Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
November 22, 2013
If you ever wanted to see a case of mixed messages in the automotive world, let us introduce you to the mess with Toyota and Subaru over the GT86 Convertible. Automotive News spoke with Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga and asked about GT86/BRZ Convertible. Yoshinaga dismissed the notion of convertible, citing the vehicles would need a redesign of the structure for that to happen.
"We make the car, so if we don't make it, it can't happen. Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change."
This kind of plays into a rumorpile story from last month where the GT86 Convertible project was canned for the time-being, possibly due to the model needing a lot reinforcing, thus adding weight and ruining the perfect weight balance.
Yet, Toyota is still showing off GT86 Convertible concept and creating a number of variations to show off at auto shows. Also consider the comment made by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy made back in March when the GT86 Open concept was introduced,
"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."
Someone apparently didn't tell Subaru or the two automakers disagree on the convertible idea.
"I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car. But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties," said Yoshinaga.
We'll keep you updated.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)