Friday, March 4, 2011

Toyota a liability for Lotus, FT-86

With all those engine failures in MR2 Spyders, no wonder Toyota is relying on Subaru for the engine in the still anticipated finale of the FT-86 (Scion FR-S).  But as Toyota partners with Subaru and ventures once again into sports car land, informed consumers will also contemplate such things as Toyota's botched job designing MR2 hood releases. And now that Toyota has become somewhat less than a paragon of quality, we learn that sports car legend Lotus has been catchin' criticism from customers because of its involvement with the Recall King.

Frankly, I've always thought it strange that Lotus would link up with Toyota, even though - as I understand it - the Recall King's engines are not exactly stock by the time Lotus gives 'em a goin' over. Nonetheless, Lotus has now decided to quit with the Toyota engines. Right on for "Engine by Lotus. From scratch. Honest."

Since word got out about all those stonewalled engine failures in MR2 Spyders, Toyota seems to have a flair for teamin' up with other brands when it comes to sports cars. But I'm bettin' lots of folks see things the same way I do. Havin' been fooled once by Toyota's efforts to produce a sports car, I'm no longer impressed by anything Toyota is involved in, and certainly not the FT-86. Especially that often-loaded-with-bugs first year model. Among other things, co-partner Subaru is suddenly departing from its longstanding practice of only producing vehicles with all wheel drive.

Maybe Toyota could get Lotus to do the bodywork, chassis, and drivetrain. Then with Subaru doin' the engine... But wait. Where would Toyota come in? No problem. Just put the Recall King in charge of advertising. But by all means, keep 'em away from those floor mats.

Note: A weird thing happened when I linked to a Consumer Reports FT-86 article via a Twitter "Top Tweet" and tried to post a comment. A pop-up appeared, "We're sorry, we cannot accept this data." Such a delight. Nothin' like open communications. Thought for a minute there I was being censored.

Update 11/27/11 - Leave it to Toyota to spawn years of teaser type marketing and then spring a last minute name change to GT 86. Ho hum. Another front engined monstrosity weighing in at 2,662 pounds complete with a fish-like appearance and two squished in rear seats. Next thing you know, the Recall King will be strikin' up a partnership with Ford's Mustang.