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Toyota Supra May be Headed for Resurrection

Maker’s new chairman makes it a high priority.

by on Jun.12, 2013

The 1998 Toyota Supra was the last version of the sports car sold in the U.S.

Toyota’s long-lamented sports car, the Supra, could be headed for a revival, at least if the maker’s new chairman gets his way.

Produced from 1978 to 2002, the Toyota Supra once represented the pinnacle of the maker’s design and engineering capabilities, but it was pulled from production due to a variety of factors – leaving long-time fans calling for its return ever since.

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The loss of the Supra was, to critics, one more step backward for Toyota as it morphed into a plain vanilla brand best known for quality, reliability and boring green machines like the Prius. As the recent unveiling of a more stylish Corolla, as well as the introduction of the Scion FR-S sports car, demonstrate, Toyota is finally recognizing the need to put more passion into its products.


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.”


Mazda, Fiat Team to Develop Next-Gen Roadster

Alfa Romeo to get version of next Mazda MX-5 Miata.

by on May.23, 2012

The MOU will create new roadsters for both Alfa Romeo and Mazda based on the next-generation, rear-drive Miata platform.

The push to partner up continues to sweep through the global auto industry, Mazda and Fiat signing a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding that will let them share in the development and production of an all-new roadster.

The MOU means Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand will get its own 2-seater based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 Miata rear-wheel-drive architecture.  In a jointly released statement, the two manufacturers said the project is aimed at developing “two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.”

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The news from Fiat and Mazda underscores a dramatic shift in the global auto industry, even the largest and most well-funded manufacturers, such as the Renault/Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG, looking for joint opportunities to expand their product lines and improve economies of scale. The timing also coincides with the launch of new sports coupes developed through a partnership between Toyota and Subaru.


Scion in Transition

To stay true to its past Scion needs to rethink its future. Is China part of that?

by on May.09, 2012

Scion boss Jack Hollis reveals the original FRS-86 Concept -- now the new Scion FR-S.

Think of it as the Peter Pan brand, forever young.  And that’s just the way Scion intends to stay despite recent rumors suggesting Toyota’s youth-oriented brand will shift its focus.

But don’t think there aren’t some big changes in the works, suggested Jack Hollis, the general manager of the Scion division.  Quite the contrary.  For one thing, the brand will be expanding its line-up.  And some familiar nameplates will soon be going away – with some radically new alternatives taking the place of familiar offerings like the boxy xB.

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Meanwhile, Scion’s success hasn’t been ignored by other regions of the far-flung Toyota empire.  And so, while conceived specifically as a U.S. brand Scion very well could expand into other markets from China to the Middle East, officials told in an exclusive interview.

“Scion will need to change and evolve because the younger generation is changing quickly,” said Hollis, stressing that the Millennial market is feeling the impact of not only the recession but economic changes likely to reach years into the future.


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.


First Look: Scion FR-S

American sports car aficionados get their own version of Toyota’s new 86.

by on Dec.01, 2011

Hours after unveiling the Toyota 86 in Tokyo, Scion shows off its new FR-S.

Toyota seems to be taking to heart the mandate laid down by CEO Akio Toyoda that it start pumping some passion into its products.  The Japanese giant had barely finished up the Tokyo Motor Show introduction of its new 86 sports car before its youth-oriented Scion division rolled out the all-new FR-S 2+2.

Of course, the two are one-and-the-same, barring the badging.  Toyota has decided to launch the American version of the sports car developed in a joint venture with Subaru as the new Scion FR-S.

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“Serving as a laboratory for Toyota, Scion is always experimenting with new things,” explained Scion brand boss Jack Hollis, during a preview at Hollywood’s Milk Studios. “The FR-S will no doubt serve as the halo car, expanding Scion into a new dimension of driving performance.”