Toyota FT-86 Concept - click above for high-res image gallery
While most sports car fans everywhere are waiting with bated breath for the new Toyota FT-86 to arrive from the Land of the Rising Sun, some of us are a little bit more excited about the car's Subaru cousin. Why is that, especially considering that the FT-86 appears to be kinda just what the doctor ordered (rear-wheel drive, 200 horsepower, light, cheap)? Well, for one thing, Subarus are all-wheel drive. And while rear-wheel driven sports cars definitely have their charms (earlier rumors even suggested that Fuji Heavy (i.e. Subaru) was even caving and going rear-drive with its version of the Toyobaru), there's really little in life as fun as blasting down a gravel road at a seemingly unsafe clip while kicking up mountainous clouds of dust. Plus, you know, rain and all that.
Then there's the engine. Our pals at Inside Line are reporting that the Subaru iteration of the FT-86 will have more power – 250 hp according to them. Using Jeremy Clarkson-style logic, 250 hp is better than 200 hp. Because it's more. IL claims that the Toyobaru will use a version of the just-developed-for-the-FT-86 flat-four 2.0-liter engine – supposedly naturally aspirated like in the FT-86.
But here's the thing – the smallest engine Subaru offers American consumers these days is a 2.5-liter boxer. And that motor, turbo-tuned for WRX duty, makes 265 hp (though we've driven it and we'd wager it kicks out a bit more than that). Why would Subaru put a smaller, weaker engine into a $30,000 coupe ($30,000 according to the IL article) than the motor they stick in the $25,000 WRX? Exactly –we don't think they would.
Inside Line also says the Subaru version will be larger than the Toyota car because of a "stretched platform." We're not sure if that means longer or wider – or both – but we'd err on the side of longer, as in more backseat room. What we're looking at then, is a big-ish, AWD coupe with a lot of power. Can you say 2011 SVX? We knew you could.