Last year we reported on the possibility that Toyota was working in conjunction with Subaru on a modern version of the 80?s AE86 Sprinter, an affordable sports car in the classic front-engined rear-wheel-drive format that makes enthusiasts blush. It now looks as though there was some truth to the rumours, with Japanese magazines claiming the new sports car could arrive as early as 2009.
Still believed to be a collaborative effort between Toyota and Subaru, there are said to be two versions being considered, a cheap GT model (AE86 successor?) and an AWD GT-Four high performance version ? this should bring a smile to the faces of fans of the old Celica GT-Four variants.
There is likely to be both a coupe and three-door hatch version of both variants, with the base GT featuring an atmo 2.0-litre Subaru four-cylinder boxer engine. The GT-Four may be equipped with a retuned version of Subaru?s Impreza STi turbo-charged boxer four-cylinder. Handling will be optimised by locating the engine as far back in the engine bay as possible and there may even be the option of individual electric motors in the wheels to aid traction in the GT-Four.
If the Japanese mags can be believed then this is great news, although the idea of a car wearing the Toyota badge featuring the offbeat idle of a Subaru boxer four will take some getting used to...