Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ
Toyota 86, GT86 or FT86, Subaru BRZ or (now late) Scion FR-S – it’s basically the same car. 86 or BRZ if you will, was jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru, and while Subaru markets the sports car globally, Toyota’s iteration is only available in Asia, Australia, South America and South Africa. US and Canada initially had it with Scion badging, but Toyota has taken over for 2017 model year. Sports car for the masses (as most Japanese cars are) is motivated by Toyota or Subaru 2.0L 4-cylinder engines combining Subaru’s horizontally opposed boxer design and Toyota’s D-4S injection system. Rear-wheel drive fun 2-door coupe keeps the torch of its Japanese affordable performance predecessors alive and well in this day and age when there’s fewer and fewer of such cars available.
Better known as Shelby Cobra under which name it was offered in the US, AC Cobra remains one of the best known and most successfully rebadged cars in automotive history. British built it as AC Ace with a host of engines during the fifties, including the BMW-derived Bristol straight-six and 2.6L Ford Zephyr in-line six. Then Carroll Shelby figured out it would easily be able to accommodate a V8 with slight alterations. AC agreed to this proposal and the rest is, as they say, history.
GM didn’t want competition for Corvette so they turned Shelby down. However, Ford wanted exactly that, and they’ve just created the engines for the job – 260ci and 289ci Windsor V8’s. Larger of the two carried over until the end of production and performed extremely well while petite Cobra was on track. Cobra wasn’t all that great on the roads but then again, it wasn’t meant for them in the first place.