FR-S/BRZ: The Gang’s All Here

While walking through the lot at the monthly Caffeine and Octane meet, we spotted these 3 surrounded by a large crowd. Of course we had to see if the owners would be so kind as to let us snap a few pics. It’s been a long time since a new car was anticipated as much as this one. Since its concept stages, many enthusiasts have been following the development of the return of the AE86. Many had lost hope and thought Toyota had gone wayward with its environmentally friendly hybrid this, and eco that. Fortunately, there’s a new man in charge at Toyota–Mr. Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company’s founder.

Photos by: Kent Foster

Mr Toyoda has been said to be a gearhead first, and a businessman second. With the introduction of the IS-F followed by the LF-A, things began to look up for the Toyota lineup. Then when rumors that a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru (of which Toyota owns 8.4%) to develop a RWD sports car surfaced, the excitement started and hasn’t ceased yet.

While sharing nearly everything and even being built on the same assembly line, there are subtle differences between the FR-S and BRZ. The BRZ sports a less aggressive front bumper, going for a more subdued yet upscale look. The BRZ’s suspension is also tuned slightly different causing more understeer as compared to the FR-S.

The FR-S is a welcome addition to the Toyota lineup. It’s been years since we’ve seen a cheap, 4cy, RWD sports car from the brand. The FR-S is also hoped to jump start the Scion marque as it’s been lacking in excitement and needed a car to attract a new demographic.

We didn’t get to spend as much time as we’d liked to shooting the cars because temps have been in the 100s the last few days. We’ll be in touch with the owners to follow up on their impressions of the cars after they clock in a few more miles.