TOKYO — As if paying homage to Subaru, Toyota is co-developing a new lineup of rear-wheel-drive sporty coupes employing a revised version of the Subaru Impreza’s platform, boxer engine and transmission. Toyota’s largest contribution to the mix will be product planning and its impeccable quality control.
The Toyota model, still to be named, will be sold exclusively in Japan, while the Subaru-badged model will be marketed worldwide. The mechanical package will be identical, but both Toyota and Subaru will create exterior designs to differentiate their cars from each other.
The basis for this new radical project is to take Subaru’s well-known 4WD powertrain and modify it to create a new rear-wheel-drive setup. Slated to be built at Subaru’s Gunma plant in Japan, both Toyota and Subaru models will employ a revised version of the naturally aspirated boxer 2.0-liter unit generating around 220 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox from the current Impreza WRX STI.
Surprisingly, the joint Toyota-Subaru R&D team has chosen the out-of-production, front-wheel-drive Honda Integra Type R as its benchmark, because its styling, performance parameters and dimensions mirror what the development team wants to create.
Expected to ride on a 103-inch wheelbase, the 2,866-pound coupes will use a 2+2 seating configuration.
Slated for a late 2011 debut, the coupes are expected to be priced starting just under $20,000.
What this means to you: Good times on the horizon for fans of low-end rear-wheel-drive coupes
I like it. :eekdance: