Get ready for Toyobaru!
No, this isn’t an actual merger of the two companies, but a rare alliance to co-develop a rear-wheel-drive 220-horsepower sport coupe. Though recent rumors have surfaced saying the project has been delayed, our friends at Edmunds Inside Line say otherwise.
Based on a revised version of Subaru’s Impreza platform, the new coupe will use Subie’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer engine mated to the 6-speed manual transmission used in the WRX STI.
So what’s Toyota’s contribution to this venture? Mostly product development and quality control. Plus they get a version of the new coupe that will have its own exterior styling. Who would ever have thought you could buy a Toyota coupe made with Subaru parts? It proves that in this age of automotive uncertainty, anything is possible!
Neither of the coupes have official names yet, but the Toyota version will be sold only in Japan, while the Subaru version will be offered to the rest of the world. Pricing should come in around $20,000, providing a fairly cheap coupe sure to be a hit with the tuner crowd and those who relish in the performance of RWD.
The thing is, Subaru has spent a lot of money building a brand around the fact that all of their vehicles have all-wheel drive. While a RWD coupe is good for the performance side of Subaru, I question what it will do to their all-weather driveability status.
The new coupes are on schedule for a 2011 release, and should be something to really look forward to!
What do you think of a Toyota/Subaru alliance?