Subaru has unveiled the skeleton of its upcoming rear-wheel drive sports coupe at the Geneva Motor Show. Subaru refers to the technology display as the Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture.

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The Japanese manufacturer says the future Subaru model will become the world’s only front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car to be powered by a horizontally opposed engine when it enters production in the first half of 2012.

Subaru Australia’s David Rowley said the local arm was still to decide whether it would introduce the production version of the sports coupe.

“No decision has yet been made as to whether the sports car will come to Australia,” Mr Rowley said.

A potential roadblock for the coupe’s local launch could be its rear-wheel drive architecture. When questioned about the small front-wheel drive Subaru Trezia model in January this year, Mr Rowley confirmed Subaru Australia was “absolutely committed” to its symmetrical all-wheel drive ethos, and therefore would not consider that vehicle.

Time will tell whether Subaru Australia will be prepared to make the Boxer Sports Car the exception to the rule.

Famously conceived and developed in collaboration with Toyota, the Subaru sports coupe based on the Boxer Sports Car Architecture will have much in common with the production version of the Toyota FT-86 II, which was unveiled in considerably more detail at Geneva.

The Boxer Sports Car Architecture is 4200mm long, 1770mm wide and 1270mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2570mm. For comparison’s sake, it’s 50mm shorter, 75mm skinnier, 55mm lower and has a 20mm longer wheelbase than the Nissan 370Z.

Subaru says the boxer engine is set back further towards the centre of the chassis in the Geneva technology display, leading to a lower-profile body and driving position.

According to the vehicle’s engineers, the chassis has been developed not just for speed, but also for “a sporty driving experience and ride, and stable drivability, offering driver confidence”.

The suspension set-up will incorporate struts at the front and double-wishbones at the rear for increased stability and control.

The wait is now on to see exactly what the Subaru sports coupe will look like, and what it will be called. We expect information to trickle from Japan throughout the year.

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