Scion Boss Says FR-S Convertible and Turbo Engine Not Happening

If you had high hopes for Scion, and consequently, Toyota and Subaru, releasing convertible and turbocharged versions of their FR-S, GT 86 and BRZ sports car, consider them dashed.

Speaking to WardsAuto on the sidelines of the LA Auto Show, Doug Murtha, senior vice president of Scion, shot down all previous reports and rumors, beginning with the introduction of an FR-S Convertible model based on the Toyota FT-86 open-top study.

“So on the convertible we went down swinging,” said Murtha, adding that the company brass could not find enough other countries or regions within Toyota that were interested in a convertible “to make the thing pencil”.

“I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further,’” he said. “Nobody was more disappointed than we were.”

Murtha gave the same disappointing news about a turbocharged version of the FR-S saying that, despite the “blogosphere” wanting it to happen, “that’s not something that’s coming,” without elaborating why.

The Scion boss also admitted that the FR-S has reached that half point in its life were deliveries start to fall, with the coupe’s sales down 23.2 percent in 2014 through October at 12,293 units – the Subaru BRZ also fell 6.3 percent to 6,680 deliveries.

For now, Murtha says Scion will try to spice things up with special editions like the limited run Release Series.

“You get 24 months out of those products and they tend to have a steep fall-off (and) we’re seeing a little bit of that,” he says. “I don’t think that’s necessarily a surprise. I think the challenge is back to us to do some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.”

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  • peter

    Idiots. I Would sell my GT86 for a factory turbocharged version of the car…

    • SomeRandomCommenter

      Same here with my BRZ

  • atomicbri

    I can understand not bringing the convertible. Seems as if convertible sales in general have been on a downward spiral for some time. But no turbo??? Come on Toyota. I could see that helping sales on this vehicle.

  • Mike N.

    Typical. Release product to fanfare, refuse to invest in improving the product to maintain sales and interest, instead just releasing a myriad of special editions (repackaging the same product), sales decline, cancel product citing low demand.

  • sunny

    “some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.” -It’s called a turbo.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    the GT-86 convertible is one of the most beautiful cars of the last decade, much more beautiful than the coupe version

  • Six Thousand Times

    I could see not investing in the convertible but you can’t tell me Toyoburu can’t engineer a turbo.

  • Pauly

    I dont understand Toyota? Everyone knows that sports car like this have 2-3 years of good sales and then it plummets. It is always the case and the 86 and BRZ are no different.

    No one cares about stupid special editions with stickers and spoilers and the proof in that is that your sales will not increase with these special edition models.

    If they want sales to remain high then at the 2-3 year mark they should be looking to release a more powerful version of the car (Turbo, Hybrid, whatever)

    They have gone to such effort to make this car happen, and they are just going to let it rot now? Putting stickers and Spoilers on the car and calling them special editions will not get your any sort of decent sales boost compared to what a high performance model would.

  • ItMeGeorge

    does any one else not see what Toyota is doing, Toyota will make a factory turbocharger for the FR-S and BRZ, not until the end of both cars life lifespans are reached, why make some thing Toyota knows every one wants now, when Toyota can keep milking the slow FR-S and BRZ, and then Toyota will get every one that was holding out in two years for a factory turbocharged version.

  • john1168

    What a bunch of morons… I can maybe see them not doing a ragtop but I do think they should do a turbo. The only reason I can think of as to why they are not doing it is that they want the people who buy these things to modify them so if something breaks, it will void the warranty if it’s raced. If THEY supply the turbo, then they have to cover it. Kind of a weird way for them to save money. That’s my conspiracy theory anyway.

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