Tony O'Kane | May 15, 2008

That's the word according to Holiday Auto, who published these renderings of the forthcoming Subaru low-cost sports car, which will share its architecture with Toyota's new cheap RWD coupe.

Previous speculation had Subaru's version of lightweight sports platform delivering power to all four wheels via Fuji Heavy Industry's familiar Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system. However, with Toyota calling the shots on the project, it has been decided that the Subaru-sourced EJ20 flat-four motor will be mounted as far behind the suspension towers as possible in an effort to reduce polar moment of inertia and promote excellent handling. Unfortunately, such an engine configuration prohibits the use of a regular Subaru gearbox, which incorporates the transfer case and front differential and requires the entire engine block to be forward of the front axle centreline.

Of course, Subaru could simply develop their own unique engine crossmember with different mounting points in order to permit the use of Impreza running gear, but would it be so bad if they didn't? Some say that introducing a non-AWD car to the Subaru line-up would harm the brand's image as a producer of unshakable and weatherproof cars, but Subaru already sell a FWD version of the new Impreza in the Japanese domestic market. Then again, offering a car with the exact same handling dynamics as one sold by another manufacturer does seem like commercial suicide...

Regardless, this is all idle speculation for now, and speculation is a dish best served with a grain of salt. We'll wait for an official announcement from Subaru themselves before we start countin' those chickens, thank you very much.

Toyota Subaru lightweight sports car Holiday Auto rendering

[Source: Holiday Auto via 7Tune]

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