Cars Coming Soon: Toyota FT-86, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ

Scion FR-S concept

Scion FR-S Concept

Toyota is like an old man.

“Stodgy” might be a good word to describe the company’s driving dynamics lately. Yes, its rock-solid reliability reputation seems to be intact, but there’s not a lot of spunk left in the ol’ company. Its cars have gained weight. They don’t move very fast. There may be some bloat in certain places.

So what should an aging company do to reignite the feeling of youth?

Grab a bottle of wine, play some Jay Sean music and seduce a young, fun partner. That’s what Toyota did, essentially, with Subaru, and the result of the long courtship between the two is the Toyota FT-86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S triplets.

Subaru BRZ concepts

Autocar's vision of the Subaru BRZ

Production versions are expected to appear at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show, but one might be packing a good deal more heat than the rest…with the ability to go topless when desired.

The so-called “Toyobaru” sports car will be sold by three different brands when it hits the market – as a Subaru, a Toyota and a Scion, the latter of which will make it to the United States only as the FR-S. Now the rumors are starting to fly that the Subaru will be the most powerful version. While Toyota has said its version will pack about 200 horsepower, Subaru indicates the BRZ will pack “less than 300 horsepower” using the same 2.0-liter boxer engine. I don’t know about you, but I expect that means somewhere north of 275 ponies.

There are also rumors of a potential convertible version. According to the reports, the chassis was engineered from the beginning to lose its roof. Toyota has refused to comment on the possibility, but Subaru seems to be considering it carefully.

An affordable (less than $25K?) RWD Toyota/Scion sports car could go a long way toward bringing some youth back to an aging brand. If it’s upstaged by a sexier, more powerful Subaru, though, that could be a problem.

Unless the production version is as sweet-looking as the concept shown on top.

Are you looking forward to the debut of the “Toyobaru,” or do you consider it old news already?


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  1. Toyota NA has turned into a GM knock-off, with bloated pickup trucks and SUV’s and a boring lineup of mainly lexus-styling knock offs. They even emulated GM’s quality meltdown. About the only thing missing is an ersatz two-ton sports car to appeal to the Q-tip crowd. It’s amazing to watch these companies, under the influence of the US market made up of spoiled energy hogs addicted to topping the neighbors with bigger. Honda NA is following right behind and you can even see the Koreans getting bigger and fatter with every new model.

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