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Monday, 13 January 2014

Wow check this out:2016 Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ Roadster: A True Miata Fighter

Tracking rumors on the Scibaru sports car is a full-time job, but one with little remuneration. Everyone is
floating all manner of theories, from a bolt-on supercharger by TRD (Toyota Racing Development) to a
turbo FA engine swapped in from the Forester. While both of these factory-blessed forced-induction
schemes may be wishful thinking, a convertible model will indeed be launched as part of the car's mid-
cycle freshening.
Toyota has admitted that the FR-S and its clone were designed from the ground up to spawn droptop
variants, though the rear seats will be sacrificed in the process. No harm, no foul, we say, as the world can
always use another attractive roadster. We got our first glimpse of the convertible's direction with
Toyota's FT-86 Open concept at this year's Geneva auto show. Still, questions linger about how the ragtop
will appear in the U.S. Will it be a Scion or a Subaru, or both?
A convertible would be Subaru's first and would certainly open new vistas for the brand without
competing directly against the WRX franchise, a key concern in the planning of any BRZ derivative. Subaru
officials are price sensitive, but not as sensitive as their counterparts over at Scion. With the FR-S already
the halo car for the brand (and pricier than any other Scion model), the powers that be at Toyota are
afraid the roadster's MSRP, which will be closer to $30,000 than $25,000, may scare off buyers.
We're more frightened by the real possibility that nothing significant happens to punch up the performance
of the BRZ/FR-S over its life cycle, simply because Toyota and Subaru can't seem to find a mutually
advantageous way to bolster the current model's specifications. The Forester engine is a nonstarter, since
its low-mounted turbocharger won't fit in the BRZ. Instead, Subaru would like to make an STI model by
wringing a few more horses out of its naturally aspirated flat-four, augmented by better brakes. But that's
not going to happen anytime soon. Remember, the car is still in its first model year.
In the first six months of sales, the competing partners sold more than 15,000 examples, and the FR-S is on
track to become Scion's bestseller. The car is a hit, but that fact makes it less likely that its odd-couple
parents will spend much to re-stuff the package after the roadster bows in early 2015.

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