Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Rumormill Teaser images of a purported Subaru BRZ STI were uncovered last night and sent the internet into a collective state of hysterics. That’s not hugely surprising, though, considering the reverence that the BRZ, along with its fraternal twins, the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86, have garnered from the automotive media. The sole sticking point, really, has been its mere 200 horsepower. People have been chomping at the bit over a higher output version of the sublime rear driver. Those same people may be in for a disappointment, though. See, the BRZ STI that was teased last night might not be a real STI. Instead, it’s looking like it might be a BRZ tS. According to 7Tune.com , the timing of the photos posted on Subaru’s website lined up with Subaru’s 86 Festival at Fuji Speedway , where the Subaru BRZ tS debuted. Despite wearing STI badges, the tS isn’t the full-tilt STI model we’ve been hoping for. Instead, you can think of the relationship between tS models and STI models as sort of like the difference between a BMW 3 Series M Sport and a BMW M3.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , BMW , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Mercedes-Benz , Nissan , Toyota , Volkswagen Before financial Stargate opened in September of 2008 and transported us to an entirely new economic dimension, it was oh so common to read about domestic automakers hammering Tier One suppliers to lower their prices. Of course, suppliers are still asked to find efficiencies, but pre-2008, it seemed a point of honor to hold a supplier’s feet to the fire. No more: in the latest Working Relations Index survey of suppliers by Detroit firm Planning Perspectives Inc., General Motors and Chrysler rocketed up the charts to bring the bunch much closer together. Admittedly, the two companies are still in last place, with GM just ahead of Chrysler and Toyota and Honda still up top. But perspective and improvement is the issue here: in 2005, Toyota scored 415 and GM scored 114. In this year’s survey, Toyota scored 296 and Chrysler scored 248. It is the first time in the 12 years of the survey that the six automakers covered have been separated by less than 50 points. Chrysler’s jump was led by the efforts of the the late Dan Knott , whle GM’s improvement has been led by Bob Socia. And yes, this is also a matter of the perennial leaders, Toyota and Honda, suffering a dip: in 2010 Toyota scored 327 and Honda 309, two years later, Toyota has dropped 31 points. Every automaker, however, from top to bottom acknowledged that they still have work to do with supplier relations.