• Mar 13th 2010 at 10:31AM
  • 91
Toyota/Subaru Coupe test mule – Click above to enlarge

Japan's Best Car (via 7Tune) apparently reports that development costs associated with Subaru's version of the Toyota FT-86 sport coupe have become so high that all-wheel drive is now being dropped from the equation. If true, this would deprive the widely-expected Scooby coupe of the feature the brand's entire marketing platform is built on, likely leaving us with a pair of clones whose only major difference will be styling. To that end, it's also reported that an effort is underway to more substantially differentiate the Subaru coupe's look from the Toyota FT-86 beyond grilles and badges.

Of course, nothing's official until these cars are formally introduced, but yanking AWD from the Subaru effectively leaves us with a Japanese version of GM's old Camaro/Firebird scenario, assuming both cars really do come to market. Frankly, it's hard to see why Subaru would even bother going with this sans all-wheel drive coupe, though the Herculean PR spin they'd have to put on it would likely be hugely entertaining ("This is what we wanted all along...").

So, let's hear what you think. Follow the jump for a poll on how a lack of AWD would impact your interest in the presumed Subaru version of the Toyota FT-86. Thanks to Johnny for the tip!

[Source: 7Tune via FT86Club.com]
Would you consider a non-AWD Subaru version of the Toyota FT-86 coupe?
Yes. The more rear-drive options available to enthusiasts, the better. Period. 1026 (18.4%)
No. AWD would provide a distinct choice vs. the Toyota. RWD makes the Subaru a fancy rebadge. 4276 (76.5%)
I wouldn't consider this car in the first place, regardless of its drivetrain. 287 (5.1%)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ shiftitmanual

      correct me if im wrong but werent some mid 90's subies fwd (the base models)?
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Alex Nunez - and that has what to do with subaru? subaru is a brand that's made a name for themselves offering an entire awd lineup, dropping that for rwd because of bean counters at toyota is not going to make anyone happy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      About every 8 years subaru comes out with a clunker. The Baja was a clunker (good idea but it really should have been the BRAT not a 4dr). The Tribecca is a clunker (i cant even find one in a dealership), and now this. They should have learned form the rebadger SAABaru. This will be a clunker in sales number stoo, unless Toyo problems get worse., then they moight get sales on name. What will truly decide sales i cost, and having two partners compete after eachother is going to be tricky. It is what drove GM (one of many reasons) into the ground.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is going to be about as popular as a FWD Jeep. Wait.....
        • 5 Years Ago

        Who do you think a small RWD coupe appeals to?

        Enthusiasts. Mainstream buyers buy more practical vehicles anyway.

        There will be some enthusiasts who will like this, who don't need anything more practical than a tiny, RWD coupe.

        If it we are talking Toyota or a Mazda, there is some merit

        But Subaru isn't Mazda, and shouldn't be made into a Toyota. Subaru's appeal is being something else. Subaru is it's own piece of diversity in the car market.

        When Subaru is no longer diverse, and is just copying what other brands do... it dilutes it's own relevance.

        A RWD car makes some sense for Toyota, and will be sold as such. A copy-cat Subaru just dilutes Subaru's alternative standing, and doesn't give AWD enthusiasts an option, where Subaru IS SUPPOSED TO BE the AWD Enthusiast's option.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right...the 'enthusiasts' are bitter about the possibility of this, but enthusiast buyers are almost by definition a minority of buyers. The general buying public will see a pricetag and a possibly decently styled car.

        This would definitely open the door for a cheaper Golf R model (w/awd)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Keep in mind...

      When Subaru sold FWD cars, even FWD SVXs....

      They were in Chassis that were designed for AWD.

      They were offered OPTIONALLY with AWD, not FWD ONLY

      They were still longitudinal layout, not transverse.... because the cars were build for AWD, they were just left without the rear section of the drivetrain. Frankly they could have just as easily been left without the front differential and half-shafts for about the same effort, and been RWD/AWD optional.

      The R1 and R2 city cars with tiny engines and SmartCar type footprint are the only modern era subarus that weren't designed for AWD from the drawing board.

      If this car is RWD only, it won't be taken all that seriously by Subaru and AWD performance enthusiasts, and may as well have been left to Toyota alone. And this car has very little audience other than enthusiasts.

      As I wrote earlier this evening, but later in the thread... Subaru is being molded into Toyota's Mini-Me.

      If I wanted a Toyota, I would buy a Toyota... but I don't. Let Toyota re-create the AE86. That wasn't a Subaru. GL, XT, SVX, and 2.5RS were Subarus, and were AWD Coupes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      jcar302 is dead on.

      These coupes will appeal to only a small segment: people into slow japanese
      cars. They will go down in history as rwd Scion tCs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Subaru markets itself as all AWD, at least here in the US. A RWD Subaru would dilude that. Also, differentiating it from the Toyota version would really help.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyway this is just a rumor from a magazine. Not an official statement from Subaru.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's to hoping that the Subaru variant can differentiate itself from Toyota similar to how the Nissan Z and Inifiniti G are concerned. I know my anology would make more sense if we were talking about Lexus and Toyota but I'm confident Subaru can give us something that's genuinely "subaru" without the AWD.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the concept car is to be bleeding there was no room for the FWD components anyway. The hood is much lower than that of any Subaru currently sporting a 2.5L boxer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Leaving AWD out of the release version would let them release an STi version (or whatever else they want to call it...) with more power, AWD, and a higher pricetag. All depending on how well the market takes to the RWD model.
      • 5 Years Ago
      AWD is so overrated, unless you live in alaska, you simply don't need awd, learn how to drive, awd doesn't help you stopping or turning. I'll take a lighter, nimbler and more fuel efficient version of a car any day, that's what you lose if you add heavy unsprung weight of differentials, drive shafts and other mechanicals. Car market is seriously devoid of anything that's lightweight and rwd and affordable, that's what these two product offerings promise to fill.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When you learn to drive, perhaps you'll appreciate the beauty of mini-drifting through turns, being able to leave RWD/FWD cars in the dust in the rain and still have a vehicle you can drive up to the mountains and in the mud with an ear to ear smile on your face.

        And it does help you through turns. Wet and muddy ones.
        • 5 Years Ago
        'AWD' is marketing nonsense.
        Four wheel drive does help you stop, if you are using the throttle to slow the engine, which slows the transmission, which slows the center differential, which slows your front & rear differentials.
        With the fusion of traction & stability control (e.g. VW xds), your car's drivetrain now does help to induce yaw.

        If you rip out the center differential, front differential, and ancillary hardware from a Subaru, you are less than 150 lbs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I do live in the icy, snowy North (WI), but please give me this car (or the Toyota) with RWD. A good set of snow tires works better than AWD, and I'd go for the lighter weight over the AWD any day.
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