Toyota GT 86 (Scion FR-S)Enlarge Photo
With the Mazda MX-5 Miata sitting more or less alone at the affordable end of the rear-drive, two-seat roadster market, a convertible version of the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ is an attractive proposition--and it may be on the table.
According to Germany's AutoBild, Toyota's lead developer Tetsuya Tada has confirmed precisely that, saying the GT 86 was designed from the get-go to be built as a convertible as well as a coupe.
Though the Toyota sports car is already several hundred pounds heavier than the MX-5, it's also more powerful, its 197-horsepower 2.0-liter Subaru-sourced flat-four engine starting from a more attractive point for many with the urge to modify their cars than the 167-horsepower unit in the Mazda.
The look of the Toyota two-seater is also farther toward the burly end of the spectrum than is the smiley-faced MX-5, potentially opening doors to buyers that would not otherwise find an attractive option in the sub-$30,000-drop-top arena.
We can't confirm the news ourselves just yet, but we're certainly receptive--even enthusiastic--about the idea.
A convertible Toyota/Subaru joint sports coupe might not be the only thing up the corporate sleeve, either; we've heard previously that a more potent version could be on the way, and the Japanese and European markets will be getting a stripped-down, motorsports- (or tuner-) ready version. The latter hasn't been confirmed for the U.S., however, and looks to be an unlikely candidate at the moment.