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More details have come to the fore about the ongoing development of a lightweight sports car birthed from the union of Toyota and Subaru. Our friends over at 7Tune were kind enough to translate the finer points of an article in Daily Car, and the one burning question -- what platform the new coupe would be derived from -- has been answered.

A test mule has been spotted running around Toyota's test track in Toyota City, built off a shortened Subaru Legacy chassis and powered by the firm's SOHC two-liter flat-four. Although the mule's underpinnings are currently derived from the Legacy's (with about 200mm lopped off), it's expected that a version of the Impreza 15S's platform will be used instead. This gives credence to the idea that the new coupe will send power to the rear wheels, as the AWD chassis could be modified to be exclusively RWD. Currently, the test car is running the all-wheel driveline with the front drive shafts removed.

Subaru's 108 HP 1.5-liter boxer (EL15) is likely to be used to power the new coupe, apparently due to the rear differential's fragility and Toyota's aim of making the coupe as fuel efficient as possible. While barely cresting the 100 HP mark won't set the spec sheet ablaze, the fact that the vehicle will tip the scales at 1,100 kg (2,425 lbs.) should make it a competent performer in the same way as its AE86 forbearer.

If Toyota can keep the weight down (a constant challenge), while keeping the price below 2,000,000 yen, it's rumored that we could see the coupe make its debut sometime next year, with sales beginning later in 2008.

[Source: 7Tune]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota + Subaru and this is the best they could come up with?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I liked this idea when I first heard about it (here on autoblog), but it's starting to not look so good. If I get the car at $18k (a hair over 2M yen, but most cars come out over target), I'll need to replace the crank, rods, and pistons, and now rear end, and add a turbo. All this for what, 300-400 hp? I'd be better off to buy a 350Z and add some type of forced induction to the stock motor.

      Toyota, replace the Supra. Or, if this is a Scion TC replacement, build it with a big, overbuilt, low compression 4 cylinder, with all the goodies (piston squirters, etc), and a decent rear end. Nuff said.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So is this Toyota's Interesting Car Committee's big plan? If so, I can say I'm throughly disappointed. The other Japanese manufacturers have great cars coming- the NSX, the GT-R, but not Toyota, unless you count the Lexus LF-A, but thats more luxury than performance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      does using biodiesel affect you warranty on your car?
      • 7 Years Ago
      You people have short memories, the SR5 Ae86 only had 86hp and was around 2200bs. and was still plenty fun to drive. Besides, this is only a test mule.
      • 7 Years Ago
      so basically its a watered-down subaru. goddamnit, why did they have to stop making coupes?..
      • 7 Years Ago
      Two things are going to happen. Either Subaru is going to teach Toyota how to build exciting cars again or Toyota`s going to ruin the great cars Subaru makes.
      I bet on the later. Toyota sucks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here we go...now everyone complaining about how bad Subies look will start complaining about how bland Toyotas are...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can't imagine why they would use a cut up AWD subaru chassis, only to put an i-4 in the car.

      They already have the Lexus IS platform, that is made for RWD, inline and V-engines, granted it is probably a bit expensive, being a lexus, but it is still a closer configuration.

      The Legacy platform has very wide and high subframe rails for the width of a boxer engine, and going over the front axle shafts. This mentions that they are talking about ditching the AWD. No AWD, and no boxer engine, then why bother using a Subaru chassis that is engineered for both?

      Not to mention, why wouldn't they be testing the chassis with an I4, if that is what they are planning to use? Why put a weak econo-tune boxer in a chopped Legacy chassis, if that isn't the plan? The legacy doesn't get the 1.5 in any world market, 2.0l DOHC is the smallest engine that any Legacy gets overseas. The 1.5 only comes in the most econo-box versions of the impreza in europe, and other markets that are less developed.

      Subaru makes fine rear differentials. Mine handles at least half of 300hp, and about as much torque. There are some Legacy GTs and WRXs that make even more power, and don't grenade the rear diff. The STI's differential is even better. The only reason that the rear diff would be weak, is because toyota may be using a different part, maybe from one of their rear-wheel-assist faux-wheel drive crossovers, or something.

      I also have a miata in the garage, in addition to the Legacy GT. The miata's engine is nowhere NEAR as low as the boxer. It may be low in the chassis for an i4 in a longitudinal arrangement, but there is no way a vertical engine has as low of a Cg as a subaru boxer.

      The HOOD on my Legacy is lower than my miata's, by more than a little bit, and there is plenty of airspace under the hood for an intercooler. Not gonna happen with an I4, or even a V6/8.

      As I know something about subarus and about sports cars, this car is not a sports car. As I said before, it isn't about the power rating. It is about the fact that this thing seems to be going down an econo-box route, engineering-wise, and is not sounding like a performance vehicle. RWD Paseo attempt might be more accurate than we think, if this article's info is correct.

      So close, yet so far away. Coupe, boxer engined, on a shortened subaru chassis.... Could be fantastic, but from the sound of it, it is going to suck, with a capital T.
      • 7 Years Ago
      seriously the worlds best selling car brand and a "rally inspired" car brand are working together and all they can come up with is the future ( Yaris-S ) i hope the 7tune article just got some bad information because this power configuration sounds pathetic. when they said 1.5l i thought they were going to put in a reved up prius engine without the 67hp/295ftlb electric motor.

      but anyways its really early on to have any good ideas of whats going on this car isn't supposed to be "out" for another year / year and a half and in the end they might just drop a corolla engine in it the current gen gets 126hp @6k and 122lbft @ 4,200 one would only assume that the next corolla engine with their "valvetronic" system would put out a bit more power and leave the fuel economy their apparently going for they could just mount the engine lower like the miata does and get the low center of gravity their trying to get out of that flat boxer engine
      • 7 Years Ago
      100hp you gotta be kidding me? Even if its 2,000 lbs that isn’t going to be enough. You’ll have at best another MR2, nice concept but underpowered with weak handling. A Mazda MX5 has what 160-170hp and is 2,500 and while it handles very well it’s a tad on the slow side.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mike,
        A sports car without power is like a nice stereo system playing an 8-track cassette.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Better be cheap!
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