REPORTS CIRCULATING in the Japanese automotive media say Subaru won’t be gifting its own rebadged version of the upcoming Toyota RWD sports coupe with an all-wheel-drive drivetrain.
Previous rumours had the Subaru-badged two-door utilizing a shortened version of the Liberty’s platform along with the WRX’s AWD drivetrain. However, cost blow-outs have reportedly prompted Subaru to dump its plans for AWD and instead use the same RWD layout as the Toyota.
Not much is known about what engine will power the Subaru coupe (codenamed 216A). With the Toyota expected to use a naturally-aspirated boxer four, the 216A may be positioned as a more upmarket offering and feature the turbocharged, 2.0 litre flat four from the Japanese-market WRX.
The Japanese rumour-mill also says that Subaru’s car will share the majority of its bodywork with the Toyota coupe, with only the bumpers, headlights and sheetmetal forward of the A-pillars being different.
An introduction date for the Subaru Coupe is still unknown, and so far development mules spied testing in Japan (above) have given no clues about the production car’s shape.
However, with the Subaru’s mechanical specs now so perilously close to those of the Toyota, odds are high that the impending Subaru coupe may be restricted to the Japanese market only to prevent cannibalisation of Toyota sales.
With Toyota’s FT-86-based RWD coupe due to go on sale in 2012, don’t expect to see Subaru’s coupe breaking cover anytime soon.