With so much online page space taken up by the RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Tacoma and other practical, high-volume Toyota products, it’s often easy to forget that the staid and sensible automaker sells an entry-level, rear-drive sports car.
February marked a significant milestone for the Toyota 86 (née Scion FR-S), sibling to the Subaru BRZ, in that it was the first month since 2013 that didn’t see a year-over-year sales decline. That year was also the high water mark for sales.
No doubt aware of the rebranded coupe’s lagging fortunes, Toyota has adopted a time-honored method of drawing eyes back to its 86. Offer a slightly enhanced version, raise the price, and cap production numbers. (Read More…)
The Subaru BRZ has been struggling along since hitting its sales peak in 2013, and its recent refresh hasn’t done much to help it rebound on the sales charts.
Now, thanks to conflicting information from Subaru itself, the future of the rear-drive coupe is as clear as San Francisco Bay at 7 a.m.
Back in May of this year, TTAC reported the list of changes coming for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and asked if what amounted to a rather modest workover would get consumers excited enough to reverse the sports coupe’s declining sales trend.
Having spent a week acting barely responsible in Subaru’s only two-wheel-drive offering, my belief is no, the BRZ will not buck the trend. After commuting in it, doing school pick up duty and grocery runs — all in a most irresponsible way, revving the little four-cylinder boxer engine to redline again and again — I expect there will be a blip on the sales radar this year. Sadly, I also expect the BRZ (and its Toyota 86 twin) to slowly slip into automotive obscurity.
This terribly depressing thought has mostly to do with declining overall consumer interest in fun, driver-oriented cars, and it does nothing to celebrate what a wildly fun machine this is.
Toyota has released 2017 prices for some of its small cars, and it looks like a name change (and modest power increase) tacked a slight premium onto the Toyota 86, formerly the Scion FR-S.
A sign of our automated times, it looks like the manual transmission’s days could be numbered in the Corolla lineup. (Read More…)
It beats hooning your mom’s Honda Odyssey.
A teenager took the top spot in the first three races of the Toyota 86 Racing Series this past weekend, beating back the 38 entrants in the fledgling event.
Former kart champion Cameron Hill’s win is exactly what Toyota had in mind when it crafted the three-year series. Designed as an entry point for up-and-coming drivers, the series pits up to five professional drivers against a field of amateurs, with training being top of mind. (Though a $125,000 prize pool sweetens the deal). (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.
Scion’s slow-selling FR-S rear-wheel-drive coupe is about to become Toyota’s slow-selling rear-wheel-drive coupe, and it will be branded with the same moniker as in many other parts of the world.
That’s right: this is the Toyota 86, also known as what it should have been named here in the first place.
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.
Ahh, the benefits of free PR. Mere minutes after Toyota UK’s official blog posted their “interview” with GT 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, the outlets of the autoblogosphere were alight with Tada’s comments praising shooting brakes.
See, dropping a choice quote about Tada’s desire for a GT86 shooting brake isn’t just a coldly calculated way to ensure that this interview is re-posted ad infintium on every content aggregator and “enthusiast blog” (read: free PR machine for the OEMs) in the world. It also provides a bit of insight into the economics of vehicle development, sales and manufacturing today – not to mention the PR and marketing side.
Ever try and play a round of golf as a Miata driver? From first hand experience, I can tell you it doesn’t work well. If you are lucky at manipulating large objects and have nothing else in the trunk, your golf bag might fit. God help you if you are giving a friend a lift to the course. One golf bag will go in the passenger footwell, the other will likely have to sit on the folded soft top, with the passenger’s arm holding the golf bag. Ask me how I know.
Anyone attending the Geneva Auto Show will get to see a concept version of the Toyota 86 convertible, pictured above in a sketch. Enjoy it as you sip your 7 Franc lattes. We’ll have live shots for you starting March 5th, once the show is on. Maybe it will be warm enough to put the top down on the MX-5 by then…
No, this isn’t another lame rumor-mongering post based on idle speculation; Toyota’s own Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the 86, confirmed to Top Gear that two more sports cars are in the pipeline.
One of the most popular “Out of Thin Air” stories over the last 24 months has concerned the existence of a factory turbocharged Scion FR-S. In second place, the existence of a convertible Scion FR-S. At long last, a reliable source of information has confirmed their existence – but we won’t be getting them.
With the Toyota 86 set to go on sale in a couple of weeks (the first production models are set to leave the line on Friday), Toyota’s Japanese sales outlets will have separate spaces to sell the new sports car – and in some cases, stand alone sales facilities, similar to the Chrysler/Fiat arrangement in America.