatchback coupe’s complaint list is its lack of usable space.
Toyota Australia has an answer to that second concern, and it’s in the form of a Shooting Brake that looks like a Honda CR-Z after hitting up some free weights.
So I got up behind a Dodge Grand Caravan the other day and I started thinking about my youth. This is because, in my youth, the Dodge Grand Caravan was an acceptable vehicle to drive, and not something you were stuck with when Enterprise ran out of full-size sedans.
There are two reasons for this: 1. Back in the day, the Dodge Caravan didn’t really have any competitors, so we didn’t really know that there were better options out there. Honda had the hinged-door Odyssey. Toyota had the weird-ass Previa. It was a mess; more importantly, 2. There were so many different versions of the Dodge Caravan that you were pretty much stuck buying a Dodge Caravan even if you actively avoided buying a Dodge Caravan.
November 2015 produced the lowest full-month U.S. sales total for the Scion FR-S in its history.
November 2015 also produced the sixth consecutive year-over-year Mazda MX-5 Miata monthly sales increase; November was also the fifth consecutive month in which the Mazda MX-5 outsold the Scion FR-S.
The FR-S and MX-5 are clearly not direct rivals. One is sold exclusively as a coupe with rear seats; the other is a two-seat convertible.
But the comparison between the pair, like the forthcoming comparison between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, is pertinent because of the contrast between old and new. From June 2012, the first full month of availability of the FR-S, through June 2015, the Scion was the fresher sports car parked outside A&W on a Thursday night. However, it suffered from the same malady that typically afflicts most sports cars early on in their tenure: DDDD. Drastically Decreased Demand Disorder.
Our friends over at AutoGuide have a juicy story about a patent filing from Toyota that details a decidedly BRZ STI-looking drawing that may signal a performance variant on its way.
According to AutoGuide, the patent, which was approved in Japan, was filed by Toyota, but named Subaru-parent company Fuji Heavy Industry as its owner. The patent was approved so let’s get them on the lots already.
“If I were to be told that, I’d pass out…It’s not going to be just one generation.”
-Fuji Heavy Industries President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga
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.
The Scion FR-S – lightweight, affordable sports car that the world was supposedly waiting for – is reportedly lagging behing its sales targets across the globe, making it difficult for Toyota to justify upgrading the engine or bringing a convertible to market.
Not many details have been released so far about the Subaru Cross Sport Design concept, which the company says is a combination of “sport” and “utility” and features “easy seat access, a comfortable interior, and abundant luggage space” and it’s supposed to show the direction forward for urban SUVs. They also could have said that it’s a stretched, jacked up BRZ station wagon, since with a horizontally opposed engine up front driving the back wheels, the Cross Sport Design is based on the sports car platform shared by Toyota/Scion and Subaru. (Read More…)
It’s been a year-and-a-half, and the Toyobaru twins have not lost their luster. Proximity has not made the heart grow less fond. American sports car consumers still want to buy the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ.