Toyota recently revealed the production version of the new FT-86 Concept, changing its name to GT 86 for the European market and just 86 for the Japanese market. Given that the car was a joint effort between Toyota and Subaru, Subaru was quick to reveal its version of the car, which was revealed as a concept at the 2011 LA Auto Show. Somewhat of a surprise, the production Subaru BRZ looks virtually identical to the Toyota GT 86 (86).
It would be difficult to distinguish the BRZ from the 86 (GT 86), both mechanically and stylistically. That means Subaru’s coupe shares the same 2.0L horizontally-opposed boxer engine, which the Japanese automaker says will produce 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft. of torque, a “whopping” 3HP more than in the Toyota. The engine can be had with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, both of which send the power to the coupe’s rear wheels.
Aside for some slight changes to the front fascia and rear end, you’re pretty much looking at the Toyota 86 (GT 86), except with a Subaru logo. The fact that both cars will be sold side-by-side is a bit worrying in an era when badge-engineering has almost become taboo. More details on the Subaru BRZ can be found the press release below.
[expand title=”PRESS RELEASE”]
Subaru Unveils “SUBARU BRZ”
Tokyo, November 30, 2011 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, announced its world premiere of “SUBARU BRZ (display model)” at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011. (Open to public from December 3 to 11 at Tokyo Big Sight)
SUBARU BRZ is a rear-wheel drive sports car featuring the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine. It was developed as a joint-project between Subaru and Toyota Motor Corporation, to bring to the world a sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure that everyone can experience. The Subaru Boxer engine in the BRZ was positioned even lower than other Subaru models so that the BRZ has one of the lowest possible centers of gravity s on the market today. This low center of gravity produces astonishing handling character and combined with a light-weight chassis BRZ realizes Subaru’s aim for “Pure Handling Delight” — the driving experience taken to a new level.
The product concept of BRZ is “Pure Handling Delight.” The Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine has inherent qualities of low center of gravity, lightweight, and compactness. These attributes are maximized by placing this engine even lower and closer to the center of the chassis. These factors contributed to BRZ’s low center of gravity -one of the lowest possible. The BRZ is a fun sports car that any driver can enjoy driving with peace of mind.
“Ultra-low Center of Gravity Package”
The BRZ has a low-mounted Boxer engine on a specially designed sub-frame that forms an “ultra-low center of gravity package”. With this arrangement, BRZ achieved a low driving position typical of a sports car. Overall height of BRZ is 1,300 mm and it has a wide and low body of a stylish coupe at 1775mm. Yet, it allows for 2+2 seating and a trunk with ample space. Not only is the BRZ a sports car, but it can also be a suitable partner for long tours with its unexpected utility.
Subaru aimed for a sports car design that instinctively conveys the car’s fun-to-drive character. In addition, it was detailed to be instantly recognizable as a Subaru.
The “ultra-low center of gravity package” also allowed a low hood design. This low hood and bulging front fenders raise expectations for the BRZ’s drivability. Also, to communicate the Subaru identity the Subaru six-star ornament, headlights and hexagon lower grille follow the Subaru design motif common across new Subaru models.
The low center of gravity enhances BRZ’s sensuous beauty with its shapely fender flares. The aesthetic beauty is combined with functional beauty that advances aerodynamics through such areas as the C-pillar shape, rear glass inclination, trunk lid layout. As would be expected from a sports car, the front and rear overhangs were shortened to express the BRZ’s liveliness. The front fender is accentuated with a distinctive garnish.
The projecting rear wheel arches sit by way of contrast to the compact cabin and emphasizes the beauty of the BRZ’s rear view.
Details were carefully designed to allow a new level of fun-to-drive experience in which the driver and vehicle become one.
– The steering wheel was made smaller to achieve sports car maneuverability.
– A tachometer with digitally displayed speedometer is placed in the center of the gauges so that the driver can instantly see information without diverting attention from the road.
– Bespoke sports car seats were designed to hold the driver and passenger and feature lowered sitting positions to match the “ultra-low center of gravity package”.
Making full use of the design concept of the new-generation Boxer engine, the newly developed engine made exclusively for the BRZ is highly efficient with superior output and environmental friendliness. It realizes an exhilarating high revving nature of a naturally aspirated sports engine.
– It has square bore and stroke of 86 X 86 mm.
– Due to the joint development with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota’s direct injection and port injection technology “D-4S” was incorporated in the BRZ’s power unit.
– To achieve the “ultra-low center of gravity package”, the engine as a whole has been made more compact by such means as adopting the shorter intake manifold and the shallower oil pan.
The joy of sports car driving was realized through a transmission that focuses on shift feel and response.
– The 6-speed MT employs a short stroke shift lever. The lever was optimized in rigidity, shift quality and weight application in its pursuit of a superb shift feel.
– The 6-speed AT has “S mode” for better shifting response and “M mode” for optional shifting. Also, with the paddle shift and downshifting blipping control, this model can respond faithfully to the driver’s inputs.
The lightweight yet highly-rigid body was developed exclusively to maximize the advantages of the “ultra-low center of gravity package”.
– Low center of gravity and low driving position were achieved by the perimeter type body frame layout.
– The body has a rigid and durable frame structure that also works in balance with the vehicle’s light-weight. The rigidity is optimized for high drivability and appropriate durability is maintained for collision safety.
– High tensile steel was used in the body to contribute to weight reduction. Effective use of this material in the upper structure of the BRZ contributed to its low center of gravity.
– The front hood employs aluminum for lightness. The structure was fine-tuned for a low styling that also improves pedestrian protection performance.
Excellent maneuverability and stability of the “ultra-low center of gravity package” offers direct and sharp response to steering and enhances driver’s connection to the car
– The front suspension employs struts for light-weight and high rigidity, while a double wishbone layout is adopted at the rear for better shock absorption.
– To gain a low front hood from the “ultra-low center of gravity package”, the front strut mount was lowered while maintaining the stroke.
– The tires are 215/45R17 combined with lightweight and highly rigid aluminum wheels.
– All models are equipped with electronic stability control to provide both driving pleasure and safety.
Toyota Supra TRD Concept Shows Off New Carbon Fiber Parts
It’s an unbridled love affair with carbon fiber.
Not long after taking the wraps off at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota has revealed a TRD Concept that shows off some of the accessories from Toyota Racing Development possibly coming to the Japanese sports car.
Unveiled at the Osaka Auto Messe aftermarket show, the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD is fitted with many new carbon fiber parts to increase downforce and reduce lift. The front spoiler, side skirts, and rear spoiler and spats are all crafted from carbon fiber, while a carbon fiber door garnish replaces the stock faux vent to reduce turbulence of the airflow over the rear end.
The exterior is finished in a muted silver color that compliments the carbon fiber parts nicely, while unique 19-inch wheels highlight the four corners.
Unfortunately, TRD made no upgrades under the hood. Power is provided by the stock Supra’s turbocharged 3.0L inline-six, generating the same ol’ 335 hp and 365 lb-ft. of torque.
It’s not known if or when these carbon fiber parts and new wheels will be available, and whether they will remain exclusive to the Japanese market like many TRD parts in the past. Either way, share your thoughts about the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD in the comments below.
New Lexus RC F Track Edition Joins 2020 RC F Lineup With Less Weight, More Performance
A track-focused version joins the updated RC F for 2020.
The new Supra was Toyota’s big debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but luxury subsidiary Lexus tagged along to remind everybody that it already has a performance coupe, one with a V8 to play with.
The RC F has received some upgrades for 2020 model year, and to make it more compelling for sports car enthusiasts, Lexus has added a new Track Edition to the lineup for 2020. The so-called RC F Track Edition is a stripped-down, track-only spec model that benefits from more aggressive aerodynamic elements and a weight-reduction regime.
Like the regular RC coupe, all Lexus RC F models get new headlights, a restyled grille and new taillights. The 5.0L V8 has been caressed to squeeze out an extra five horsepower and 6 lb-ft. of torque, bringing the total to 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft. The eight-speed automatic transmission carries over but now has a higher final drive ratio (3.13 vs 2.93).
With the RC F Track Edition, major panels like the roof and hood are carbon fiber, and the standard RC F’s rear seats have been replaced by a carbon fiber partition.
Engineers also equipped 19-inch BBS forged-alloy wheels, Brembo with lightweight carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and a titanium muffler and tail pipes. These lighter pieces come together to reduce the Track Edition’s weight by 176 pounds from the RC F, and Lexus estimates that using the standard launch control system propels it to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just under 4.0 seconds (3.96 seconds, to be exact).
Standard on even the stock RC F, the new electronic launch control automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. All the driver has to do is press and hold the brake pedal, engage the system, floor the accelerator to bring up the engine speed, and release the brake.
To help the RC F Track Edition stand out, designers gave it a red leather interior with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. Only two exterior colors are available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray.
Production of the updated Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition begin in the second half of 2019. Pricing notwithstanding, do you feel compelled to buy one?
New, 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Turns Up The Heat On Camaro, Challenger
The new GT500 is the most powerful street-legal Ford vehicle ever built.
A supercharged, 5.2L V8 breathes under the hood of this monster from Dearborn, producing “more than 700 horsepower” transmitted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. Unfortunately, there is no option for a manual transmission.
By comparison, the most recent Mustang GT350 — formerly the most powerful street-legal Ford vehicle ever built — cranks out 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque from a naturally-aspirated 5.2L flat-plane crankshaft V8 that’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
It’s not just a supercharger and a more sophisticated gearbox that sets the GT500 apart from the lesser GT350, however. Ford’s engineers also equipped bigger brakes, notably 16.5-inch, two-piece rotors that embarrass the Challenger Hellcat’s massive serving trays; a cooling system that allows for 50 percent more airflow over the engine; revised aerodynamics that improve downforce; and a re-tuned suspension with standard MagneRide.
Buyers can further enhance their car with an available Handling Package and Carbon Fiber Track Pack. The former includes adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with an integrated Gurney flap, while the latter (as you would expect) adds lots of carbon fiber bits inside and out and a set of Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that are more track-ready than the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.
All the standard and optional performance goodies combine to allow this Ford to go from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in the “mid-3-second” range and complete the quarter mile in under 11 seconds.
Visually, the Mustang Shelby GT 500 gets a wider front grille and a more muscular hood than the GT350, as well as wider front and rear fenders, a new rear spoiler and updated composite materials in the rear diffuser. Highlights of the interior include Recaro seats, a 12-speaker B&O Play audio system are available, and unique Shelby badging.
Which would you choose: The new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat? Let us know in the comments below, stating your reasons why.
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