This past May marked the beginning of a new unique joint venture between Subaru and Toyota as the BRZ and FR-S (launched under the Scion brand) no-frills sports coupes went on sale here in the United States. For those of you unfamiliar with these models, the formula is brilliant and yet simple at the same time. Two door coupe, 2+2 seating, rear-wheel drive, 2.0-liter boxer four cylinder producing 200 horsepower, all starting for under $24,500.

Subaru offers the BRZ in two flavors: Premium, which has a base MSRP of $24,495 and Limited which starts at $27,495. Automatic transmission is available on each trim but will cost you an additional $1,100. In terms of gadgetry, the Premium already comes well optioned and includes standard navigation with Bluetooth phone and audio capabilities.  Optioning up to the Limited trim will get you leather/alcantara trimmed seats, keyless entry and start, rear spoiler, and fog lamps.

The Scion FR-S only comes in one trim level, and unfortunately leather/alcantara seats are not an option, although the FR-S does come in a couple hundred dollars less at $24,200 in regards to initial MSRP. Unlike the BRZ this price does not include standard navigation. In order to option up to the standard Premium BRZ level buyers will have to check the accessory box for the $845 BeSpoke premium audio system, putting the similarly equipped FR-S model at a MSRP of $25,045 or $550 more than the BRZ Premium.  Similar to the BRZ automatic transmission will also cost you $1,100 on the FR-S.

When shopping for a new BRZ or FR-S, expect to pay close to MSRP because currently there are little to no incentives available on either vehicle. In the case of the BRZ, June and July average incentive spending came in just under $400, which is over $2,000 less than the current market average. Scion is currently doing even better. So far in its first three months on sale the FR-S has had no incentive offers whatsoever. By controlling incentives, short term value retention for both the BRZ and FR-S should remain very strong.

So far things are looking great for each brand as May-July sales for the BRZ totaled 1587 units and an even better 4419 units for the FR-S. During the month of July, the FR-S outsold the BRZ by 48 units per day, or 69 units a day for the FR-S compared to 21 for the BRZ.

In regards to current supply, July month-end days’ supply for the BRZ was a scarce 23 days, while the FR-S came in at an even lower 18 days. Looking back to June data shows that the BRZ fell seven days from a previous 30 day supply, but the FR-S actually increased five days from 13. Month-end inventory for the BRZ fell a staggering 47% whereas the FR-S saw a more reasonable dip in supply to the tune of 3%.  To put things in perspective, a healthy industry average days’ supply is around 60 days, showing that both Subaru and Toyota might need to ramp up production to keep up with demand for the hot selling new coupes. 

On the new sales side, since first being made available to the public the FR-S has had an average transaction price of roughly $1,400 over its base MSRP (including destination and manual transmission), while the BRZ Premium has averaged close to $1,000 over its base MSRP (including destination and manual transmission). This premium over base MSRP can most likely be attributed towards the addition of optional equipment such as automatic transmission or port installed extras such as the BeSpoke premium audio system. In addition, the presence of low supply and high demand creates the perfect justification for dealer imposed market adjustments which will also cause new transaction prices to trend higher than base MSRP.

Looking ahead to first time used vehicle values and overall value retention, both the BRZ and FR-S should perform towards the top of their class.  Right now high demand, low inventory, and low incentives levels will keep used values high, the only thing that could hurt short term retention is if one of these variables changes dramatically in the near future.  Be sure to check back on future blogs as we give an update first time values for the BRZ and FR-S.