• Dec 17, 2009
Subaru Sports Coupe Renderings - Click above for high-res image gallery

It should come as no surprised that Subaru -- a brand that's made its name in the States for offering rugged, all-wheel drive vehicles -- is a little wary about bringing its own version of the RWD Toyobaru to the U.S.

Speaking with Wards Auto, Subaru spokesperson Michael McHale said, "We're an all-wheel drive brand," going on to say that, "If it doesn't affect the core of the brand, maybe we'd bring it in as an interesting option."

Although we've yet to seen the Subaru variant of the Toyota FT-86, the rebodied version is expected to debut sometime in 2010, with both examples going on sale in Japan later next year or in early 2011. Power is supposedly supplied by Subaru-sourced, Toyota-tweaked flat-four, putting out around 200 horsepower in naturally aspirated guise.

For Toyota to make a business case for putting the FT-86 into production, it's been all but assumed that the RWD coupe would go on sale in markets outside of Japan -- specifically in Europe and North America. However, the Subaru version's fate isn't quite as clear. If earlier reports are any indication, offering an AWD coupe could be a possibility given the coupe's underpinnings. But if it's strictly RWD, McHale hopes consumers can, "forgive us a one-off exception."




[Source: Wards Auto]


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  • 56 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good riddance.

      Subaru would have only stuffed this up like their current range.

      AWD, turbos etc have no place in a lightweight, simplictic sportscar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's right, at least in the US. It'll shatter their brand identity, even if it is a good car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        TankDog. You should read one of Autoblog's "By The Numbers" articles one of these months. Look for one of the few manufacturers in the green...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wouldn't want to mess with that formula that has kept their total USA sales to less than 1/3 of that the Toyota Corolla alone enjoys...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Subaru should just take the wrx, remove the front half the drivetrain, make a few programming and suspension tweaks and have a rwd only model.
      The loss of the weight and drag of the front drivetrain setup should make for a significantly faster and more fun car.
      Ya, it won't tear out of the hole like a bat of of hell, but it won't get passed like it's standing still at 60mph by a rwd car playing catch up either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boxer, what exactly would be the point of another awd subaru to compete against the wrx? IMO, that would just be a waste of time and money.
        Awd is very useful, don't get me wrong, but it's far less fun than a good rwd car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boxer stop being such a fanboi. This whole idea of AWD as a brand image is stupid. Like someone said above, everyone has AWD cars now. They may or may not have the best version of it, that's where they need to focus. Just by making everything AWD doesn't make them better. And as far as this thing goes, if they make it AWD it won't be this car. The way the concept is will not fit the frontdrive mechanicals. If they make it RWD and put an EJ255 or EJ257 in it, it will be different from the FT and it will probably sell. Like Boxer here, there are a lot of fanbois that will buy a rebadged FT from Subaru just because it says Subaru on it. If they put a 2.5L Turbo in it, even better. Ultimately if Toyota makes the the FT supercharged and with about 250/250 HP/TQ and keeps it under 2900 lbs I'll be getting that one anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you not reading?

        Subaru doesn't necessarily WANT a 2WD car.

        And what you describe is the TOYOTA version of the FT-86 project.

        If anything, Toyota should keep the RWD version, with the front-mid-engined chassis...

        And the Subaru version should keep GR Impreza's front superstructure, and it's AWD, as a differentiator.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The old tagline was, 'The Beauty of All Wheel Drive', most recently it's been 'Love. It's What Makes a Subaru, a Subaru.' Seems Subaru has diluted the brand all by themselves.

      Click the link for for vids of each.

      http://www.subarucoupe.com/subaru-brand-dilution
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not like they've always sold only AWD in the US. And they're talking about a niche vehicle. They're going to sell what, 10,000 of these a year? Probably not even that much?

      I wouldn't worry about diluting the brand by building something interesting.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BTW Damon:

      Subaru is not "weary" of bringing a FT-86 variant to the U.S., unless it is exhausted from all the legal red tape. "Wary" or "leery," choose one. ;-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you, PJ. That always drives me crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its a little late in the game for that don't ya think?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Many said that Porsche would diluting its brand identity by making a SUV or Sedan or that Jeep would be diluting its brand identity by making soft roaders like the Compass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In the case of the Cayenne, it reinforced Porsche as a luxury brand as opposed to being a niche sports car brand. So instead of buyers buying a BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Maserati, Mercedes, they now have the option of buying a Cayenne or Panamera as their daily driving status symbol. And still have a Porsche for the weekend.

        Hopefully, the FT-86 will help dilute Toyota's appliance image.

        I know a lot of people who would love a RWD Subaru powered by boxer. I would love a RWD rex. But with the statements by Subaru, I wouldn't get my hopes up. And maybe someone can enlighten me but if they do make the AWD Toyobaru, where in their product lineup would it slot in? below the Impreza RS? Could they even keep the costs down so it fits there?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Subaru Australia has already said they won't be bringing it out (if it remains RWD only) because they want to retain the selling point in Australia of all cars being AWD. Which is fair enough really. No point damaging their brand identity and preventing them from running ads talking about how all Subaru vehicles are AWD, just for a coupe which may or may not sell a lot.

      Seems weird that Subaru Japan wouldn't have made sure in the design stage that the car could easily be made AWD for sale in territories like the US and Australia, but there you go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why are AWD so popular in Australia? It's not like you ever have snow in your cities.

        [scratches head]
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's because the Japanese didn't paint themselves into a corner by saying all subaru cars come in AWD. In Japan they have Subaru cars of every type and every drive train.

        Absolutely ridiculous! They want to keep the image of being rugged/niche, yet their latest designs are the complete opposite. Not only that, but the regular customer will not be looking at the FT86 anyways. There's no reason why they couldn't bring it to the US, other than to play it safe (but, to their credit, they're still doing good sales regardless).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why can't they just make an AWD only SVX from this?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because the obvious hasn't hit them in the head hard enough yet...

        And Subaru tends to think that issues are failures, not opportunities for refinement. Subaru tends to cancel vehicles, rather than improving them. SVX, Impreza Coupe, Baja, and possibly soon Tribeca being among them.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is something that should have beeen considered in the product planning phase before they even gave the green light at the start of development. AWD should have been in the plans from the beginning.
      • 5 Years Ago
      RWD or AWD...dilute or not.. just make it looks good and make it NOW!
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