Several months ago, it was confirmed that the Scion FR-S, also known as the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT-86, would definitely have a convertible version. Unfortunately, the United States is going to miss out on the FR-S convertible.
Cheap and cheerful FR-S could not avoid getting a soft top
There was a lot of anticipation for the Scion FR-S. The car is the result of a joint project between Subaru and Toyota, producing a “cheap and cheerful” sports coupe, the sort that Japanese car companies have been making for decades but Toyota hasn’t really made since it dropped production of the Celica and the MR2 Spyder several years ago. The result is a 200 horsepower, rear-wheel drive car that is available as the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ in the U.S., and in other markets as a Toyota 86 or Toyota GT-86. It comes in at about $25,000, which isn’t much for a whole lot of fun.
There was no way that no one was going to not suggest it should also come as a convertible and by May, according to AutoBlog, it had been confirmed that an FR-S convertible was indeed on the way.
Not to the United States though
The FR-S convertible is currently in development. The car is scheduled to hit dealerships in late 2013 or early 2014. The car, according to Car and Driver, will share the same powertrain and, just like the hardtop version, is not currently designated to get a turbocharged model. Scion is not planning on making an FR-S turbo, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that turbo-happy Subaru won’t do it.
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Unfortunately, according to AutoGuide, the car is not going to be sold in the United States. Automakers foreign and domestic often decide not to sell certain cars stateside, either because they won’t sell or the car cannot be adapted to the labyrinthine safety regulations. Fan boys may lament, but the bottom line is the bottom line and Toyota believes that the extra cost involved in ditching the roof, which adds another few thousand to the sticker, will price it out of the range of the car’s target market. There’s no word on whether Subaru will or won’t, though.
Miata still highly available
However, is this such a bad thing? As it turns out, there is a highly available light-weight, moderately-powered, rear-wheel drive convertible from a Japanese car maker, namely the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It happens to be the best-selling convertible of all time for good reason. As far as price goes, the base model is actually slightly cheaper than the FR-S, as the base model starts at $23,470 before a $795 delivery fee.
If the 167 horsepower in the Miata is just not enough, there are a wealth of companies that offer tuning packages for the car, including turbo- and supercharging. Mazda even encourages it to some extent, as the website for MazdaSPEED, Mazda’s in-house tuning company, has customer-tuned project cars, including a handful of Miatas.
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