Report: Two new RWD Toyota sports cars to join FR-S?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Scion, Toyota, Rumormill

2013 Scion FR-S

Toyota as we know it could become a thing of the past. According to Australian site Car Advice, the Japanese brand known for bland cruisers like the Camry and Corolla is preparing to bring two new rear-drive cars to market that would slot above and below the Scion-badged FR-S. This is very, very good news.

Car Advice spoke to the GT86/FR-S’ chief engineer, Tatsuya Tada, who claimed, “Akio Toyoda always says to me, Toyota sports car [family] should be three sports car brothers. 86 is in the middle.” The oldest “brother” would be the spiritual successor to the Supra, even if it doesn’t wear that name. Tada is in charge of that project, while a sub-GT86 project is being headed-up elsewhere.

Tada refused to comment on names (CA specifically mentions MR2 and Celica) for the new small car, but did say that, “Yes it is rear-wheel drive and that’s Toyota’s strong position – Toyota sports car must be rear-wheel drive.” Perhaps the juiciest bit of information obtained from Tada’s interview with Car Advice was his hinting that both new sports cars would be joint ventures, like the GT86/FR-S/Subaru BRZ triplets. Tada wouldn’t say who Toyota was in bed with on the smaller model, but did mention that the Supra would be a product of the world’s largest automaker’s partnership with BMW.

Now, things can and do change often, so we’d advise taking this information with a grain of salt. Still, the above report basically confirms a 2012 story on the return of the MR2 and Supra, while filling in a few blank details, like the fact that both cars will be join projects with other manufacturers. Looks like the next few years will be exciting for Toyota fans.

Two new RWD Toyota sports cars to join FR-S? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Alfa Romeo dumping FWD Mito, Giulietta hatches in favor of RWD sedans

Filed under: Europe, Alfa Romeo

Europeans should be dancing in their nearest piazza, as Alfa Romeo is ditching its front-drive MiTo and Giulietta to return to its rear-drive roots, according to a report from the UK’s Car. The switch is expected to happen in 2015, and is meant to bring Alfa Romeo closer to Maserati.

Car is claiming that a 3 Series-fighting Alfa will hit the streets first, followed by a larger model to contend with the 5 Series. After that, Alfa will field a pair of SUVs, its first models of that body style. We sincerely hope all of these cars come with sweet-sounding, high-revving six-cylinder engines.

While we’re quite happy for European gearheads, the shift in logic has us wondering, once again, what this means for Alfa Romeo’s long-promised return to the US of A. Both the MiTo and Giulietta were slated for the US market at some point in 2013, according our most recent report. We’re half way through the year now, and there hasn’t been so much as a whimper indicating that timetable would work.

Based on remarks Sergio Marchionne made at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, bringing Alfa back properly is more important than bringing it back quickly. That logic could explain this latest possible delay. Getting American Alfa Romeos right for Americans could also explain things, which is perhaps a lesson learned from the Dart’s rushed launch.

In any case, with this news that two of the core models of Alfa’s US return are being ditched within the next 30 or so months, we’re left wondering (again) when the legendary Italian brand will return to our shores.

Alfa Romeo dumping FWD Mito, Giulietta hatches in favor of RWD sedans originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Subaru’s RWD sports car caught wearing same outfit as Toyota sibling

Filed under: Spy Photos, Scion, Subaru, Toyota

spy shots subaru coupe

Spy Shots: Subaru Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

Judging by the recent influx of spy shots, Toyota is working hard, fine-tuning its upcoming Scion FR-S sports car. Now, we’re finally getting a look at the Subaru version. Spy photogs snapped the two-door Subie undergoing some road testing. The style is similar to the Scion we’ve been seeing, but the Subaru appears to get a different front-end treatment.

Though most of the important bits and pieces are well-covered by all the swirly graphics, the spy photographers did manage to grab a shot of the interior of the coupe. A paddle shifter is clearly visible, and we hope to eventually spy a version with a manual transmission as well. Check out all of the spy shots of the Subaru coupe by clicking through the gallery below.

Subaru’s RWD sports car caught wearing same outfit as Toyota sibling originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 May 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Awesome mid-engine, RWD Abarth 500 Motore Centrale revealed at Top Marques [w/video]

Filed under: Aftermarket, Performance, Europe, Videos, Hatchback, Misc. Auto Shows, Racing, Fiat

Lucarelli Monza 500 Motore Centrale R230

Lucarelli Monza 500 Motore Centrale R230 – Click above for image gallery

There’s a grand tradition to mid-engined hatchbacks that blend exotic layout with utilitarian bodystyle, and as promised, that tradition has now embodied itself in the Fiat 500.

Developed by Lucarelli Monza – a new tuning house eager to make its mark – the Abarth 500 Motore Centrale is a substantial re-engineering of the Italian retro hatch. The engine has been moved – apparently to a glass display case – in the rear, and extensively modified in the process. With a new turbocharger and intercooler, new catalytic converter and pistons, the 1.4-liter turbo four now drives 230 metric horsepower to the rear wheels, aided by an electronic limited-slip differential.

While the front MacPherson struts have been left intact, a new wishbone suspension has been crafted for the rear, joined by upgraded brakes with four-pot calipers all around and some revised bodywork with ducting fitted to help keep the engine cool in its new orientation. Aznom, meanwhile, has been brought on board strictly to outfit the interior with Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara.

The road-going R230 is quoted for a 4.7-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) and a 240 km/h (150 mph) top end. An R280 Pista version is also available with an extra 50 horses and 220 fewer pounds, plus a mechanical diff, full roll cage, adjustable suspension and data recorder, dropping its sprint down to 3.9 seconds and raising its top end up to 260 km/h (160 mph). No word on pricing, but you can bet that getting a budget hatchback to reach those kinds of numbers isn’t a cheap proposition.

Have a closer look in the gallery below, and follow the jump to see and hear the pocket rocket zipping around the streets of Monte Carlo thanks to Marco at Marchettino. Thanks to all for the tips!

Gallery: Lucarelli Monza 500 Motore Centrale R230

[Source: MotoreCentrale.com via Italiaspeed]

Continue reading Awesome mid-engine, RWD Abarth 500 Motore Centrale revealed at Top Marques [w/video]

Awesome mid-engine, RWD Abarth 500 Motore Centrale revealed at Top Marques [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Confirmed: BMW i3 to be RWD, mid-“engine”

Filed under: Technology, Hatchback, BMW, Electric

2013 BMW i3 prototype spy shot

2013 BMW i3 prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

As if the spy video we featured previously wasn’t enough proof, today we’ve confirmed that the smallest BMW i family offering, the i3, will be coming to market in 2013 with a rear-wheel-drive powertrain, and the electric motor powering those wheels will be mounted amidships.

The platform, which is all-new and primarily comprised of carbon fiber, was developed to house the motor ahead of the rear wheels, with the battery pack mounted below the trunk. According to a BMW spokesperson, the drivetrain can be completely separated from the body, making service and replacement a cinch.

The first version of this all-electric drivetrain will be fitted to the ActiveE 1-Series, BMW’s second EV after the Mini E, which will make its North American debut at the New York Auto Show later this month. However, the primary difference between the i3’s system and the unit fitted to the ActiveE is the battery pack. On the i3, the cells will be grouped together, whereas the electrified 1 Series will have battery packs spanning the space between the passenger compartment and the trunk. Additionally, BMW will be using the NY show to announce the lease plan and pricing for the Active E, so for those looking to get in on the EV sports coupe action, start saving your pennies now.

Gallery: Spy Shots: BMW i3

[Images: CarPix]

Confirmed: BMW i3 to be RWD, mid-“engine” originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 15:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geneva 2011: Subaru’s RWD Sports Car getting 2.0-liter non-turbo engine, confirmed for America

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Subaru, Toyota, Design/Style

Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture

Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture – Click above for high-res image gallery

Peanut butter and jelly. Beer and brats. Wine and cheese. Subaru and all-wheel drive. It’s true – Subaru has done an enviable job convincing Americans that its automobiles are synomous with all-wheel drive, and the idea of a Subie that eschews four driven wheels for a powertrain sending its horsepower to the rear wheels only sounds like heresey to the diehard WRX driver.

But it shouldn’t… at least, that’s what Subaru is now trying to convince the masses with its new rear-wheel-drive Boxer Sports Car Architecture. It’s worth noting that the automaker has confirmed for the first time here at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show that the upcoming production version of this sports car is coming to America. If all goes to plan, production will commence in the spring of 2012 at a Subaru production plant in Japan.

Follow the jump for more confirmed details and specifications about Subaru’s rear-wheel-drive Boxer Sports Car.

Gallery: Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture

Subaru Boxer Sports Car ArchitectureSubaru Boxer Sports Car ArchitectureSubaru Boxer Sports Car ArchitectureSubaru Boxer Sports Car ArchitectureSubaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture

[Source: Subaru]

Continue reading Geneva 2011: Subaru’s RWD Sports Car getting 2.0-liter non-turbo engine, confirmed for America

Geneva 2011: Subaru’s RWD Sports Car getting 2.0-liter non-turbo engine, confirmed for America originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 01 Mar 2011 05:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Esflow concept is a sporty RWD Leaf [w/video]

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Geneva Motor Show, Technology, Nissan, Design/Style, Electric

Nissan Esflow concept rendering

Nissan Esflow concept rendering- Click above to watch the video after the break

Nissan has just announced it’s bringing a new sports car concept called the Esflow to the Geneva Motor Show next month. The released images show a vehicle with classic sporty proportions, but we’re advised its potential for shrieking rubber has been tempered by the environmental credentials that electric propulsion can bring.

The Esflow uses tech developed for the mass-market Leaf EV hatchback, but uses a separate motor to turn each rear wheel and should hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in under five seconds. The laminated lithium batteries are mounted low to help out the center of gravity and are said to be good for 150 miles (240 km) per charge. Any weight penalty of the energy storage system is offset by an rollbar-integrated aluminum chassis swathed in a composite shell.

While we doubt this particular concept will find a home in dealerships or driveways, it’s nice to see Nissan isn’t just concentrating their electric efforts on its more pedestrian platforms, and it could point the way to a sportier EV future for the brand. Hit the jump for a little video of the concept cruising the rendered road in animated action.

Gallery: Nissan Esflow concept

Nissan Esflow concept

[Source: Nissan]

Continue reading Nissan Esflow concept is a sporty RWD Leaf [w/video]

Nissan Esflow concept is a sporty RWD Leaf [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Feb 2011 11:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pickup, crossover and RWD coupe being considered for Scion?

Filed under: Coupe, Budget, Truck, Crossover, Hatchback, Scion, Toyota

Toyota A-BAT Concept – Click above for a high-res image gallery

Scion is about to expand its initial three-model lineup with a rather intriguing new vehicle that’s set to take on the Smart Fortwo as the microcar of choice for those looking to downsize as far as humanly possible. While the upcoming iQ is a pretty nifty machine, it won’t be quite practical for a large number of drivers here in the United States.

Hence, it’s not entirely surprising that Scion is reportedly considering a possible fifth, sixth or even seventh model. As before, talk of a small pickup truck is apparently on the table. Interestingly, Scion vice president Jack Hollis suggests that something like the Toyota A-BAT concept could be revived in Scion guise.

Another possible Scion model could be based on the love-it-or-(more-likely)-hate-it Hako Concept from the 2008 New York Auto Show. Finally – and certainly most interestingly for enthusiasts – a small, rear-wheel-drive sport coupe is also on the table for consideration. We know where we’re casting our vote…

Gallery: Detroit 2008: Toyota A-BAT Concept

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Pickup, crossover and RWD coupe being considered for Scion? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 Aug 2010 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Toyota considering RWD hatch to commemorate Naruse

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Budget, Performance, Japan, Hatchback, Toyota, Rumormill

We see plenty of rumors crop up on the interwebs, but we’ve rarely wanted any of them to come true as badly as this particular juicy morsel. The crew at Autocar reports that Toyota wants to build a new model to honor its former chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse. Naruse recently passed away in an a collision while testing the Lexus LFA at the Nürburgring. If the whispers are true, the car won’t be a badge-job for the Camry. According to reports, Naruse always wanted to see Toyota produce an inexpensive, rear-wheel drive coupe that was affordable enough for the little guys of the world to be able to hop into the driver’s seat.

If you’re thinking there’s no way that Toyota will suddenly jump into the small rear-wheel drive market with not one, but two new products, think again. Autocar reports that the inexpensive two-door will slot below the sexy FT-86 and will be based off of the GRMN Aigo Hot Hatch Concept we saw at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. That particular concept got its grunt from a Daihatsu 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. More importantly, it rocked a double-wishbone rear suspension and swapped its front-wheel drive layout for a rear-driven arrangement. If the rumors are to be believed, we could see the car in 2012, just slightly ahead of the FT-86.

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Toyota considering RWD hatch to commemorate Naruse originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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