What's Going on Between Toyota and Subaru on the Convertible Version of the GT-86/FR-S/BRZ?

Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Toyota would go gone into all that trouble creating multiple editions of the FT-86 Open concept in both left and right drive, if it has no plans to build a convertible edition out of its Scion FR-S and Toyota GT 86 models?

Yet, that’s precisely what Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga is claiming. Speaking to Autonews on the sidelines of the ongoing 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Yoshinaga said that there won’t be a convertible version of any of the cars as they would require a complete re-make to meet safety standards.

“We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen,” Yoshinaga said in Tokyo. “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.”

While not mentioned in the report from Autonews, we do remember that when Toyota first showed the white FT-86 Open concept in Geneva earlier this year, it said the exact opposite of what Yoshinaga claimed, and we quote Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy:

“I know you are all wondering about facts and figures, and body rigidity. Well, we have the same worries and Tada [chief engineer of the GT 86] and his team are deep into analysis. But GT86 was designed from the start as a cabriolet… That probably tells you all you needed to know.” Apparently not…

Yoshinaga added that while he feels for Toyota, an open-top model just won’t happen.

“I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car,” he said. “But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties.”

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