Filed under: Etc. , Dodge , Mazda , Smart , Subaru , Toyota , Electric , Diesel We all have controversial opinions. Be it whether you think the Nissan Juke is actually pretty attractive, manual transmissions aren’t always better, or you honestly didn’t hate the Pontiac Aztek , we all harbor some persuasion, be it big or small, for which we catch copious flak upon expression. In recognizing that all of us here at Autoblog harbor at least one viewpoint that stubbornly goes against the grain of popular opinion among auto enthusiasts, we’ve decided to come clean with them right here, proudly speaking our minds in a mature, structured manner – a striking contrast to how these things tend to come up while debated in the office. We’d also like to invite you to share your unpopular and controversial opinions with us and the Autoblog faithful down in Comments. Don’t be ashamed – this is a safe place. Continue reading Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Subaru , Toyota Hallelujah friends, hallelujah. One of the highest voices in Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries , has just said that the boxer-obsessed automaker will release a second generation of the lovable BRZ . Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of FHI, has summarily shot down assertions made by Tetsuya Tada , the chief engineer for the Toyota GT86 . In a recent interview with an Australian publication, Tada claimed that Subaru had not decided whether it would be involved in the followup effort to the rear-drive coupe, and even speculated that the Toyota could team with BMW for a second-gen car, instead. “If I were to be told that, I’d pass out. It’s not going to be just one generation ,” Yoshinaga-san told Automotive News. Despite this claim, even Yoshinaga confirmed that in order for the BRZ to be viable, his company needs Toyota. Should Toyota make the move to BMW as part of its joint-venture agreement, though, it’d cast some major doubts on the likelihood of a second-gen BRZ ever seeing the light of day. Subaru BRZ to get second generation, says exec originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Subaru may or may not produce an STI version of the BRZ . Things seem to go back and forth on the subject. But Subaru Tecnica International isn’t the only company with a history of tuning Subies. So does Cosworth , and now the British racing firm appears to be turning its attention to the BRZ and its Toyota- and Scion-badged siblings. For those unacquainted, Cosworth is more than your average tuning company. It’s a racing firm first and foremost, having made F1 engines under its own name as well as Ford’s (chief among them the all-conquering DFV 3.0-liter V8 of 1960s and 70s fame), not to mention engines for Indy, rally and even high-performance, road-going versions of the Ford Sierra , Chevy Vega and Mercedes 190E . The list goes on and on, but you get the point. Now withdrawing from Formula One , Cosworth is focusing its attention on tuning road cars again with the launch of the Cosworth Power Package line, the first of which will focus on the Toyota GT86 (aka Scion FR-S ) and Subaru BRZ. We don’t know just yet what will be included in the packaged dubbed FA-20, but from the video teaser below, it seems there’ll be upgrades to the exhaust, suspension, aero and – if we’re lucky – maybe a super- or turbocharger for the 2.0-liter flat-four engine. We’ll have to wait and see, but we get the feeling that with Cosworth on the job, it’ll be worth the wait.
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Sedan , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Australia , Rumormill Okay Toyota , make up your mind. Figure it out. Quit playing games with our heart. Either build a bunch of variations of the excellent GT86 (also known as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ ) or don’t. At this point, we’re just tired of the back and forth. After no shortage of denials, an Australian website is claiming that Toyota is reconsidering convertible, four-door, turbocharged and all-wheel-drive hybrid variants of the GT86. Kindly pass all the salt. It’s not that we don’t want to believe the Aussies; we do. But when the story lists the same “sources in Japan” as a lot of the other denials and confirmations about GT86/BRZ/FR-S variants, well, there’s a certain sense of the “Boy That Cried Wolf,” here. Ignoring all that, then, what does Motoring.com.au claim to know?
Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Budget , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Hope may remain for a convertible version of the Scion FR-S , according to a report from Ward’s Auto . You’ll recall that rumors were swirling about the feasibility of a rear-drive Toyobaru convertible as early as October , and that back in November, Subaru – which makes the FR-S, Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 – essentially nixed the idea of an open-topped variant . “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen,” brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told Automotive News , according to Ward’s , at the Tokyo Motor Show . “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.” Despite Yoshinaga-san’s arguments against a droptop variant, Toyota is apparently still considering the model. Speaking to media at the 2014 North American International Auto Show , Scion’s US vice president, Doug Murtha, hinted that the rear-drive droptop was in the works. “It’s something we’re looking at internally from both a manufacturing standpoint – where do we build something that’s relatively low-volume, if not at Subaru – and from an engineering standpoint: Where are those resources going to come from to do it?” Murtha said. For now, it appears as if Toyota is merely doing its homework on the feasibility of a production version of the FT-86 Open Concept from the 2013 Geneva and Tokyo shows (show above). “Everybody’s had to pony up their volumes and we’ll see if we can make it happen,” Murtha told Wards . Whether the volumes check out or not, the question of how Toyota will get around the engineering issues – making a convertible safe – and figuring out where to build it, mean that while our hopes for an FR-S Convertible are higher, the car still faces a rather rocky road before reaching production.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Performance , Japan , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota When last we checked in on our topless would-be hero, the Toyota FT-86 convertible had been reportedly placed on “indefinite hold .” That was back in early October, not long after Toyota had trotted out the rear-wheel-drive canvasback to Scion dealers as a possible future product carrot if they decided not to turn in their franchises. And yet, we’re here at the Tokyo Motor Show , where Toyota has taken the time to at least repaint the FT-86 Open Concept in “Flash Red,” if not build a whole other car (the original Geneva showcar was white ). It’s enough to make our heads spin like a teenager on the verge of a breakup. Will they? Won’t they? At this point, we still don’t know any more than you do – the last word we heard out of Toyota was not encouraging, although the story was that the program could still be fast-tracked if management had a change of heart. As the car has never been seen before in Japan, perhaps Toyota is merely extending its domestic audience a courtesy view before it lines this showcar in mothballs, or maybe they’re still trying to make a decision on its fate and gauging public reaction on the homefront. Interestingly, in a new story published today, Automotive News quotes Subaru brand boss Yasuyuki Yoshinaga downplaying the likelihood of a production model, saying flatly “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen.” The executive went on to note, “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.” Given that such a car would probably trade in rather small volumes, that sounds like a significant hurtle. Either way, this FT-86 Open Concept wears red paint rather fetchingly – and we think a Scion FR-S or a Subaru BRZ would look every inch as compelling, too.
Filed under: Car Buying , Concept Cars , Convertible , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Bad news, sportscar fans. According to a new report from What Car? , Toyota has cancelled plans to produce a GT86 convertible, a model based on the FT-86 Open Concept that debuted at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show . In truth, Toyota never actually confirmed it would produce the budget-friendly droptop in the first place, but rumors have been flying since last year and Toyota reportedly showed its embattled Scion dealers a FR-S version of the convertible in August . Presumably, this means that a lidless variant of the Subaru BRZ is not in the cards, either. The reason for the move is unknown, though What Car? reports “one possible cause is weight; Toyota did say that further work would be required on rigidity before the convertible could be launched, and that could have added extra bulk that conflict with the regular GT86’s ethos of light weight and agile handling.” It doesn’t look like that work will happen anytime soon, as “sources now say that the car has now been delayed indefinitely, with no place in Toyota’s product plan in either 2014 or 2015.” Still holding out hope? What Car? says the project could be “fast-tracked” if management decides it wants to reboot the program down the road. one possible cause is weight; Toyota did say that further work would be required on rigidity before the convertible could be launched, and that could have added extra bulk that conflict with the regular GT86’s ethos of light weight and agile handling.
Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , UK , Racing , Comparisons , McLaren The Toyota GT86 , in all of its forms, is one of the best-handling cars money can buy, a trait that can put a smile on the faces of all but the most jaded car enthusiasts. But if good handling isn’t what they’re looking for, then what is? Our first guess would have to be more power, something the 200-horsepower Toyota would benefit from. Autocar tries out that theory by driving two turbocharged GT86s on track, then pitting the more powerful one against the 616-hp McLaren MP4-12C in a track battle. The first GT86 turbo Autocar ‘s Steve Sutcliffe drives makes around 255 rear-wheel horsepower and a bucket-load more torque than the stock car. That’s plenty of power to either have a lot of fun or get into a lot of trouble. But the GT86 that Sutcliffe tails in the McLaren is race-prepped, stripped to the bone and wears slicks to harness a heavy-hitting 335 hp at the wheel. Weighing in at under 2,500 pounds, the Toyota can’t overcome the MP4-12C’s power-to-weight ratio of 5.3 pounds per horsepower, but it comes pretty close. Enjoy a lot of chasing and drifting fun in the video below ! Continue reading Autocar pits McLaren MP4-12C against turbo Toyota GT86 Autocar pits McLaren MP4-12C against turbo Toyota GT86 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota The Sydney Morning Herald has spoken to Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 (our version of it, the Scion FR-S , is pictured above), and they’ve been promised that more power is on the way. We’ve heard a lot of speculation about a more powerful Toyobaru since before the standard model was even launched. The only question now is how the power will be delivered, and among the engine concepts we’ve already heard about – turbo, supercharger, twin-charged, hybrid – is a new one: more displacement. Tada said that an engine with more displacement than the current coupe’s 2.0 liters is being tested alongside a turbocharged and a hybrid-assisted motor. The SMH cites “inside sources” as saying the displacement option is the one likely to get the go-ahead, and suggests increased bore and stroke will see the engine grow to 2.5 liters, horsepower to about 250 – a 50-hp increase over the present car. While that’s apparently the betting man’s solution for the long-awaited increase in gumption, what happens with the next generation could be more wide open than we suspected. According to the report, Tada “hinted that [a successor] could be a radically different car, potentially dropping the boxer engine altogether.” He said once they’ve sorted out the concept for the second generation car, then they’ll sort out an engine. That’s where a turbo option could come to market, perhaps the turbocharged four-cylinder Toyota is developing for the Lexus NX crossover or a hybrid system that uses a capacitor. This leaves us wondering what, if anything, will happen with the (presumed) next generation of the Subaru BRZ . But for now, the cavalry – more horses – is on the way for the current generation, one way or another.