Although there has been some heavy doubt cast on the viability of a Scion FR-S convertible, Motor Trend reports that the drop-top sports car is headed to production for October 2014. Furthermore, the report says the long-rumored sedan version will follow in 2016.
Based on what we know, Subaru has little interest in building a convertible version of the FR-S/BRZ twins. The current FR-S is built at Subaru’s factory in Gumma, Japan, and Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga already made it clear that he isn’t enticed by the idea of the added size, safety concerns, weight, and complexity a drop-top FR-Z/BRZ would necessitate.
If Toyota is indeed pressing forward with the Scion FR-S convertible, they’re likely doing it solo. With styling similar to the FT-86 Open concept first unveiled at the 2013 Geneva show, the FR-S convertible will reportedly feature a power-operated soft-top that will add more than 60 pounds of mass, necessitating some minor suspension tuning. Subaru’s 200-hp naturally-aspirated boxer-four will apparently carry over, despite previous reports that a more powerful engine, possibly with a turbo, would be used to compensate for the FR-S convertible's higher curb weight.
Nonetheless, more powerful Scion FR-S engines are on the way, according to Motor Trend, but they will instead slot into the previously rumored FR-S sedan. Adding 20 inches of length and 4 inches of height to the current FR-S coupe, the sedan variant will potentially arrive in 2016. The beefier body will require more power, and the Subaru Legacy’s direct-injection, 2.0-liter turbo-four making 300 hp would pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission. On top of that, MT says that the turbo FR-S sedan will be followed by a hybrid version, which would still employ Subaru boxer power but also gain all-wheel drive using in-wheel electric motors.
Motor Trend predicts that the FR-S convertible will be priced between $35,000 and $38,000, with the turbo sedan also beginning at around $35,000. The all-wheel-drive hybrid is estimated to cost nearly $50,000. Currently, the 2014 Scion FR-S is priced at $25,800.
“But wait,” you’re probably asking, “isn’t the point of the FR-S that it’s cheap, simple, and lightweight?” Yes, which would mean sedan, convertible, hybrid, and turbocharged FR-S models would essentially fly in the face of everything we know and love about the Toyobaru coupe. Rather than endless variants of the Scion FR-S, we'd much rather see Toyota focus its sports-car energy on vehicles like a new Celica resembling the wild FT-1 concept, and the Silk Road project co-developed with BMW.