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 , Audi , Chevrolet , Dodge , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Subaru , Toyota Toyota and Lexus stormed the 2014 Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards, winning a combined 18 categories including best brand and best luxury brand. This marks the third year in a row that both automakers have won the Brand and Luxury Brand resale value awards. In all, Toyota won 11 categories and Lexus won seven. Honda made a good showing, as well, winning two segments ( Accord Plug-In Hybrid and Civic Si ) and putting one car on the top-10 Best Resale Value list ( CR-V ). Chevrolet did even better, winning two segments (with the V6 Camaro and the Corvette ) and placing three cars on the top-10-overall list (again, the Camaro and Corvette, plus the Silverado 1500 ). The other winners came from Jeep , Dodge , Infiniti , Subaru and Audi . To give you a clearer picture of the Toyota and Lexus domination, their 18 mentions represents more than half of the 34 awards (including the top-10-overall list). Here’s the Top 10 Cars list: Chevrolet Camaro Jeep Wrangler Chevrolet Corvette Toyota FJ Cruiser Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Toyota Tacoma Dodge Challenger Toyota Tundra Honda CR-V Toyota 4Runner Head on below for the press release, where you can find the full results of KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards. Continue reading Toyota, Lexus dominate KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards Toyota, Lexus dominate KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Subaru , Toyota Subaru may be set to end production of the Toyota Camry at its Lafayette, IN facility by 2017, according to a report from the Louisville Journal-Courier and a CBS affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina . Speaking to the plant’s Executive Vice President Tom Easterday, the whole affair sounds like a done deal. “Based on changes in Toyota’s production plans, they have decided that the award-winning Camry production contract will not be renewed,” Easterday said. Easterday was quick to emphasize that just because Camry production would end, doesn’t mean jobs will be lost. “There will be no loss of jobs at SIA as a result of this,” he said, before adding that the loss of Camry production will have no impact Subaru’s $400 million investment to ready the plant for Impreza production in 2016 . That said, adding a promised 900 jobs may take longer than originally planned, as Camry production staff are set to be retrained on Subaru production. SIA currently has the capacity to produce 100,000 Camrys per year, and began production of the family sedan in 2007 alongside production of the Subaru Outback , Legacy and eventually, the soon-to-be-discontinued Tribeca . We spoke via email with Toyota spokesperson Curt McAllister, who said, “We are not in position to discuss production plans at this time.” Subaru has not responded as of this writing, but we’ll update this post as soon we hear something. Subaru Indiana plant to stop building Toyota Camry originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Nov 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: LA Auto Show , BMW , Mazda , Subaru , Toyota , Design/Style Participants in the annual LA Design Challenge always manage to come up with edgy, wacky designs for future vehicles, but with a theme of “Biomimicry and Mobility: 2025″ this year’s crop of cars might be the quirkiest we’ve ever seen. As usual, automotive designers from around the world participated in this year’s competition, and all the designs will all be unveiled next week during the LA Auto Show with a winner being announced on November 21. Chinese automakers made a strong showing with Qoros , SAIC Motor , JAC Motors (the company responsible for the Ford F-150 clone ) and Changfeng all bringing interesting takes on the biology, human intelligence and sustainability theme. One of the more innovative ideas among these automakers is the Qoros Silk Road System allows autonomous vehicles to drive in packs similar to how ants travel. Speaking of ants, the SAIC Motor Mobiliant (shown above) gets its design from the shape of an ant’s body, and, like the insect, it can climb building acting as a personal elevator as well. The JAC Motors design also merges vehicle and building design, while the Changfeng LaBrea inspired by the design of muscle fibers. Other entrants include Subaru and US-based design teams for BMW , Toyota and Mazda . BMW’s duo of concepts mimic plant and animal life. The LA Subways concept acts as a submersible, single-person vehicle to take advantage of the LA river, with a shape similar to an Ocean Sunfish. The Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device (SEED) imitates the shape of a seed pod, and uses propulsion methods inspired by a shark, dragonfly and a water bug.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Performance , Toyota , Australia , Rumormill Sources in Australia are reporting that we’ll be seeing a small, rear-drive sedan from Toyota , based on the GT 86/ Scion FR-S . Yes, a convertible variant is still in limbo, but a four-door sedan is in the works. It’s unclear if the rumored GT 86 sedan would spawn Scion and Subaru variants (it’s hard to cross all ten fingers while you type, but we’re having a go). Working with remarks made by the car’s chief engineer Tetsuya Tada in his blog and a rendering from Japanese magazine Holiday Auto , the Australian site Motoring is claiming that the new model’s wheelbase will grow about four inches over the current GT 86′s 101.2-inch wheelbase. Besides the larger overall space between the axles, the sedan will offer a more potent engine option over the current 2.0-liter, flat-four. Promising 268 horsepower, which is a big jump over the current car’s 200 ponies, the new powertrain will be derived from the Hybrid R setup , shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show. If, like us, you’re reaching for the salt, and we don’t blame you. Motoring seems to think the new model will be available later in 2015 or early in 2016, with pricing that should be within reach of current GT 86 owners (around 30,000 Australian dollars, or $28,371). Toyota to offer sedan version of GT 86? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Oct 2013 11:15:00 EST.
Filed under: Wagon , Plants/Manufacturing , Subaru , Toyota Subaru has produced its four-millionth vehicle at its Lafayette, Indiana factory. The Deep Indigo Blue 2014 Outback is pictured above, alongside the very first Subaru to leave the Lafayette facility, a first-generation Legacy. Formally known as Subaru of Indiana Automotive, SIA opened its doors in 1989 and currently produces the Outback, Forester and Tribeca for Subaru, in addition to the Toyota Camry . The plant, which was originally a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu , has produced nine different models for four different manufacturers over the years, and is getting ready to add a tenth as Impreza production will be coming to SIA. Subaru announced plans to move Impreza production to Indiana when it made a $400-million investment in the facility earlier this year. As production continues, the Lafayette Journal-Courier reports that SIA will produce another million units by the end of 2017. Subaru celebrates 4-millionth vehicle built in Indiana originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Sep 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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.
TORRANCE, Calif. (May 21, 2013) – The Scion FR-S was named a 2013 AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star today as part of the leading automotive publication’s annual list. To earn its spot, industry judges evaluated the FR-S against all current model year vehicles on sale in the United States across all categories. The FR-S shares its spot with the Subaru BRZ.
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Sedan , Performance , Wagon , BMW , Toyota , Read This According to the Toyota UK blog , engineers for the automaker were so excited developing the GT86 coupe that they investigated producing a whole family of models based on the rear-wheel drive sports car. And at least one engineer – product chief Tetsuya Tada – still hopes it can happen, even if not everyone at Toyota is onboard. Tada: “Actually we tried to do this secretly but the executives found us out. They said: ‘What are you doing? Will you please focus on the coupe.’” Those mooted variants included both a four-door sedan and a shooting brake. Why? Aside from the pure excellence of a lightweight, brilliantly handling hatchback, Toyota was keenly aware of the fact that it may need to spread the cost of development out across several models. Tada says that’s part of the reason why it was so easy to create the convertible. The company knew from the outset that a softtop version was in the cards, and built the machine’s structure to accommodate having the roof sliced off. Tada also made mention of the already-announced collaboration between Toyota and BMW .