Japanese car magazines and pro racecar drivers are eagerly expecting the Toyota 86 (Scion FR-S) and Subaru BRZ. Many tuning parts companies and tuning shops start to develop tuning parts and demo cars now. NOB Taniguchi (with HKS Japan) and Manabu Orido will take part in D1 Grand Prix with Toyota 86. You know that Toyota 86 has Subaru Boxer motor. Many tuning shops and companies have tuning knowhow for Subaru Boxer motor. That’s why I expect the tuning parts for Toyota 86 will be lower price. We will see a lot of tuned Toyota 86 at Tokyo Auto Salon 2013. Toyota opened many Toyota 86 shop called “AREA 86” in Japan. There are four AREA 86 shops in Tokyo. Toyota makes relationship with some companies and will sell 86 shoes, jeans, t-shirts, bicycle and more; please try to visit AREA 86 when you come to Japan.
Before 2009, I thought Toyota would not sell any more sports cars, and that they were only for old or rich people. In 2009, Toyota changed its ways because of Akio Toyoda, whose grandfater was the founder of Toyota Motor Company. He likes cars very much, and took part in a Nürburgring endurance race with the Lexus LF-A and IS. When he is racing, he wants to be one driver, not part of an executive staff, and goes by the nickname “Morizo”. He takes driver’s training with Toyota’s pro drivers and test drivers at Toyota’s test tracks and at Fuji Speedway. Some Japanese car magazines believe that since he is the CEO, that this is the reason why the LF-A, IS F and 86 have come to the market. Mr. Toyoda started Gazoo.com, a portal website for Gazoo Racing that organizes different car events, develops concept cars for shows, selling limited edition Gazoo models (like the G’s Vitz and Prius) and taking part in racing. This summer, Gazoo Racing will sell a supercharged iQ in limited production (100 total). I like their concept cars, too; at Tokyo Auto Salon 2010, they displayed FR Hot Hatch, a car that looks like a KP61 Starlet with a 1500cc motor and is FR. It sounds slow but it’s supposed to be priced at less than $15,000 USD. Small, FR and low cost—I hope Toyota’s next sports car is just that! I wonder what the next sports car will be from Toyota: Supra, MR2 or FR Starlet?