You don’t need to tell us, because we already know: the 2013 to 2015 Scion FR-S is awesome. It’s an affordable sports car in the traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, with a low curb weight and suspension setup that’s perfect for sideways high jinks. What’s not to love? Well, if the reviews are any indication, the slightly anemic four-banger under the hood can put a damper on things. And when it comes to sports cars, a roofless version, if done properly, can be a huge fun-factor multiplier.
So when rumors began to swirl that Toyota was interested in creating turbocharged and cabrio versions of the GT 86 platform, fans everywhere rejoiced. Unfortunately, that celebration appears to have been a bit premature. According to WardsAuto, Scion execs have confirmed the death of the FR-S turbo and convertible.
In an interview at the LA Auto Show last week, Scion’s senior vice president Doug Murtha seems downtrodden as the bearer of bad news: “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.”
We’re not so sure about that last part, but oh well. While a factory turbo FR-S appears DOA, there’s still copious support from the aftermarket for anyone willing to start down the long, winding path of vehicle modification. As for a roofless FR-S, all we can say is that with enough time and money, anything is possible.
Click past the jump to read more about the Scion FR-S.
Scion is definitely swinging for the fences with its SEMA offerings. Don’t believe me? Check out this targa-top FR-S and tell me that isn’t a fresh take on the company’s sports coupe. The model is called the FR-S T1 and it was built by Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs. Give some applause to Lookofsky for going against the grain with this targo-top FR-S.
Now I’ve seen some convertible FR-S models here and there, but a targa roof? That’s new to me.
The roof is the unquestioned eye-catcher of this custom-built FR-S, but Lookofsky didn’t stop there. He also gave the FR-S T1 a wide-body kit, slapped on a set of wheels, and added in some performance upgrades.
For my money, you’re not going to see a Scion FR-S that looks as cool as this one. Scion and Jeremy Lookofsky swung hard on this project and nailed it out of the park.
Click past the jump to read more about Scion FR-S T1.
In October 2013, Toyota announced that the convertible version for the GT86 and the Scion FR-S was put on indefinite hold, because apparently such a car has no place in Toyota’s plans in the near future. This decision was pretty surprising to us, considering that Toyota unveiled the FT86 Open Top Conceptat the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, which made us believe that a convertible GT86/FR-S was just around the corner.
Now, we have new rumors suggesting that Toyota wants the GT86 and FR-S Convertible, but Subaru still has no interest in producing it. As a result, Toyota is now investigating the possibility of developing this car on its own, despite Subaru saying before that Toyota could not do so without its help.
Talking about this issue at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Doug Murtha, vice president for Scion in the U.S., said: "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?"
With this in mind Toyota asked all of its dealers and Scion dealers around the world to submit volume targets for such a model. If interest has increased, Toyota could start looking into the possibility of manufacturing open-top GT86 and FR-S models. However, it will be very difficult to do so, considering that currently the GT86, FR-S and the BRZ bodies are all developed at Subaru’s plant in Ohta, Japan, and retrofitting a convertible top onto a coupe in any bulk may prove too time-consuming to be profitable for Toyota.
Click past the jump to read more about the possible Toyota GT86 Convertible.
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
One would think that living in America would have its advantages. Don’t get us wrong; we love the merits of the good ’ol U-S-of-A, but sometimes, this country doesn’t always get what it wants.
Take the recent news about the Scion FR-S Convertible as an example. The new Japanese sports coupe is available in the US as a coupe model, but according to AutoNews, that’s as far as it gets.
Due to "pricing issues," Toyota has announced that the convertible model of the FR-S will not be made available in the US. You read that right: not available in the US.
We don’t know about you, but this news is pretty devastating, especially for those who have been waiting for a topless version of the FR-S. As if to rub salt on our wounds, Toyota has given the green light to bring a convertible model of the Toyota GT86 in a number of other markets all over the world.
As for the third sister in this trifecta, the Subaru BRZ Convertible, there’s been no confirmation on whether one will come in the future.
But no Scion FR-S Convertible in the US? Bummer. Bummer, indeed.
Now that the GT 86 has officially been revealed in all three of its versions - Toyota, Scion, and Subaru - the car’s lead engineer, Tetsuya Tada, has confirmed that a convertible version will follow in the near future: "The GT 86 was designed from the outset that we can build it as a convertible."
Considering the Coupe model isn’t even for sale yet - it will be available in Spring 2012 - we don’t expect to see the Convertible anytime before next year. When it does come out, it will be offered on the Japanese market first, as a Toyota GT 86 Convertible, and the markets in the rest of the world will then follow.
All the technology and the design language will be borrowed from the coupe, except that the rear seat area will most likely be dropped. Under the hood, we’ll see the same 2.0 liter, naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 200 HP.
Prices for the future Scion FR-S Convertible will probably stand at about $2000 above the Coupe model, so it should be anywhere above $30,000.
UPDATE 03/07/2012: Here’s our rendering for the upcoming Scion FR-S Convertible. What do you think?
Scion unveiled the redesigned tC sports coupe at the New York Auto Show and ever since then there have been rumors about a convertible version for 2012. If these rumors turn out to be true then this will be Scion’s first ever convertible. It will carry a price tag of less than $20K and will compete with models like the Ford Mustang, Mini Cooper Cabrio, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.
Like the coupe version, the tC Convertible will be powered by a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 180 hp coupled to either a six-speed manual transmission with improved shift-feel or a six-speed automatic with two additional gears and sequential shift.
We think saying it will "compete" with the models listed above is a little much especially when a classic muscle car featuring 305hp gets thrown in the mix. The Eclipse and the Mini Cooper Cabrio are a little more the convertible’s tC’s speed with the Eclipse running 162hp and the Mini Cooper traveling at a measly 118hp without counting the turbo version which powers 175hp. It’s a nice try though. Maybe with a few adjustments here and there, it will improve in the next few years.