Tuesday August 23, 2011 01:41

One piece of info our community has long been awaiting has just been announced.

Subaru has issued a press release [full transcript inside] announcing the Subaru BRZ name for its concept version of the rear-drive sports coupe that it is co-developing with Toyota.

While Toyota has already shown three concept versions of the FT-86 and Scion FR-S, Subaru has so far only shown a skeletal/powertrain/drivetrain concept (the Boxer Sports Car Architecture Concept). That should change as Subaru will be revealing its BRZ “technology concept” car at next month’s Frankfurt IAA auto show.

See INSIDE for more details and link to the Subaru BRZ teaser site.

At a recent invite-only event, Toyota Sports vehicle boss Tesuya Tada, revealed much details to the production Toyota FT-86. As if that weren’t enough, the production FT-86′s design was revealed to those in attendance! Club4ag founder Motohide Miwa was there and gracious enough to share some details with FT-86 enthusiasts.

Some of the production FT-86 highlights include information that the FT-86′s boxer engine is still EJ20 based shape, but has been completely worked over by Toyota down to a new revised and re-cast engine block, Yamaha tuning, and Toyota’s D-4S direct injection technology.

Miwa describes a development program focused as much on the enthusiast as the casual buyer. “Everything about this car is BASIC, and PURE,” Miwa shares. Toyota’s development team was so focused on weight and handling that there will not even be a CD player or built-in navigation unit (at least as standard equipment).

As for exterior and interior design, this is how the production FT-86 was described – Take the Original FT86 concept, and add a little more flavor from Scion project’s FRS Concept, then smooth down the lines so that it’s less tuner looking, and more OEM finesse. Retain the 2000GT C-Pillar, sharpen the tail. And that’s how a final version will be.” Also, “The front dash has a beautiful sweeping line, and yet the front corners are recessed into the front window base,” Miwa reported.

And yes, affordability remained one of the first priorities in developing and planning of this vehicle.

Much more details can be read INSIDE….

And now for some confirmation from Subaru regarding the release date of its upcoming sports coupe. The company has recently released an official press release promising four new models by 2016.

One of the models mentioned was their “jointly developed rear-wheel drive sports car” (the Subaru sports coupe version of the Scion FR-S / Toyota FT-86), which “will be launched in spring 2012.” This represents the first official date confirmation from Subaru.

Although several iterations of the Toyota FT-86 concepts have been shown, and the Scion FR-S concept has made its show debut, Subaru has only shown a skeletal/chassis/internals concept – the Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture at the Geneva show in Feb.

Both the Toyota FT-86 and the Subaru model are expected to make their debuts in December at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

We’re happy to share with our members the best video yet of the Subaru Coupe / Subaru FR-S / Toyota FT-86 getting flogged during testing on the Nurburgring. The prototype seems to be exhibiting great handling – staying flat and showing little roll or slide through the turns. It’s not easy to judge speed from a video, but it certainly seems to be carrying good speed through the turns.

We also get the best listen to the prototype at full throttle yet.

Check out the video INSIDE.

A new report out of Automotive News quotes a Subaru senior general manager of product planning, Toshio Masuda, regarding the Subaru coupe version of the Scion FR-S / Toyota FT-86.

According to Masuda, Subaru expects a longer-than-average life cycle for the car and is looking at variant packages, including a possible STI version, to keep the offering fresh. BUT, unlike the usual STI package, turbocharging is unlikely… continue INSIDE for more details and discussions.

Tuesday May 31, 2011 18:36

HERE is the best look yet at the interior of the Subaru/Toyota FR-S/FT-86 test prototype. It features an upright center dash design and has what looks to be a set of toggle switches. Check out what our members have to say about it INSIDE.

Here are the best photos yet of the Subaru Coupe version of the FR-S / FT-86 and the first interior photo! It appears very similar to the Scion/Toyota model but apparently with a different front-end design (as it’s almost nearly covered for a reason).

The interior is also partially covered but it’s clear that there’s red stitching on the steering wheel and paddle shifters.

A great sign is that it appears to be following the STI for testing / evaluation purposes.

Here is an interview with Kosuke Kubo, the Toyota Design Division Assistant Manager, from the Geneva autoshow debut of the Toyota FT-86 II Concept car. We’ve seen and heard plenty of this concept already, but Mr. Kubo touches on many points that make FR-S/FT-86 enthusiasts as fanatical as we are.

He mentions the importance of driving emotion, balance between man and machine for an enjoyable driver’s experience, functional beauty/styling, accessibility and mod-ability. Check out the VIDEO INSIDE.