While we won’t see a convertible Scion FR-S here in the U.S., it is reported that Subaru will be bring a production convertible to North America in 2014. Automotive News is reporting that Subaru has decided to move ahead with plans to build a convertible BRZ for the U.S. market and it will be launched here as a 2014 model.
Tetsuya Tada, Toyota lead developer for the 86 project, has said that a convertible Scion FR-S has been planned all along, but do to pricing issues, they have decided to shelve the idea. They will be offering the drop-top version in European and Japanese markets in early 2014 under the Toyota GT badge. It is good news that Subaru will be offering a soft-top BRZ for buyers in North America.
In the U.S., the Scion FR-S and the BRZ are well-priced at $25,000, and the convertible option will likely add a few thousand dollars to the cost of the vehicle. Subaru is making a wise decision because there aren’t a lot of drop-top models to choose from in this segment. The 2013 Ford Mustang and the 2012 Mazda MX-5 are the only two options and the BRZ should compete well against those two competitors.
If Subaru puts the new supercharged version of the 2.0-liter FA-series four-cylinder engine that is now used in the updated Japanese-market Legacy sedan and Outback wagon, this could get even more interesting. Reports say the new turbocharged engine will produce 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This would be a huge increase over the current 200 horsepower boxer engine currently under the hood of the 2013 Subaru BRZ.
With the additional weight that will be added to the convertible BRZ, it would make a big difference for Subaru to offer the higher horsepower engine. And since it has already been developed, Engineers just need to redesign the engine compartment to accommodate the new powerplant. If retooling isn’t cost prohibitive, we could see a 300 horsepower BRZ coupe and convertible in the near future.
Subaru could also bring out the new 2014 BRZ convertible as a two-seat roadster. In order to keep the weight increase to a minimum, engineers could take out the rear seats. The popular BRZ coupe has been selling well, and regardless of what engine is used, a 2014 Subaru BRZ convertible should sell well without competition from the Scion FR-S.
Source: Automotive News