Toyota 86: More power would ruin it (CNET on Cars, Ep. 104)
Cooley On Cars
Toyota saves the best part of Sion, don't blame Tech for all distractions.
And how to actually get your windshield clean.
[SOUND] Time to check the Tech.
We see cars differently.
We love on the road and under the hood.
But also check the Tech.
And are known for telling Telling it like it is.
Ugly is included at no extra cost.
The good, the bad, the bottom line.
This is cnet on cars.
Welcome to cnet on cars.
The show all about high tech cars and modern driving.
I'm Brian Cooley.
Well when Toyota killed off their Syon sub brand last year, they knew better than to kill off everything.
Some models migrated.
Luckily for enthusiasts, the included the Sion FRS, now known as the Toyota 86.
And having this car on the Toyota line up resumes Toyota's off and on relationship with something very special.
A sporty model.
Let's see how the FRS did as it became the 86.
As we drive it and check the tech.
Well, don't mourn the now gone Scion FRS much cuz it's back.
And I've got it right here.
86 by the revised front bumper cover and grill, more LEDs in the head and tail light assemblies.
And faux vents on the fenders that try even harder to not look faux.
Now the natural comparison to a Toyota 86, aside from its stable mate the Subaru BRZ and the now defunct Scion FRS, is to a Mazda Miata and/or a Fiat 124.
Now obviously they're very different in the fact that one's an open car [SOUND] and one is not But let's look at them on paper.
This Toyota is over a foot longer than a Miata.
That surprised me.
The wheel base is also commensurably longer.
The weight's a big difference, over 440 more here on this Toyota.
The power to weight ratio is also notable, better on the Miata.
One has two seats, and one kinda sorta has vestigial two more.
[SOUND] Now inside the 86 Things are pretty cozy, as you can imagine.
And the whole look and feel up here is every so slightly evocative of the legendary Toyota 2000 GT.
Little bit of this arc over here on this side.
I know this was a glove box on the original car.
The nod to the past continues here in the head unit.
Now this feels like the past.
This is an optional display radio, and I would advise you against getting it.
Sources for media and streaming are pretty slim.
Aha is their main sort of modern app connectivity.
More useful would just be a standard bluetooth audio connection.
And beyond that, you got the various kinds of broadcast and satellite radio.
Pioneer eight speaker audio in this setup and it may be the worst sounding system I have reviewed so far this [INAUDIBLE] I would de-option that and, instead, drop in an after-market Android auto and car play unit like a Sony AX100.
You've got some very simple manual climate controls down here, a crisp, very simple instrument panel with just the essentials that you need.
I believe the wheel's been revised since this was a Scion.
I think it's a little smaller diameter.
I don't normally swear that a manual's the best thing since they invented cars.
But in this car, it absolutely makes sense.
By the way, believe it or not, there are seats behind me.
You know my test, can I sit behind myself?
No, the question really is, can anyone sit behind Behind me.
No, the trunk is not a bad storage bin for a car this size and that second row seat back folds down easily and very flatly.
I was pleased by that.
I don't get a lot of beautiful engine bays in my line of work.
They're usually usually shrouded in plastic crap.
And this ironic then, that one of the least expensive cars I'll get in all year has one of the prettiest places under the hood.
This is a beautiful, beautiful piece of work.
2 liter flat 4, Subaru sourced, of course, this is part of the partnership.
205 horsepower, 5 less if you get an automatic.
Same thing with the torque.
It's 156 pound feet, not much.
And 5 less on the automatic.
Interesting way to get gas in the engine by the way they use two different mode.
There's poor injection kind of old school injection that goes in to the intake ports at low rpm.
At high rpm they switch to direct injection were the fuel is injected directly right at the top of the piston in the cylinder.
And they say it gives them better over all throttle response and better MPG.
And the key thing to know about the 86 as well as the Suby VRC, is that enough really is enough.
You might scoff on 200 or so horsepower on paper but you won't do it on the road.
Because there's nothing like driving a car you can use all of, most of the time.
You know me, I'm not a manual Transmission, sort of, Jihadist.
I'm good with most of the great automatics today, but in this case, yes, you should be driving a manual transmission.
Now before I send you out to buy a manual though, know this.
The six speed automatic gets dramatically better gas mileage.
Great clutch and gear box feel.
Those back seats, as we saw, are fine for groceries or youngin.
And because this car's wheel base is long enough it's not a pitchy, [UNKNOWN] ride.
This is just a really livable, sports car.
All electric power steering, and they've got it dialed in beautifully.
Absolutely the right ration and linearity with every corner that I take it into.
This may be the part of the car that I love the most.
How easy it is to configure!
There's only one way to get it, either you buy it or you don't.
$27,120, choice of seven colors, always black inside, and that's it.
Well, there is one option that is in our purview, and that is that head unit that I am disappointed in, $900 I do not want to see you spend.
In general, I love this car.
I think it fits in the rarified pantheon with Miata S2000, and its stable mates, and there are not a lot of other entries in that area.
This is a real special car for a nice piece of money.
You know the old axiom, it's better to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow?
That kinda maligns this guy, but the idea is correct.
I like having a car I can use all of And do so in a really enjoyable way.
I did enjoy driving that 86.
Now, when I talk about distraction behind the wheel, I know where your mind's eye goes, as does mine It goes as this, right?
But the real story on the types and duration of distraction sources on the car is much more new one than that.
Making it a great interest to the smarter driver.
The phone The icon of what we believe to be a new era of driver distraction, taking our hands, eyes, and minds off the road.
But along with the phone, there's an array of other distractions that need to be rolled up into a single realization that we have let attentiveness at the wheel slip.
Nearly 70% of all car accidents in the US involved distraction and even when no crash happens we're distracted while driving in some way 52% of the time.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
In a remarkable recent study, they recruited over 3,500 drivers of all ages in six cities, who allowed VTTI to install cameras, road sensors, and driver action sensors in their vehicles, and record what happened for three years.
Dialling a phone, that stood out to begin with.
Even though we spend very little time doing it, it has a huge impact on collision risk increase at the time.
Reading and writing, reaching for things in the car, staring out into the road and of course texting rounded out the top five risk increase.
Now cut the data another way and you see how much time we spend on driving distractions.
Talking to people in the car is number one, though it only increases crash risk a relatively modest 40%.
Calling and texting, and fussing with things in your car that aren't your phone round out the top three.
Putting on makeup, eating and drinking and tending to personal hygiene actually come in low in terms of time spent.
Then there's DWE, driving while emotional.
Drivers who are visibly sad, angry or otherwise upset had a massive 10x increase in crash rates.
The main takeaways here are three.
U.S. drivers spend about half their time on the road distracted.
Eyes off the road results in the greatest measurable risk overall.
And Virginia Tech estimates that 36% of all crashes, or four million of them, every year, wouldn't happen if we weren't doing something else at the time.
When I come back, we'll learn the right technique for one of the worst parts of owning a car, when CNET ONCARS rolls on.
Boy, if there's one thing I hate, it's doing windows on a car.
Every time you get them done, there's streaks left.
And then you go and you try to fix that streak and that makes another Streak and then some grime gets pulled in from somewhere and it seems like you're chasing your tail.
Well that's because you may not have the right solids, the right liquids, and the right technique.
Start with your liquids and those are your glass cleaners.
This typical blue stuff that has ammonia in it isn't always the best.
Because ammonia, aside from being kind of gross to breathe isn't really friendly to things in your car.
Like leather and rubber.
Such so you don't use that, get a true glass cleaner that is alcohol base, and it doesn't have much alcohol in it so don't drink it and it won't hurt your car much.
It dries very nicely, leaving a streak free finish.
The other liquid you wanna have is gonna be Rain-X, or something quite like this.
It puts a polymer coat on your clean glass when you're done so you barely have to use your wipers and a lot of grime, and especially wet grime, kind of just runs right off.
Now you're solids.
The things you're gonna wipe it down with.
The best way to go these days are with some microfiber towels, and I mean good ones.
You can buy cheap ones, you can buy good ones.
These ones are pretty good I know because I've used them for awhile.
And they don't shed a lot.
Other microfiber towels are cheap and you end up with orange yellow and green dust all over your car and you feel like you didn't get anything done.
Another way to go is they do make paper towels that are expressly for grass and chrome.
And they're very low lint and fiber.
You can buy these at the auto parts store.
Another trick though, is just go buy the cheapest paper towels they sell, that are 100% recycled.
These are crappy towels, but they're great for glass because there's almost nothing in them to leave any lint and dust behind.
Here's another trick.
In case you happen to have a lot of these laying around.
I don't know why you would, but coffee filters are also very good for wiping down.
Again, They have a nice fiber to absorb a lot and they don't leave dust and lint on the windshield.
Okay let's get to it.
I wanna get this glass clean and get out on the road.
First thing you do is take your glass cleaner, and don't spray it on the glass, you spray it on what you would call the dirty rag.
This is the one you're gonna use to actually clean the glass.
And away from the car Put a good amount on there.
And then clean that windshield with a set of parallel strokes going one way.
Working their way down.
So in this case for example I'm going to go horizontal.
Work my way down.
I'm overlapping so I don't miss any grime.
Pick that up.
Then I take a dedicated clean rag.
Which I use to remove any final residue.
And for that I'm going to go the other way, parallel strokes, one sweep, so I don't carry any possible grime back, and I should have a really good looking clean.
Easy way to test is to run a finger across there.
If anything shows from your finger that means there's residue that your fingers disturbing and you got to do it again.
I'm getting absolute no trace of anything there.
Okay now that I feel that I have a really good clean surface the last thing I'm going to do especially if your in any kind of weather is to put a coat of this Rainx on there.
I'm using a third towel for that and my green one let's say is my Rainx towel.
The way you use this stuff is you again only put this on a clean glass.
Moisten up a rag with some of that.
This is a polymer that it leaves on there.
Now, they say to use a circular motion, so I'll do what they say.
And cover the whole area, try to make sure you don't miss any spots.
And what you're doing is you're rubbing this stuff into the glass and then let it dry to a haze.
It's a very slight haze.
This isn't like some body polish or something.
You're barely gonna notice it, but on clean glass you will.
And once that is dry, take the dry side of that rag or another rag and then go in there and polish off the residue.
And what you've done is you've put a nice polymer coat on there that's kind of covering your glass.
Note what none of these techniques can help, like on the old Fiat here, we've got some pitted glass, especially on the front of the windshield That's always going to be W. Look at that beautiful glass.
Now the old detailers used to sue newspaper and I think just water to clean glass because it had just a little bit of a fine grit in the paper.
And I'm not sure what the ink did but they swore by it.
I don't think it's necessary today.
Where are you going to find a newspaper anyway?
And the other thing to know is that the inside of the front and rear glass the windshield and the back light as it's properly known Are the worst to clean because they sit over vinyl upholstery, or leather, that is off gassing in the case of vinyl, chemicals that rise right up and stick on the inside.
That nasty film on a car that's less than five years old, that is coming off the upholstery and yeah it's a real pain.
Just stay at it.
Okay let's get to some of your email.
The first ones of 2017.
My favorite part of the show, and I hope it's good for you too.
Let's get to number one here from Steve L. He's writing in from Bonita Springs, Florida.
Says, with the growing ubiquity of turbocharged engines, he says, I wonder if they have the long term durability to match the 200,000 or so miles we've come to expect from a properly maintained naturally aspirated engine?
He says, wouldn't the added stress A forced induction decreased the projected lifespan of a turbo charged engine.
Well, Steve, the turbo is not as new as a lot of people might think depending how far back your automotive memory goes.
It actually hit the US market in 62 with the [UNKNOWN] Monza and the old Jetfire.
That's one's great bar trivia.
Free drinks on me.
Since then, They have overcome a lot of the issues that you are probably thinking of through basically improved and advanced technology.
So lets run them down.
When you look at a turbo engine, one of the first things that you might hear is a problem is it just Fails because it heats, cracks, different issues where bearing blows out, all of this because it's not tough enough to deal with that enviroment.
Recently General Motors head of turbo and super charged engineering said, I think I'm paraphrasing right here.
Our turbos are now made out the same material as the gates of hell.
These things can handle just about anything cuz we're way past the 50 year mark of having turbos in practice.
They've learned a lot about keeping them just tough and making them out of the right materials.
The other one you might hear about is coking.
That's when the oil, the motor oil, that gets into the turbo, which lubricates it.
Is cooked because it's so hot in there and it looses it's ability to lubricate.
It breaks down and it gets kind of sludgy and the whole thing just jams up.
Again they've done thermal management on these using advanced digital sensors and actuators that are very good about controlling the flow of oil into these guys and making sure that the cooling is handled better.
And some turbos are actually actively cooled as well.
So you end up with a much more managed and known quantity of heat versus motor oil and that battle is more often won than lost now.
And the third one you hear about is this idea that you bring up, so much boost or over boost.
And that's where waste gates don't always work right back in the day.
Today these things have digital sensors, digital controls, extremely smart computerization so it's pretty rare for an engine to get a gulp of boost.
Beyond what it was designed for.
And, of course, they over-engineer for that.
So these three areas of innovation in turbos I think make them really solid.
Here's more proof: Ward's Automotive, which is a publication in the in industry that is known for the most respected list of best engines every year, just named their top ten engines for 2017.
Seven of the ten are turbos.
The other three are hybrids.
There are no naturally aspirated V8s or V6s in there.
Turbos rule the roost.
Carmakers feel really good about them.
Okay, our next email comes in from Eric A. in Houston, Texas, who by the way sends in the shortest email we've ever had.
Thank you for that.
He asked very simply, can you talk a little bit about Brake Horsepower?
Eric, this is a really good question and one I probably should have addressed a while ago.
Because as you may have noticed, here on this show shot in the US, we talk about horsepower.
But if you watch our colleagues over at carfection who are based in the UK they talk about break horsepower.
The little different thing that the British Europeans think typically and we just say horse power here typically in the U.S..
Let's talk about what this means.
Break horse power, horse power, other types of definitions are about how you measure the horse power.
Let's talk about what that means.
The break horse power is the power coming out of the engine at the crank.
No transmission, no drive line, no output shafts, no wheels, nothing.
Bare engine, no accessories.
And the reason they call it brake is not because you're measuring the car's brakes, it's because you use a device called brake, a machine shop type thing, that resists the engine and while it does so measures it's maximum horsepower.
So that's brake horsepower and again typically.
In the U.S. the numbers you'll see quoted on our materials, are usually what they call SAE, or Society of Automotive Engineers net horsepower.
That one usually measures accessories on the engine, so you've got alternator, power steering, air conditioning, all those things are running.
Off of their various belts, and then you measure the power, again at the crank at the back of the engine without the drive line involved.
The other one is wheel horsepower, this is when you take a car to a dyno, sit the whole car on a set of rollers and measure it there.
Now you're actually getting the loss that comes from the transmission, the drive line, the output shaft, the differential or the transaxle.
And the rotating mass of the wheels, and you're really measuring the true horsepower to the road, which is roughly 15% less than you'll get when the engine is running bare and pure by itself.
So, those are three ways of measuring, but they're also two definitions of horsepower.
If you're looking at a horsepower in a US publication, usually imperial horsepower, which is 746 or so watts, converted to watts for comparison.
Because I compare it to a metric horsepower, often quoted in the UK and Europe And notice it's a little bit lower in terms of watts.
It's a little smaller horsepower.
Doesn't look like much, right until you get into high power cars and then that little difference adds up to a pretty good spread in terms of how it's reported.
So now we got a couple of major definitions of horsepower and three major ways of measuring it.
Okay, our third email today comes in from Ed W. in San Jose.
Silicon Valley guy says why do many European carmakers like BMW have LED turn signals but incandescent brake lights?
Like he says, on his 2011 335d, while Asian manufacturers, he says, like Toyota and Honda, typically have LED brake lights but incandescent turn signals.
Is there something going on here or is it just random?
Well Ed a serious question, LED lights are taken over the vehicle.
It's trickling down from the more expensive cars as you may have noticed.
One of the first cars we saw that went heavily LED, was the revised S Class.
What two years ago?
Which boasted in having no filament Anywhere in the car, everything in that vehicle is LED.
Not exactly a cheap car.
Come forward a couple of years, and you're seeing LEDs all over vehicles now.
But the reason we haven't seen them gutter to gutter, which I think informs part of what you're seeing out there, are several things.
First of all, light bulbs are super cheap.
They've been using them in cars almost since the beginning of cars.
So they've ground the cost down to almost nothing.
That's important to carmakers.
They have a lot of bulbs in every car, a few cents more per actually makes a difference.
So, they are gradually migrating.
Then we've got this idea of design resources, you don't just swap out bulbs if you are a car maker If you redesign the whole lamp module, recertify it, check it in all kinds of conditions, it's not trivial to convert any one bulb in the car from filament to LED, especially if it's a safety or regulated lamp.
Like on the outside of the cars.
And the third thing is, on a car like your BMW, it has what's called a CAN bus as its digital architecture so modules in the car can communicate to each other.
If you stick an LED bulb into a filament socket on a car with a CAN bus, it may show a fault.
Because the LED bulb draws so little power, the CAN bus and its controllers say, that bulb is out when in fact it's not.
But it looks out.
To the monitoring system.
So they had to make a different kind of LED bulbs than are used in most cam bus cars, that have a resistor in line to show a different load and that fools the whole system.
So as you can see it's not so simple as one model year to the next, change them all out for LEDs.
There's actually quite a bit of work that goes into changing those little things.
[SOUND] Coming up I will run down the top hot rides we expect to arrive this year.
All good reasons to sit on your checkbook a little longer when CNET on cars returns.
Now this top five list are the top five hot and sporty cars that are coming this year that I think you should wait for if you're gonna be buying a car of that type.
Now let's by honest, the new Honda Odyssey and Toyota Camry trounced these guys in industry importance but I want to talk about cars that have a little something that spreads pixie dust over the whole brand of a car maker or so they hope.
I also do not want to talk about crossovers for once this year.
Let us get started with the top five hot and sporty rides you might want to hold on to your checkbook for Number five are the Audi A5 and S5, calls these guys hot and hotter.
the cup and the Cabrio of each one arrives spring 2017, but then a little later in the year Something really interesting.
We're gonna get a 5 Liftback and that's taking a page from the Audi A7, which was wickedly successful.
May I say it now and forever, hatchbacks are back and they're hot again.
[SOUND] Number four, See what I just said about liftbacks and hatchbacks being hot again, cuz here's another one.
A four-door Kia Stinger with a liftback, fastback roof line.
Also, rear wheel drive, and available twin turbo V6, high end appointments all round, this is a big move for Kia.
It's a big investment in a small sector of sales that also is like nothing else they have Consider it kind of a Korean Supra with a couple extra doors.
Number 3 is the first refresh on the sixth generation current Mustang.
You can see quite a difference in the face, the headlights, the hood.
What you can't see is they've gotten rid of the V6.
There will no longer be that option.
You're either gonna get the 2.3 liter Turbo 4 or you're gonna get a 5 liter V8.
Nothing in the middle.
And the availability of Ford's new 10 speed automatic that just arrived on the F-150.
Inside an optional 12 inch all LCD instrument panel.
Number two, the highly anticipated Alpha Romeo Giulia.
They got some gall.
They're going after the three series right out of the gate.
Including with a 505 horsepower version of this guy called the Quadrafoglio that goes right after the M3 but with even more power.
Now notice this.
You're never going to Mistake this for one of the Teutonic cars.
This is a very different look and style.
That should do them very well and Alfa Romeo has been known for great performance and great handling with the handful of cars they've been able to sell in the US so far.
Know they've also got a crossover based on this guy, called the Stelvio, but I promised I wouldn't talk about that.
Before I get to number one, I've got to get to this one or you won't speak to me again, and that is the revised Subi WRX and STi that will be coming this year.
Not a huge difference, so I didn't rank them, you see a lot of front face changes, same Impreza platform underneath, the STi does get a hotter flat-6, at 305 horsepower now, and a new Handmade six-speed manual transmission.
But any news about the WRX is big news around these parts.
The number one sporty and sassy car to keep an eye on for the year ahead, in my opinion, is the Lexus LC, LC 500 specifically.
There'll also be a hybrid.
But when this guy debuts January of 2016 on the show circuit We all sat around with our jaws dropped, trying to control the amount of drool that was coming out.
It's a stunner, it's a $100,000 Lexus, it's gonna be their new flagship, and it could reposition the brand from one that many folks still associate with a lot of affluent AARPers And it's gonna come out swinging at everyone like a drunk in a bar.
It's going after 911, S552, BMW's 650i, all seen as targets.
And being built in the same plant in Japan that cranked out the LFA supercar, certainly won't hurt its Hope you enjoyed this episode.
Thank you so much for watching and I'd love to hear what we can do for you.
Let me know what you'd like to see in future episodes.
Send an email to OnCars@cnet.com.
That doesn't go to us.
That goes right to me so I'll make sure I take notes.
And if I possibly can, I'll reply to you, if not in the show.
And I'll see you next time we check the
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