This just in from our friends at Motor Trend: The Boxer-engine powered Scion FR-S, produced jointly by Toyota and Subaru, is a watershed model for a brand that plans to significantly expand its sports car lineup over the next decade.
Japan’s No. 1 carmaker will round out the FR-S lineup starting with a soft-top convertible by October 2014 and a 4-door sedan in 2016. We’ve had news of a stretched FR-S before, but according to our source, the sedan version will expand in length by 20 inches to 187 inches, retain its current width (70.1 inches) and grow 4 inches in height to 55.1 inches. One designer we spoke to said that his team’s aim is to give the car the dimensions it needs to comfortably seat four adults while maintaining the original FR-S’s good looks.
Even more critical than the sedan’s proportions will be its powertrain. To move the larger, heavier sedan, Toyota is preparing two engines. The flagship version will incorporate a revised version of Subaru’s current-model Legacy 2.0-liter direct injection turbo producing more than 300 hp sending power through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Given Toyota’s bent for hybrids, you can guess what the other engine variation will be. But according to our source, the boxer-hybrid fitted to Subaru’s XV Crosstrek is not powerful enough for the sedan. So Toyota is readying a hybrid unit that’s compatible to Subaru’s direct-injection boxer engine. To deliver all-wheel drive traction, Toyota is also working on in-wheel electric motors for the front, an addition that will undoubtedly push the price of the hybrid sedan up to around $50,000. The turbo version will precede the hybrid’s launch (by several months), and land in showrooms for around $35,000 by mid-2016.
As mentioned, the FR-S soft-top convertible however, will arrive in October. First unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the FT-86 Open Concept pointed the way to the convertible’s styling. Fitted with a power roof that’s expected to fold down in less than 20 seconds, the convertible is a variant that Toyota had planned from the project’s inception, but that had sometimes seemed in doubt. The power roof will add more than 60 pounds to the original coupe’s curb weight, but the convertible will still employ the same 200-hp 2.0-liter NA boxer engine. There are minor modifications to the convertible’s suspension in the works to lift the thrill level in corners. It will be priced between $35,000 and $38,000.