Toyota is officially killing off the Scion brand. Toyota lost its cool when Scion didn’t sell well because their cars weren’t cool. Scion lost its cool when the xB toaster turned into a toaster oven big enough to heat up a pizza along with a side of fries and the tC was never really updated and the xA and xD weren’t much more than boring cheap cars, all in all, the brand got out-cooled by the Nissan Cube and Juke.
By the time the FR-S came along and had car-folk interested in the brand, everything else on the lot was boring. Now the brand will be scuttled and will rest in Davy Jones’ locker with Merkur, Saturn, Edsel, Daewoo, Hummer, and all the other brands that were born from a good idea by a big automaker and died ignominiously because that automaker either couldn’t stick to a plan or needed money elsewhere and couldn’t afford to invest them anymore.
The good news is that the FR-S will continue life as the Toyota 86, which means big T will get to save a few pennies by consolidating badges going on the car as it’s shipped around the world.
Optimism is contagious so let’s say this is a good thing because obviously the only thing stopping Toyota from releasing the new Supra was that it wouldn’t wear the Toyota badge if they sold it on the FR-S platform. Changing the FR-S into a Toyota 86 removes the last big hurdle and before long we’ll see a turbo Toyota running with the big dogs again.
Stunt driver and world record collector Alistair Moffatt recently beat the Guinness World Record for tightest 360-degree spin in a Subaru BRZ. Moffatt spun his BRZ between two rows of parked cars only 2.25 meters wider than the Subaru is long and continued driving to win the record. The BRZ was completely stock, the only modification was that all of the electronic driving aids were turned off. Alistair says he “just ripped a load of fuses out of it and nothing works apart from the steering wheel clutch and brake.”
Moffatt also holds the titles for tightest parallel park forward single, triple parallel park, reverse parallel park, tightest through and through on two wheels. When he beat the world record for tightest 360 spin in the BRZ, it was his seventh (according to the video, he held six records going in, but a Guinness page about about another of his records doesn’t mention reverse parallel park or the other two, so it’s possible he holds them with a different recording body or he earned them in the last few weeks. Either way I couldn’t find any info on the two mystery records, so if you know, please share in the comments).
The former world record for the tightest donut was completed in a space 2.5 meters longer than the car, and this stunt shaved 25 centimeters off that. So the total amount of space for the BRZ to spin in was 6.48 meters (4.23 meters for the BRZ plus 2.25 meters) or 21.26 feet (13.88 feet for the BRZ plus 7.38 feet).
Bonus: check out Moffatt’s other recent world record for tightest parallel park:
Subaru has patented the BRZ STI body we saw at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. The (obviously) World Rally Blue BRZ STI looked like a typical STI car with Subaru’s hallmark picnic table spoiler. Now pictures from Subaru’s patent filing in Japan show that the production BRZ STI will look almost exactly like the concept.
The front fascia, side skirts, rear valence, center mounted exhaust, and even the BBS CH-R wheels made it into the patent filing. The only visible difference between the concept car and the patent filing drawings is the scaffolding for the aforementioned skyscraping spoiler.
The patent doesn’t include and underhood pictures, so there still isn’t confirmation, but eventually Subaru will get off their butts and release a turbo BRZ STI. Of course that will require an admission that the chassis can handle more than 200 horsepower, which they’ve maintained it can’t, but there’s no shortage of evidence in the form of 500 horsepower to 1,000 horsepower cars that aren’t twisting like pretzels from the torque.
We know that a BRZ STI is on the way, but we don’t know for sure about a factory turbocharger. Would you buy a BRZ STI without a turbo? Would you consider it a real STI car without one?
If the god of thunder and awesome had a blender that he used to make the most delicious ambrosia daiquiris the heavens and earth had ever tasted, it would sound like the Ekanoo racing FR-S spitting flames through its hood in this video. We’ve made no secret of our love for the Ekanoo Racing FR-S, see our other stories about it here, here and here, and this just solidifies it as one of the best 86s in the world.
Scion teamed up with Mackin Industries for the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 28. Scion didn’t build this year’s car, but sponsored Mackin’s build of the FR-S, which has over 500-horsepower, along with Greddy and Evasive Motorsports.
Evasive Motorsports Dynoed the Pikes Peak 2015 FR-S and found 480-horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque on their Mustang Dyno. Not too shabby, and what’s even more impressive is that the build survived the 12.42-mile long Pikes Peak course that ends at 14,000 feet of elevation.
The FR-S was built with a Greddy turbo kit using a Garret GTX3076R turbo and a mean looking custom exhaust. The car was originally built for SEMA, so it’s not all go no show, the Mackin industries Pikes Peak FR-S also has a full Rocket Bunny widebody kit, Rays wheels with Toyo tires and of course a fully built suspension for the Hill Climb.
Official race results have not been tabulated yet due to a mixup on race day that involved two different checkered flags at different places on the course. Organizers say a decision has been made regarding official times and final results for the race are forthcoming (as of July 7).
The new Supra has been an object of optimistic speculation for almost two decades. Since the Supra left us in 1998, import fans have been feverish for a replacement. Now a trademark registration by Toyota might have clued us in on the new Supra’s official name… and more.
Toyota officially registered the trademark for the name S-FR on May 28th, according to Autoguide. Given the close approximation to the FR-S name, it’s no stretch to assume that the car will be closely related to the company’s only existing sports car. Add to that Toyota’s new relationship with BMW for what can only be considered the Supra replacement as the company’s flagship sportscar, and we now have very strong evidence that Toyota plans to use the Scion brand and the FR-S platform (probably the second generation FR-S since it will be easier to build a new platform for a heavier, stronger engine than to rework the first gen) to build the new Supra S-FR.
Whether the S-FR is the next Supra or not, the trademark registration shows that Toyota is dedicated to keeping the FR-S alive with future variations.
This will also leave the door open for a BRZ STI with a bigger, stronger turbocharged engine. Who’s ready for a V6 S-FR Supra vs Turbo-4 BRZ STI battle?
Artist’s rendering of what an FR-S might look like with Toyota’s corporate grill
The Scion FR-S will get a mid-cycle update and like so many people who have a midlife crisis, the car will get a facelift and get stronger to try to reclaim its youth. According to Motoring.com.au, the FR-S’ new look will have a larger lower grill, a new hood, new headlights, and a redesigned rear bumper new with the exhaust pushed further out. Oh, and most importantly MORE POWER!
The 2017 FR-S will get an eight horsepower bump to 208. Not enough to really change the car’s driving dynamic or have you hunting Corvettes, but enough that 2017 buyers should be able to edge out owners of earlier cars (unless they’ve been modded, but who would ever do that?).
Sadly, unlike a lot of midlife crisisers, the FR-S won’t get a convertible. Toyota says sales are too low to justify the convertible we’ve been hoping for. Obviously when the buying public grows less enthused about the thing you’re selling, you definitely don’t want to introduce exciting features or upgrades, you want to stay the course.
As I’ve pointed out in the past, Porsche, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and all the other small automakers that can’t afford to completely redesign their models every couple years have figured out the key to selling enthusiast cars without having to compete with the used market for the same car you’re selling: introduce special editions and new bodystyles so that the novelty and exclusivity of the car never wears off. This is a good start, but how much more excited would you be for a 2.5-liter FR-S or an FR-S convertible?
Subaru is getting hyperactive with small changes to keep people excited about the BRZ. And it’s working, the Hyper Blue 2016 BRZ was on display at the Wicked Big Meet and it looks awesome. If you’re holding out for a BRZ that’s unique and definitely turns heads right off the showroom floor, this is it.
The Hyper Blue BRZ was shown off with black logos and color matched seat stitching which might point to a special edition. Could this new paint be specific to the 2016 BRZ Series.Blue?
The Hyper Blue color was only shown on the WRX STI and the BRZ, so it could be reserved for special editions. but it would fit well on the WRX and Crosstrek too. Don’t hold your breath for the two-tone tan and Hyper Blue Outback though.
You know you want to see an orange racing stripe on the Hyper Blue BRZ to make a Gulf Racing livery homage, don’t lie.
Is the Hyper Blue addition a desperate attempt to keep people interested in the aging first gen while Subaru focuses on building the second generation BRZ? Or are they just giving the customers what they want with sportier color option for 2016?
No, the US Subaru BRZ STI doesn’t have a turbo FA20, it’s actually an NA EJ20 from a Super GT car according to Road & Track. That means that even the concept car builders at Subaru are keeping to the official party line that “the BRZ doesn’t need forced induction, it’s fast enough as is.”
The concept BRZ STI has a huge rear wing, carbon fiber diffuser with center exit exhaust, a full bodykit, a lowered suspension and rims that look an awful lot like BBS’ offerings, and some interior trim pieces.
The BRZ STI does have some aero upgrades and a better suspension than the stock car, but the lack of a turbo seems to indicate that any US BRZ STI will just be a special body kit, maybe a goofy wing, and some stiffer struts and shocks.
“It’s been a long time, it’s been a long time coming” – Puff Daddy
Subaru is finally releasing a BRZ STI. If that sentence conjures dreams of turbos and hood scoops and AWD donuts, it’s time to wake up.
The BRZ STI won’t have any more power. Unfortunately the BRZ STI will only be another tweaking of the standard BRZ like the BRZ Series.Blue, the FR-S Release Series 1.0, or the BRZ tS.
“That’s not what this car is about. We feel this car has enough power” a Subaru rep said, carefully toeing the company line. “It’s all about elevating the car’s already great cornering capability. That’s what drivers want, an ultimate connection with the road. And our job is to develop parts that reach this goal.”
Instead, the 2015 Subaru BRZ tS STI (yes Subaru does still love tacking on extra nonsensical letters, at least they haven’t lost that) will get new Bilstein struts, drilled brake rotors, a flexible V bar style strut tower brace, a new muffler, unique 18-inch wheels, Recaro seats and a unique lip kit. The price for all this will come out to 4,000,000 yen, or about $33,000 US. So at least the original JDM BRZ STI won’t cost you too much.