Toyota announced a redesigned version of the GT86 (which we in the states know as the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ) with a great-looking new front end that I think gives it the classic look of an old 240Z or an E-Type. It's called the Cb, which I'm told stands for "Cool Beauty." I'm also told it's "for women." Come on, really?
Before we get into this gendering crap, let's just look at what the Cb is: a GT86 with a new front clip, some new paint options, and a more luxurious interior. The drivetrain seems to be the same 200HP flat-four we all know, though there have been some improvements (which go across the GT86 line, not just the Cb) that include
In this some improvement, change the characteristics of the electric power steering, for example, to enhance the body rigidity and a more light and natural steering feel, and riding comfort is also improved.
That's Google-translated, but you see what they're getting at: more body rigidity and a smoother steering feel.
But let's get back to the Cb's styling changes. The most dramatic change is the all-new front clip, with its new lighting and grille design. It looks and feels a little retro, like the classic, big eye/fish mouth sportscar designs of the '60s, of which there are plenty of fantastic examples: E-Type, Ferrari 275, Lamborghini 3500GTZ, the early Z cars, and on and on. Really, it's the iconic look for a certain type of sportscar, and it's an ideal template for the GT86.
I actually like it a lot better than the GT86/FR-S/BRZ's normal nose, which I always felt looked a bit too overdone and fussy with all its folds and creases and angles. This looks fast and sleek and potent.
And, more importantly, I think it looks great regardless of where you like to keep your genitalia.
What Toyota's PR does say (again, shittily translated) is this:
86 "style Cb", the basic performance of 86 in pursuit of fun, but will remain running, the user to focus on fashion sense as a target, has been customized to cosmopolitan atmosphere cool.
Which I guess, with the words "fashion sense" in there is sort of a hint or nod to women buyers, but I think it's a mistake to get hung up on that. So, I'm going to come out and say it: I really like this redesigned GT86, I hope it comes to the US, and if that means I'm a woman, well, fuck it, this bearded lady would drive this car with no problem at all.
Really, I never understood this need to gender car models. Did someone at a design meeting pipe up and say "Hey, I have a great idea about how we can cut sales of this niche car almost in half. Who's with me?"
They're doing some interesting two-tone color schemes as well, and while that's not for everyone, I like that they're having some fun with the color. The more luxurious interior I could take or leave, frankly, but I get that there's demand for that. I think my ideal GT86 would be a mash up of the Cb and the BRZ RA version with the steelies and the roll cage.
So how about it, Toyota? Where's my FR-S CRAb? Look, I even came up with an awesome name for it. You're welcome.