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Blog  //  News, build updates, sweet videos and more...


2012 Portland Auto Show

Posted by Andrew in News

Last weekend I popped over to the Portland Auto Show to see the new FRS/BRZ and drool over cool cars. Michael came with me, and we were able to test drive a couple cars, take a ride in a Jeep on an offroad course and see some sweet rides. We went on Sunday so it wouldn't be so packed; our plan worked perfectly! Here are some of the cool things we saw:


porsche vintage 1964 auto show ajc drift andrew coomes ajcdrift

This beautiful vintage Porsche was the first thing we saw when we walked in. It's one of Michael's favorite cars, and for good reason!


jaguar e-type etype vintage ajc drift andrew coomes ajcdrift portland auto show

Sitting a few cars up the row was a Jaguar E-Type. One of the most beautiful cars in the world IMO.


formula sae osu oregon state fsae andrew coomes ajcdrift ajc drift portland auto show

On display in one of the side rooms were the Formula SAE cars of Oregon State University and Portland State University. The program calls for student engineers to build an open-wheel racecar and drive it against FSAE teams from other colleges; pretty rad!


audi r8 exotic car portland auto show andrew coomes ajc drift ajcdrift supercar

One of my favorite exotics: the Audi R8. An excellent fusion of speed, luxury and beauty.


bentley luxury andrew coomes ajc drift ajcdrift portland auto show

I couldn't resist taking a glamour shot of these three, which call one simple word to the front of my mind: money!


subaru BRZ scion FRS toyota FT86 andrew coomes ajc drift ajcdrift portland auto show booth

And now, the main feature. I had hoped the Scion area would be displaying an FRS proudly, but instead Subaru decided to show Portland it's sister car, the BRZ. Let me give this car a bit of an introduction, from my perspective.

I still own the first car I ever bought: a red 1986 Toyota Corolla AE86. It was an SR5 when I bought it, in fairly poor shape. There was a piece of cardboard on top of the battery to keep it from arcing on the hood (it was the wrong battery and too tall), the paint was starting to oxidize and it was in serious need of a tuneup. My friend Chris and I put in a ton of hours converting it into a GTS complete with motor, rear end and suspension (TRD springs, AGX shocks and RCAs). I love my little hachi to death and since I first got it I've wished Toyota would make cars like that again. When rumors of a new AE86 started populating the Internet I was pretty excited, but for a while it seemed like a pipe dream. Then Scion entered Formula Drift with a TC, and I optimistically hoped they were testing the market for a new AE86. As a few years went by that hope mostly faded and I assumed that I was wrong, that they had simply wanted to have a car in Formula Drift. Then the rumor mill started back up, culminating in Motor Trend posting concept photos of the FT86! Since then I've been eagerly watching the concept car change, evolving into a fine specimen worthy of it's hachiroku heritage. I've been waiting for this car for nearly five years, and I'm not disappointed.


subaru brz toyota scion ft86 frs ae86 andrew coomes ajcdrift ajc drift portland auto show

The front of the car has aggressive lines, arched fenders and a fairly wide stance, while the rear is a cross between Subaru and Scion styling. The whole thing reminds me of an STI, a TC and (surprisingly) an RX-8. The concept behind both the FRS and the BRZ is an affordable, sporty, lightweight RWD car aimed at the younger crowd. Both models come with flat fours and LSDs, weigh under 2,800lbs and run in the low to mid $20k range.


subaru brz scion frs toyota ft86 86 ae86 interior portland auto show andrew coomes ajc drift ajcdrift

The interior is just as you would imagine for a new-age 86: straightforward, with everything you need and nothing you don't. The tach is front and center of the gauge cluster, the controls are simple and the dash is largely unadorned. The center console of the dash (where the climate controls sit) resembles that of an AE86 quite strongly, and though it's not hub-centric the steering wheel is a simple hoop shape which is great for drifting. Another nice touch is the seats; color-stitched reclining buckets which actually look like they'll hold you during a drift or hard corner.

Overall I'm very happy with this new gem. It provides everything a hachiroku descendant should IMO, and I can't wait to check out the Scion version!

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