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by Brett Davis

More information on the upcoming Toyota and Subaru FT-86 joint-project has been circulating this week, including some details on the Subaru version of the car. A recent Autocar report has confirmed Subaru will use a more powerful engine in its version that could see an extra 45kW on top of the Toyota counterpart.

Subaru is said to be planning an ‘STI’ version of the coupe, but, more importantly, Subaru is not planning on combining its all-wheel drive symmetry to the car. Although an all-wheel drive platform would provide more safety and, possibly, faster acceleration and lap times, an all-wheel drive version is said to be too similar to the Impreza WRX STI, rending the concept redundant. Besides, Toyota is aiming to stick with rear-drive heritage here, if Subaru were to add a front differential it could disturb the entire dynamics of the car.

Reports also say an all-wheel drive version would hinder the concept’s weight and increase costs. The project is still said to be desperately aiming at the $50,000-$60,000 market. With the Subaru version expected to be slightly more expensive, Toyota prices should be around $45,000.

More information about the car’s platform has been revealed as well. The car is said to use a Liberty chassis with Impreza rear suspension. No word yet as to what the Subaru variant will be called.

Unfortunately there’s still no confirmation on a definite release date at this stage. More delays are expected too, as Toyota works on improving the fuel efficiency of the Subaru engine.

Overall though, this is a very exciting package. There aren’t many cars around today that showcase the same foundations – medium-sized, manual, rear-drive coupe; only the BMW 3 Series and 1 Series, Mazda RX-8 and Nissan 370Z exist in the segment, apart from European exotica.




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