The latest buzz out of Japan indicates that Subaru could be in the process of developing a mid-engined sports car to be positioned as a halo for the brand.
Believed to be testing on an adapted version of the front engined, rear-wheel-drive platform from the BRZ, the new model will offer a mid-mounted boxer engine driving the rear wheels, with a pair of electric motors driving the fronts.
Sources from within Subaru have leaked the information, with the new vehicle apparently under development at the request of Subaru’s United States dealer network.
However, while the mechanical package sounds like something you might find in a Porsche 718 Cayman, according to company insiders the bodystyle for the future performance Subaru may not follow the same lead.
While a traditional coupe body is the frontrunner at this stage, a sports crossover hasn’t been ruled out, which may provide the new car with tenuous links to Subaru’s rally heritage.
The powertrain package currently under development appears to be a reworked version of the 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbo found in the Viziv Future concept, with the electric drive sent to the front wheels instead of the rear - the reverse of the Viziv Future’s setup.
A total system output target of around 250kW is apparently Subaru’s aim, giving the mid-engined prototype an engine output remarkably close to the 257kW Porsche 718 Boxster S.
Neither the future of the BRZ, nor any production plans for this new vehicle have been discussed by Subaru at this stage, but with a second generation BRZ unlikely, a new high performance flagship could be the answer.
It remains to be seen how Subaru will amortise the cost of developing a unique new platform for a low volume sports car, however the answers may lie in the modularity of the recently revealed Subaru Global Platform, which will sit beneath the next generation Impreza.
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