The Tokyo Motor Show has been full of excitement and interesting new designs, but one bit of bad news has surfaced: Subaru’s brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga dismissed the idea of a convertible Subaru BRZ.
[Automotive News] has reported that Yoshinaga wasn’t too fond of Toyota ’s drop-top concept displayed at Tokyo, saying his engineers believe the chassis would require a complete redesign in order to safely create a convertible BRZ.
Unfortunately, the lack of Yoshinaga’s blessing spells doom for Toyota’s attempts at building the car even without Subaru. Yoshinaga is also president of Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company that owns Subaru and manufacturer of both the BRZ and FR-S . “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen,” says Yoshinaga.
With that sort of nail in the coffin, it seems unlikely a convertible FR-S or BRZ will ever appear – at least in the car’s current generation. Perhaps when the car’s second generation rolls out, Fuji Heavy Industries will have accounted for the heavy interest in the roadster. Yoshinaga himself knows the market is ripe for the car, "I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car," he said. "But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties."
Perhaps a bigger issue of concern is the apparent inter-company quarreling happening over the convertible idea. Toyota, the company responsible for the overall design of the BRZ/FR-S cars, seems adamant about the idea and has toted several convertible FR-S concepts around to other car show around the world, while the President of the manufacturing company and brand chief of Subaru, responsible for the powertrain and underpinnings of the cars, is dead set against it. Such an open and publicly played out situation cannot be good for future product development.
Lets just keep our fingers crossed that Toyota’s desire for a chopped-top FR-S doesn’t put the entire FT-86 project on the chopping block.
Click past the jump for more info on the FR-S and BRZ coupes
Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Sports Coupe
The Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S first bowed in 2011 with much anticipation and applause from enthusiast the world over. It represented Toyota’s first real stab at a sports car in a number of years and a revival of Subaru’s sports coupe roots.
The two companies joined together to build the cars with set areas of design laid out for each. Subaru would handle the underpinnings and engine, while Toyota’s designers took care of the shiny bits. The resulting sports coupe is a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter flat six mates to either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission routing power to only the rear tires.
Performance numbers are impressive, but not overly. Zero to 60 happens between 6.4 to 7.7 seconds, depending on transmission choice. Handling and braking are where the cars shine however. A Torsen limited-slip differential helps put power down to the ground while disc bakes at all four corners help bring things to a stop.
Starting price for the BRZ is $25,595 and climbs to $28,695 with all the options.