What It Is: The rear-wheel-drive Scion FR-S will be offered in softtop convertible form, we've learned, confirming recent rumors. (The images you see here are renderings.) Unlike the Fast and Furious–ized FR-S roadster that an aftermarket tuner recently showed in California, the production FR-S convertible should retain its rear seats.
Why It Matters: The FR-S—as well as the Toyota GT 86 that’s sold elsewhere and the nearly identical Subaru BRZ—is a reasonably priced, relatively light, rear-wheel-drive sports car. In other words, the vehicle enthusiasts have been begging automakers to actually build. A convertible version will add volume, which means more income for Toyota and happy accountants. Happy accountants are more likely to approve projects for fun cars in the future.
Platform: The convertible will, of course, be built on the same platform as the joint Toyota/Subaru coupe. This architecture also stands a good chance of being used for other Toyota models. It's versatile enough to be enlarged, and could be the basis of a small four-door sedan or larger two-door coupe. Product planners are hard at work on the possibilities, a source tells us, although we're not sure if any of the spinoffs have been approved for production.
We don't yet know whether Subaru has any plans for this platform beyond the BRZ, but it seems less likely. Subaru already has a lineup of sporty four- and five-door vehicles, with a new WRX and STI expected soon.
Powertrain: The same 200-hp, 2.0-liter boxer-four from the FR-S and BRZ coupes will be used for the convertible. Manual and automatic transmissions, both of the six-speed variety, will be offered. Roof or not, we’ve learned that no Scion FR-S will get a turbocharger.
A bigger coupe or other eventual models based on the FR-S’s architecture likely would get larger engines to deliver the power and refinement customers in those segments expect.
Thanks to: Car and Driver