In a will-they-won’t-they more dramatic than Ted and Robin or Ross and Rachel or Tyrion and Cersei (there’s tension there, don’t act like you haven’t wondered) Toyota might decide to go on without Subaru and build a Scion FR-S convertible on its own. Subaru has said that there was no chance for a convertible built on the Subaru BRZ/ Scion FR-S chassis because of safety and performance concerns and since the engineering and construction of the cars is Subaru’s responsibility, the drop top looked dead . Now a Toyota exec is saying the Scion FR-S convertible might get a chance at life, engineered and manufactured by Toyota alone.
Doug Murtha, Scion vice president for North America, said that Toyota is considering moving forward with the Scion FR-S convertible without Subaru and has asked each region to estimate sales of the potential FR-S drop top.
Subaru had said in no uncertain terms that the Scion FR-S convertible prototypes shown to the public and to dealers were just design exercises that had no chance of production. The engineering that would go into maintaining the Subaru BRZ’s performance and safety with the removal of the roof would make the project too expensive for Subaru to undertake.
Murtha understands why Subaru wouldn’t want to purse a BRZ convertible:
“When you look at their global volume relative to our global volume, convert that to (their potential share of the convertible segment), and it’s probably more in Toyota’s interest to pursue a vehicle like that,” he told Ward’s Auto.
The Scion FR-S’ second year of sales missed the company’s 20,000 unit projections, so now Scion is looking for ways to increase sales. The convertible option would be an obvious, if costly way to move cars. Scion does have more limited edition models from the FR-S Series, as well as the upcoming high-end Monogram Edition. The 250-horsepower 2.5-liter Scion FR-S will definitely increase sales, while the potential hybrid model is a little more of a gamble. A sedan FR-S 4-door with a turbocharger and all-wheel drive has also been considered but like the FR-S convertible it could be shot down by Subaru because it would compete too closely with the WRX.