03-07-2013, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Erie, PA
15 WRX, WRB 6MT
Scion mulling hybrid FR-S? Toyobaru Faimly on the Horizon?
Tetsuya Tada giving some valuable insight on the twins and their prospects for future offspring, courtesy of Jalopnik. The convertible isn't exactly ready yet, either.
How would you like to see a whole family of models spawned from the Scion FR-S/Toyota GT-86/Subaru BRZ like what BMW has done with Mini? If your answer is "hell yes," then you'll be happy to know that Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of the Toyobaru, wants that to happen as well.
Tada gave a fascinating interview over at Toyota's official UK blog, in which he said it would be his "dream" to see the GT-86 turn into a whole new lineup of cars. Including, he said, a shooting brake so he can take his dogs along for the ride. (God, that guy is awesome.)
During the development process, Tada said that designers investigated the possibility of a sedan and shooting brake version, but were told to focus on the coupe. Here's what he said:
“It’s just my personal dream that the GT86 could become a family like what BMW has done with the Mini family. I hope that happens. I also have five dogs myself and I would like to have them in the car, so a sports shooting break would be just right.
As for the GT 86 Convertible everyone is so excited about, Tada said "there’s still some way to go before production. We’ve got many engineering challenges and not all of them are solved yet."
Tada also spoke about Toyota's planned collaboration with BMW, which will more than likely result in a new, high-tech sportscar. He said that Toyota learned a lot from working with another company's culture when they made the GT-86 with Subaru, and they hope to do the same with the Germans. He think that beer and sausage will be necessary first.
“At the moment we are struggling, because we are having this really business-like dealing with BMW and we haven’t really been able to get through that barrier so far. Perhaps I need to meet them socially and drink beer and eat sausage together. In fact the one time I felt we went beyond the business-like barrier was when we all went to Oktoberfest and drank beer. That was the one time, when we were drinking together that I thought, these are unexpectedly good people…
See what I mean? Guy's awesome.
As if this discussion needed to get any more crazy. Lots of interesting stuff here:
Toyota is considering launching a range-topping variant of the GT86 (sold as the Scion FR-S in the United States) powered by a hybrid drivetrain.
Speaking with England's Autocar magazine, Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada revealed that designers are already working on the coupe's mid-cycle facelift. In addition to new sheetmetal, the refresh will bring about a more powerful version of the car that will utilize either a turbocharger, a supercharger or a potent hybrid drivetrain to squeeze every last pony out of the flat-four.
"An electric motor assistance solution is possible and it would bring benefits that forced induction does not," said Tada in an interview at the Geneva Motor Show.
If Toyota picks the hybrid route, the gasoline-electric drivetrain will be considerably simpler and cheaper to produce than the one that is found under the skin of the Prius. This will keep the coupe's price within Toyota's target bracket and avoid adding too much weight.
Tada also revealed why Toyota didn't launch a more powerful version of the GT86 and a convertible model immediately after the car made its debut.
"Management considered the GT86 very risky," admitted Tada. "They wanted proof that the '86 coupe would hit its sales target before they would sign off on a convertible. Now that they have the proof, we can begin to think about other development ideas for the car."
If launched, the hybrid-powered FR-S is at least two or three years away.
Last edited by fredzy; 03-13-2013 at 12:40 PM.