Last year, a number of people inexplicably began experiencing "unintended acceleration" in their shit boxes. TV news sensationalized, mothers worried and even Congress got involved. The cause of all that? As it turned out, people had been lulled into such a state of stupor by the shear beigness of their Toyotas that they'd totally forgotten how to drive. Well that and some guy faked it.
And that was as complete a summation of what Toyota had become as a car company as you could get. It was the kind of company that made the kind of car that appealed to the kind of people who weren't qualified to operate one but, when they did and it all went tits up in fiery death, they were also the kind of people that came over all litigious. It couldn't be their fault that they were incompetent buffoons, could it?!
Toyota was very sorry. We were very sorry too. Could that moment have represented a watershed into cars as mere appliances? Machines without a soul? If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have said yes. Ask me today? I'm more hopeful. That's because last night I saw the Scion FR-S in person.
When Turbolence88 saw our live photos, he had much the same reaction, penning a missive to that beigest of automakers that didn't just express hope, it expressed desire. Not something typically felt about Toyotas.
I write to you today to remind you that despite your blunders over the last decade and a half, I'm ready to forgive and forget. You axed the mighty Supra to little resistance, logically killed the MR-S and Celica when America got fatter, and tried to force-feed me your tC as a performance car. It's no surprise I ended up with a Honda in my driveway when the time came to buy a reasonable commuter.
But I'm truly sorry. You know as well as I do that the edge is still there, the fire still burning underneath your volume-selling waves of big and beige. This car is that fire, free from its snuffed-out hole and beautifully constrained like a butane lighter.
Just remember that most butane lighters are cheap and easily found on the counter for less than $2 at Walgreens. My next car budget is $25,000 dead in the water, and not a penny more. The lower we go, the better, but I'm holding out my hope that you'll be able to bring us the uppermost trim for under that mystical $25k mark. You can shoehorn all the same features of an FR-S into a Corolla, yet add leather seats and a nav system, and still keep it under that point. I have faith in you.
Don't disappoint me and the thousands more waiting in line. Tell your dealers that any and all markup will be met with public crucifixion.
P.S. Give me a color wheel and a choice of any set of rims I want at the dealer, and maybe I'll reconsider my upper limit.
This car is the fire indeed. And we want it to burn.