2013 Scion FR-S live photosEnlarge Photo
That’s the logic behind the Toyota GT 86 RC, a model currently available only in Japan. To save money, the car comes with steel wheels, unpainted bumpers and an interior missing components like the audio system, air conditioning and glove box.
As Britain’s Evo explains, it also comes with a starting price equivalent to 16,200 British pounds ($25,758), a savings of 8,800 pounds ($13,992) off the cost of a standard production model. Before you tell us that the Scion FR-S won’t cost $39,750 in the United States, we know, but that’s the current price for the Toyota GT 86 in the UK.
Subaru is building an equivalent model, dubbed the BRZ RA, also for the Japanese market only. The Subaru version will sell for about $1,300 more than the Toyota GT 86 RC, but it includes painted bumpers and a few more amenities.
Will we see a version here in the United States? We’d call it possible, but highly unlikely. The Japanese yen is strong and the U.S. dollar is weak these days, meaning that Japanese manufacturers need to keep prices high to make even a reasonable profit.
Building a low cost and (relatively) low-demand version of the FR-S just doesn’t make financial sense for Toyota or Subaru. On the plus side, both the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ will likely start at a lower price point in the U.S. than in many other countries.