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Driven by the Love of the Drive
This Could…..no, SHOULD be Great….
December 13, 2011Posted by on
Ladies and gentlemen, rejoice! The beige-ification of the automobile is not here yet, and a huge player in the game is showing you why. Not only do I want this car, but more so than that, I want it to resounding sales success. Here’s why…
If you are any sort of car fan, you’ll know what this car (or i should say “these cars“) is. It is the long-awaited Subieyota. Or is that Toyobaru? Whatever, it’s the joint RWD sports car project between automotive big-shot Toyota and automotive niche-shot Subaru. You might know it as the FT-86, after all the prototypes have been around since 2009. Well Toyota would rather you now call it simply, the 86. Unless you live in Europe, in which case you can call it the GT-86. Or if you live in the USA, you’ll be calling it the (gasp!) Scion FR-S. Oh, and least we forget, Subaru would rather you know it by BRZ. Whatever, I just know it as the car I want, badly.
Now, if you still have no idea what I’m on about, let’s share a bit of details for you. This is a smallish 2+2 coupe, jointly developed by the two Japanese companies for reasons only marketing-types can understand. It’s powered by an all new 2.0L flat-four engine (built by Subaru of course) equipped with a new direct-injection system (at the insistence of Toyota of course), utilizing a six-speed (in either manual form, or automatic if you’re a girlie man) transmission sending power to the rear wheels (as God intended). It produces 200HP and 151 lb-ft of torque, which has caused the internet to go all anger with rage…
And now we get to the main point of my post. I have no idea why so much people feel the need to cry that this car doesn’t have enough power. The people who want a turbo, or want a bigger engine, or anything of that sort, YOU people don’t understand the whole point of why this car exists in the first place. From day 1, Toyota told you what you were getting! It’s in the name! FT-86. Eight-Six, as in hachi-roku. As in, the AE86. This car was never meant to be a new Supra, which I’m under the impression many people thought it would be. It was meant to be the spiritual successor to the 84-87 Corolla Sprinter/Levin-Tureno, better known as the Hachi-Roku. A small, cheap, lightweight, RWD coupe; built not for outright speed and performance, but built for balance. Built for the type of enthusiast who value driving-feel above all else. The type of driver who relishes the belief that driving a slow car fast is a lot more fun than driving a fast car slow. Built for the sort of car-guy who thinks that in this world of GT-Rs and 458s, car enthusiasts are becoming more and more obsessed with cars themselves rather than what the cars are made to do in the first place: be driven.
And that’s why I want, so badly, this car to succeed. I want it to change the way car-enthusiasts think. You don’t need a twin-turbo 500+HP engine and AWD and electronically controlled yaw-sensors to have fun behind the wheel of a car. All you need is a car with balance and feel. A car that makes you happy driving it. A car that puts a smile on your face. A car that can change the monotony of the daily grind. A car that will make you get up off your ass and go out and do what all guys who call themselves car-guys should be doing more often than we do: drive.
That, that is why I will be there on release day, at my local Subaru (or maybe Scion, I havent decided yet) dealership begging my sales guy to work me a deal to trade-off my WRX for one of these. So that when I show people my new BRZ (or FR-S) and they ask me why I gave up my turbo-charged AWD WRX for a small coupe with only 200hp, I can tell them what I told you. And maybe I can change their way of thinking too.