With the production version of Toyota and Subaru's collaborative coupe finally revealed last December, the date of its street debut draws ever closer. Commentators are speculating that the success of the car will hinge on the final price. While performance coupes are a small piece of the overall auto market, the new model will have no shortage of eager competitors. Toyota and Subaru have thus far been tight-lipped about prices, but now we're starting to see what drivers will have to pay in the car's home market.
Currently there's more information on Toyota's side of the equation. According to Nikkan Auto News, there will be four grades:
- RC: 1,990,000 yen ($25,890 US). 6-speed manual. Aimed at customizers and motorsports use.
- G: 2,410,000 yen ($31,350 US) 6-speed manual. Middle trim level.
- GT: 2,790,000 yen ($36,290 US) 6-speed automatic. Higher trim level.
- GT Limited: 2,970,000 yen ($38,630 US) 6-speed automatic. Highest trim level. Leather seats and unspecified luxury equipment.
The article also mentions that dealerships with staff equipped to advise and handle motorsports-related inquiries will be able to brand themselves as "Area 86," in keeping with Toyota's new emphasis on factory tuning support with this model. Details beyond these are unfortunately only available in the publication's subscription service, but we suspect they won't stay secret for too much longer.
Less is known about the Subaru BRZ, but Response.jp reports that a dealership in Hiroshima is advertising the car with a tax-included price of 2,012,000 yen ($26,160 US) with no information as to trim levels as of yet. Being a dealership, it might be advertising the price of the lowest trim level, which would make it slightly more expensive than the 86's cheapest RC grade.
Comparing these directly to US auto prices can be a little misleading. The yen has climbed significantly in value against the US dollar in the last year, and different countries often have different levels of taxation and fees when purchasing a new car which can affect the final retail price. For example, the Prius is currently advertised on Toyota's US site at a starting price of $23,520, but on their Japanese site, the price is advertised at $28,210 US (2,170,000 yen). That's just a hair shy of a 20% price increase for the Japanese market, although that doesn't take into account what might go into the lowest trim models to make the advertised price. It seems fairly safe to say that the price of both models will be cheaper in the US than a direct currency comparison would indicate, but we'll need to await official word from Toyota and Subaru to be sure.
You've likely seen him in our earlier posts when he was test-driving the Toyota 86, and now auto journalist Manabu Kawaguchi has posted a video of his quick spin in Subaru's version of the car, the BRZ.
He begins by praising the flowing handling of the car. He feels that the rear follows the front in good order and that this lends a smoothness to the car's turning motions. He finds the car's handling to be very characteristic of Subaru cars in general. On turn-in, it's very easy to control the slide of the car using the throttle.
Comparing it to the Toyota 86, he says that the front of the BRZ feels more precise than the 86. Corner entry appears to be more predictable than on the Toyota. He says that this is more in line with how Subaru prioritizes stability and predictability with their cars. Recovering from slides is easier thanks to the more stable handling.
In a video from the Tokyo Motor Show, Kawaguchi and another Japanese motoring journalist Goro Okazaki discuss the differences between the 86 and BRZ and Kawaguchi reiterates his point that the BRZ feels more stable. In this later discussion he adds that it means it can't drift in the way the 86 can. They both feel that the BRZ is a little more suppressed in its handling, but with a greater feeling of control because of it.
It's very likely that we'll see more in-depth comparisons of the two cars once Toyota and Subaru are able to get more press cars out to journalists. We'll see whether this emerges as the consensus view or if different drivers will have different opinions of the cars.
If you've been following auto news lately you've likely heard much about Toyota and Subaru's long-in-the-making collaborative effort, the rear-wheel-drive coupe known alternately as the Toyota FT86, Subaru BRZ, or Scion FR-S. The model is scheduled to make its final production debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in a couple weeks, after several years of pre-production teasing. Enthusiasts are very curious about the sporting credentials of the new car, and although the car raced at the Nurburgring in October, Subaru has now taken the initiative to introduce it to a full motorsport series in Japan's Super GT series.
The car will be built and operated by Subaru Tecnica International, which you may know better as STi. It will compete in the GT300 category for cars with up to 300 horsepower. That's the same league where the Hatsune Miku BMW Z4 recently took home the championship for the season. STi says that the BRZ will benefit from the know-how the company has gained from running the Legacy B4 in GT300 racing since 2009, specifically regarding the boxer-engined rear-wheel-drive powertrain layout.
Suburu says the full details won't be available until the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, which should take place in January 2012. In any case, a good showing in Super GT should certainly endear the new model to fans of the racing series.