Earlier in the week, we reported that the joint Toyota and Subaru entry-level rear-wheel-drive project is still on the go, and that we should expect to see it some time around 2012.
While our mail would indicate that the body shape has been largely finalised, there remains some mystery as to the choice of powertrain and driveline.
This may be becoming a little clearer as news today is that the platform of choice for the project ? titled ?O86A? (or 086A) ? is likely to be that used by the upcoming Subaru Legacy (sold in Australia as the Liberty).
The main point of difference between the two cars, mechanically, is that the ?Toyobaru? is expected to sit on a marginally shorter wheelbase.
The O86A is expected to share the Legacy?s front strut suspension and rear multi-link setup.
The two companies have apparently also confirmed that the engine to be used is a direct injection version of Subaru's naturally aspirated 2.0 litre EJ20 engine ? a decision sure to annoy those hoping for a turbo, but perhaps please those expecting a smaller capacity.
The development team for the ?Subota? has aimed for a 1.0 litre to 100ps (74kW) ratio, making for a total power output of 148kW (198hp) at 7200rpm, and some 200Nm of torque coming online at 4000rpm.
The Toyota and Subaru versions of the car are expected to be identical mechanically, with slight variations aesthetically ? and of course wearing each company?s family face (whatever that will be in 2012).
The major point of concern for many eagerly awaiting the O86A ? especially the younger fans ? is the price. From the outset, Toyota has promised that it would be aiming to ensure that if anything about the car is ?entry level?, it?ll be the price.
Initially the target price point was ?2,000,000 (AU$31,050, US$20,150), but that price is now looking to be closer to ?2.5m (AU$38,830, US$25,180).
Of course, whether the car would even sell for that much in Australia (or the US) is tough to say, but keeping the local price under AU$40k would seem a wise move.
Rumours have it that we could expect to see a camouflaged O86A hit the Nurburgring as early as April this year.
The latest expected specifications are below.
|Engine||4 Cylinder EJ20 Direct Injection Petrol|
|Power||148kW @ 7200rpm|
|Torque||200Nm @ 4000rpm|
|Transmission||Traditional six-speed manual|