LA Show: Subaru BRZ vs Toyota FT-86

Feels like the Toyobaru coupe project has been going on for years, but we’re finally getting close to the point where the Subaru BRZand Toyota FT-86become a reality.

Here at the LA show Subaru is finally showing a STI-branded concept while Toyota – here under its US ‘youth’ brand Scion – has the latest take on the FT-86, known here as the FR-S. Both show real promise and tick all the PH boxes of light weight, rear-wheel drive and genuinely stunning lines. Both brands have had to make compromises to make the project work, Subaru dropping signature four-wheel drive and Toyota having to adopt the circa 200hp 2.0-litre direct-injection flat-four engine, but the result could well be the best of both worlds.

No bonnet scoop or 4WD but WR Blue prevails
No bonnet scoop or 4WD but WR Blue prevails
The STI BRZ here previews a promised production-ready version due to debut at Tokyo at the end of November. And in ‘WR Pearl Blue II’ and boasting a suitably lairy wing it looks the business, the boxer engine meaning a super-low bonnet line and the compact shape suitably pumped up and aggressive. Subaru boasts of the fact the engine sits 119mm lower and 238mm further back than the Impreza, underlining the improved weight distribution the layout brings. This STI version also boasts a carbon roof, Brembo brakes and special 18-inch wheels. Looks have usually come a fair way down the Subaru list of priorities but the BRZ is a real stunner and we can’t wait to get our hands on the real thing.

The Toyota FT-86/Scion FR-S alternative lo

A lightweight Lexus LFA you can actually afford?
A lightweight Lexus LFA you can actually afford?
oks more concept and less production-near reality but clearly shares much in the metal, especially around the rear quarters. But there’s a lot more going on up front, the arched wings rising proud of the bonnet and the whole package offering a real junior Lexus LFA look. Which is no bad thing.

Both should be with us in the metal by next summer. Can’t come soon enough.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (35) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Black S2K 19 Nov 2011

    kambites said:
    I certainly don't feel that way because that was never the point of the car to my mind. There are plenty of coupes out there that major on style over substance, if that's what you want. The whole point of this one was that it would drive well so the fact that it doesn't look great is almost a relief because it shows that their focus has been elsewhere.

    I don't think it's bad looking anyway. Just a bit generic.
    I agree completely - I'm amazed how few seem to get the point of this (important) car.

    Maybe people are just used to the disgustingly overstyled & underwhelming crap that other companies churn out these days.

    I'm amazed by how some cannot even use the internet to research stuff too; it may be a Subaru engine & development, but it uses Toyota DI technology. And Indirect too for low-speed running/clean valves.

  • TinyCappo 18 Nov 2011

    IS there any noise from either Toyota GB or Subaru GB on price (im guessing that its going to be "fixed" by both of them to somewhere just north of £25k!) and nigh on £35k for the STI version frown

    I wish they had brought this out in June as planned rather than next year. For one Mrs Tiny is expecting now and I could have wangled a way to keep the car but now to go out and purchase one is just not going to happen frown.

  • ItsaTVR 18 Nov 2011

    Ali_T said:
    ....or someone forget to take the crayons off the designers in time. Another few months and it would have had antlers, gatling guns and a lifesize replica of R2-D2 on the roof...
    This! smile

  • ItsaTVR 18 Nov 2011

    kambites said:
    The wing on the Subaru is awful. Otherwise it's a nice looking car.
    "And that's what makes a Subaru a Subaru..." Do you get that advert slogan on your side of the pond?

    Nice looking, overall yes. Would it look too much like a Honda S2000 if we flattened the tumorous RX8-ish fenders WINGs?

    Edited by ItsaTVR on Friday 18th November 17:52

  • forzaminardi 18 Nov 2011

    The Subaru has been hit by the ugly stick but seems to be a tad more hardcore than the better-looking Toyota sister. Both promise to be great cars, not long now until the 'for real, honestly, this is it, done, finished, the real thing' launch in Tokyo...

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