Subaru shows its own version of the co-developed ‘Toyobaru’ coupe

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

These are sketches of Subaru's design work for its own version of the co-developed Toyobaru coupe with Toyota. The sketches show various proposals; however sign-off and production plans are said to be uncertain (Toyota unveiled yesterday its own version of the car in the form of FT-86 Concept). Of course, Subaru is not comparable to Toyota when it comes to cash and manpower.

There are detractors who would say that the project raises more questions than answers. Subaru is known for its boxer engine technology and its Symmetrical 4WD. It hasn´t had a project to build a small rear-drive coupe before.

In fact, its agreement with Toyota to share part of its core technology is controversial. The partnership has also had its share of supporters. The Toyobaru takes Subaru out of its routine and brings a car that's new, funky and fresh in the market.

 The company expects to attract a new breed of young and enthusiastic buyers. By sharing its engine technology with Toyota, it's expected that Subaru will be able to reduce engine costs. However, the savings could be nominal if this is going to be a niche product.

There are reports that Subaru plans to make a four-wheel-drive version of the car, in order to differentiate it from the Toyota. However, that plan faces several challenges as it will add weight and complexity. It also doesn´t seem to be in line with its vision to be a simple, lightweight sports car.

What exactly would Subaru be supplying? Definitely, it will provide the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated flat four. It also appears that the company is willing to provide the basic platform, suspension and brakes as well.

Subaru's factory in Japan will be manufacturing both the Toyota and Subaru cars. It's anticipated that Toyota will reveal the FT-86 concept at the Tokyo motor show and many believe that Subaru will show its version there as well. So far, we haven´t picked up any confirmation so just keep posted.

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