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Posts Tagged ‘Scion FR-S’

BMW-Toyota Sports Car to Debut in Tokyo

The goal is to “exceed all expectations.”

by on May.21, 2013

Senior officials, including Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and BMW Chairman Nobert Reithofer, celebrate their expanding alliance.

What do you get when BMW and Toyota set down to develop a sports car? We’re apparently about to find out, their joint effort reportedly set to make its eagerly awaited debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

The midsize sports car is one of several projects that the German and Japanese automaker have announced as part of a growing alliance first announced in 2011. Among other things, the two makers plan to work on fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries and hybrid technology, while BMW is now providing diesel engines for Toyota to use in its European line-up.

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“I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship,” Toyota chief Akio Toyoda said in January.

So do a lot of industry observers waiting to find out precisely what the two partners have in store.

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First Look: 2014 Scion tC

Limited-production Scion 10 models to mark brand’s 10th anniversary.

by on Mar.28, 2013

The new 2014 Scion tC marks the 10th anniversary of the brand.

For a youth-oriented brand, Scion is getting up in years. And it plans to celebrate its 10th anniversary with not only the launch of the 2014 Scion tC sports coupe, but also with the limited-production Scion 10 Series models.

Despite the strong demand for the new FR-S sports car, the tC remains Scion’s bread-and-butter model, accounting for a full 40% of its sales, according to Scion vice president Doug Murtha. No wonder the maker is putting such a bright spotlight on the introduction of the 2014 update.

The goal of maintaining that appeal “challenged designers to enhance the 2014 sports coupe in ways that keep it exciting to today’s drivers without losing its core appeal,” he said during the coupe’s New York Auto Show preview.

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The 2014 model has a more assertive look, with distinctive new headlamps, a new hood and a more muscular grille. Lifting a theme its luxury sibling brand, Lexus, Scion adopts new LED accent lighting to set off the new tC’s headlamps. A few of the new design cues are borrowed from the FR-S, including the black-out valance and LED tail lamps. The 2014 Scion tC also gets new dark gray finished wheels.

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Toyota Looking at New Supra – But Will it Be Electric?

MR2 Successor also reportedly in the works.

by on Nov.12, 2012

Toyota's FT-86 Concept II could serve as the platform for the long-lamented Supra. But might Toyota turn to Tesla to help develop a battery drivetrain?.

“Passion” is a word one hears a lot in conversations with Toyota executives these days, up to and including President Akio Toyoda, who points to recent introductions like the Scion FR-S and Lexus GS to underscore his intentions.

But it’s beginning to look like that’s just the beginning of Toyota’s performance aspirations, with new reports suggesting there could be at least a couple more performance machines on the Japanese giant’s horizons – notably in the form of all-new versions of the long-lamented Supra and MR-2 models.

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But, as the new FR-S demonstrates, Toyota may take a very different approach in bringing those – or other – performance models back to life. One very strong possibility is that it could turn outside for help, perhaps to the likes of California-based Tesla Motors to provide a battery-based drivetrain for a new Supra.

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Scion Unveils Three FR-S Concepts for SEMA

A hint of what's to come?

by on Oct.30, 2012

Daniel Song’s FR-S GT concept.

The hot new Scion FR-S will be putting in a turn at this week’s upcoming SEMA Show, Toyota’s youthful brand unveiling three tuner editions that just might hint of things to come.

Scion took a little different approach to prepare for the annual aftermarket show – which regularly draws an assortment of concepts and tuner models. The maker picked three custom car builders and gave each one an FR-S, $15,000 to spend and three months to come up with the coolest show car they could imagine.

The finished products will go on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week and the winner of the Eighth Annual Scion Tuner Challenge will get another $10,000 for pocket money.

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“This year’s SEMA show has extra energy from the recent launch of the 2013 FR-S sports car,” said Steve Hatanaka, Scion auto shows and events manager. “The buzz and enthusiasm from FR-S owners has been tremendous as they look for ways to take their cars to the next level with custom and performance accessories. This year’s Scion Tuner Challenge contestants did an amazing job showcasing how the FR-S can be personalized.”

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Marty’s Marketing Minutia

The Bummer Summer

by on Sep.21, 2012

Cadillac vs. The World

The scarcity of these columns the past several months was caused by a lengthy health hiatus not a lack of news, opinion or comments about automotive marketing, advertising and promotion. Far, far from it.

Confined for weeks to a hospital bed most of my non-sleep hours were spent watching TV, hours of mind-numbing reality programs, news from both sides, Wimbledon tennis coverage, the London Olympics and cooking shows.

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Interspersed were a few good commercials and some not-so-good car commercials one could imagine especially those terrible summer sale commercials.

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2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe: Big and Sexy

But does the driving experience live up to the exotic looks?

by on Aug.30, 2012

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis has more power and more style.

There’s a lot to like about a powerful, somewhat rare, exotic-looking rear-wheel drive sports coupe. And did we mention that it’s relatively affordable?

It seems odd that Hyundai gave the coupe the same name as the four-door with which it shares a platform, the Genesis sedan. What all the other good names were taken?

But starting at just $24,250 with destination, the Genesis Coupe is a surprising value.

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The coupe comes standard with the same 274-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that makes the Hyundai Sonata a scream. The base engine is up 64 horsepower compared to last year’s model, and 74 more than the vaunted Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S. The test car had the optional 3.8-liter V-6 with 348 horsepower, up 42 horses compared to the 2012 model, mostly thanks to the addition of direct injection.

It’s too bad the V-6 sounds like a vacuum cleaner that ate a bag full of marbles. It’s not smooth, it seems as though it makes a lot of unrefined induction sound and the exhaust is boomy, not lusty.

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New RAV4-EV Shows Toyota No Longer Willing to Go it Alone

Japanese giant increasingly dependent upon alliances.

by on May.07, 2012

Toyota will build the RAV4 EV on the same Ontario assembly line producing the conventional version of the crossover.

Toyota today launched its all-new battery-electric vehicle, the RAV4-EV, at the annual International Electric Vehicle Symposium, in Los Angeles.  Based on the maker’s conventionally powered compact ute, the vehicle is intended to test the U.S. market’s interest in electric propulsion.

But it will also be a test of the budding relationship between the Japanese giant and the small California start-up Tesla Motors.  The guts of the RAV4-EV, its lithium-ion driveline, will come from Tesla, a company in which Toyota has so far invested more than $50 million and dangled millions more in contracts like the new electric vehicle.

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More broadly, it’s a test of a significant shift in strategy by the Japanese maker.  For most of its existence, the company – currently the world’s fourth-largest automaker – steadfastly did things on its own.  While other manufacturers frequently partnered with erstwhile rivals to fill gaps in their product and powertrain line-ups, Toyota reached into its vast treasury to fund its own programs or worked with a very small and select group of suppliers – known as a keiretsu — in which it usually held a significant financial stake.

No longer.  Toyota is rapidly lining up an assortment of alliances with not only some of the world’s most prestigious auto manufacturers but also some of its fiercest competitors.

“No one can handle it all by themselves,” acknowledged Yoshi Inaba, president and COO of Toyota Motor North America.

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Scion Gets Your Drift

by on Jan.10, 2012

Scion will field a 600-hp version of the new FR-S in the Formula Drift series.

When Scion decided it wanted to take its new FR-S sports car out racing it decided it might not a few extra horsepower.  About 400 more to be exact, which is what it’s likely to take to  make the little FR-S competitive in the Formula Drift series later this year.

“Now we don’t expect that too many owners will take their FR-S to this level of extreme,” suggested Scion General Manager Jack Hollis, during a Detroit Auto Show press conference, “but we do know that like all Scion vehicles, it will be pretty hard to find one that is left stock.”

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Meant to honor the classic Corolla GT-S, which Hollis says was “known by its true fans as the AE86 or “hachi-roku,” which means 8-6 in Japanese, the new FR-S is the product of a joint venture between Subaru and Scion’s parent,Toyota – which will market the roadster in other parts of the world as the Toyota GT86.

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It’s Official This Time: Subaru Reveals the Production BRZ

Is racing in the new sports car’s future?

by on Nov.30, 2011

Subaru's new sports car, the BRZ, gets its long-awaited introduction.

It may not have been the longest gestation in automotive history but it was beginning to feel like it, both Subaru and Toyota staging seemingly endless advance looks at the new sports car they’ve been jointly developing.

Now, the long wait has finally come to an end, the two Japanese makers staging separate news conferences at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show to reveal what their efforts have wrought.

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Despite some earlier indications, there’s relatively little difference between the Subaru BRZ and its step-sibling the Toyota 86 (which will be called the GT-86 in Europe and Scion FR-S in the States).  Stretch and you’ll spot some modest tweaks that offer slight distinctions between the two models.  But there isn’t much else to differentiate them – if that matters – beyond the Subaru’s bumpers and a side air intake that replaces an “86” badge on the Toyota.

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First Look: Toyota 86

Americans will see the results of new alliance with Subaru marketed as the Scion FR-S.

by on Nov.30, 2011

Toyota finally reveals the production version of its new sports car - to be called 86 in Japan and Scion FR-S in the States.

Nearly four years in the making, Toyota has finally pulled the wraps off the 2-seat sports car it has developed as part of a joint venture with the smaller Japanese automaker Subaru.

Targeted at the small, affordable sports car niche now dominated by the long-lived Mazda Miata, Toyota will call the new model the Toyota 86, a reference to the maker’s legendary AE86 Corolla of the 1980s.  The sports car will actually go by a variety of different names.  The Japanese will also know it as the Hachiroku, while it will go with the moniker Toyota GT-86 in Europe — and appear under the Scion FR-S badge in the States.

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Whatever you prefer, the 2-seater is a low-slung design that was developed as part of a tandem effort that appears to have put the emphasis on Toyota design and Subaru technology – such as the so-called 2.0-liter boxer inline-four engine both manufacturers will share.  But the lines are a bit blurry, insiders stress, Toyota, for example, reportedly kicking in its fuel delivery system.

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