More Toyobaru Details Emerge

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
more toyobaru details emerge

Can you tell we're a little excited about the planned Toyota-Subaru joint RWD sports coupe? Well, the more we learn, the more we want to know, and luckily Edmunds Inside Line has some new info on the project. The coupe's RWD platform will be developed from Subaru's existing AWD architecture, and will be powered by "a revised version of (Subaru's) naturally aspirated boxer 2.0-liter unit generating around 220hp." We're guessing that Subies 2.0 won't make that many ponies without a turbo, so maybe Edmunds got the "naturally aspirated" part wrong. Since the Integra Type R is identified the project's performance benchmark, expect a 0-60 time of about 6 seconds. With 220hp pushing only 2,866 lbs. using an STI-sourced six-speed manual, it sounds like the Toyobaru is going to be up to task. And maybe it's time to stop calling it a Toyobaru. The coupe will be based on Subaru kit and built at Subaru's Gunma factory, while Toyota's main contributions will be in the areas of planning and quality control. In fact, the Toyota version (little more than revised exterior styling) won't even be offered outside of Japan. Then again, if you could buy a sub-3k pound, 220 hp RWD coupe from Subaru with ToMoCo quality control, why on earth would you be tempted by the same thing with a Toyota badge?

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  • JJ JJ on May 29, 2008
    I’m thinking that this won’t be sold here as a Subaru. One of Subie’s main marketing schticks is that they’re dedicated to AWD. A RWD coupe just doesn’t fit into that image. I’m leaning towards the idea it’ll be peddled here as a Scion, possibly a tC replacement. I'm thinking no... The AWD-only thing isn't just used for the US, as far as I'm aware, Subaru uses it all over the world. Although in Europe they have yet again started to offer a FWD Justy recently after a period of only offering AWD, that car is nothing more than a Daihatsu (ie, Toyota) with a Subaru badge on it, added to the Subaru line-up to make the average CO2 emmissions of the entire line-up look good to the eco-terrorist politicians...Like some have mentioned above, Subaru used to offer FWD models in the US as well, although clearly they were not part of their core products. Another thing...I think the AWD marketing isn't as much focused on the technical side of AWD (because, let's face it, unless you're living in Canada, most of us really don't need AWD and because it makes the car heavier and less fuel efficient are probably better of without it), but to convey the image of something superior to FWD...and in terms of driving dynamics and perception RWD is that too... Anyway, by your logic they would not introduce this new RWD car as a Subaru anywhere, since in the entire world it would mess with their AWD marketing, since they might get away with an econobox nobody recognizes as a Subaru anyway, but a sporty coupe is another story, it not having AWD will get noticed. If they'd want to avoid that, they would have developed it as a Toyota or Scion in the first place, because it would make no sense at all to develop it as a Subaru if your never going to bring it to market as a Subaru... I'd say it will be offered as a Subaru. And I say that eventhough I know the previous 04-07 Subaru Justy was a 4*4 Suzuki Ignis which used to be a 01 Chevrolet/Holden Cruze.

  • Mrb00st Mrb00st on May 29, 2008


  • Chui Chui on May 29, 2008

    Well, I love the benchmark vehicle for it's handling, steering and chassis balance. I like similar things about the Miata and S2000 but I'm not a roadster guy so I welcome it. Let's hope they can keep the vehicle narrow-focused (not likely) or at least offer us a "Type R" version of said vehicle. I'd be all over it. Downside Coupes will not sell well in 2011 if the current economic conditions are any barometer. The struggling dollar will see to it that fuel prices (and the price of everything else) will not recede. Great concept but just too late. It's also a car Honda should have built...

  • Kph Kph on May 29, 2008

    Subaru in the early 90's is drastically different from Subaru now. Subaru was a small player struggling in the U.S. market. They needed to be recognized for something. In the long term, if Subaru wants to get bigger than what they are now, they're going to need broader appeal. By styling the new Imprezas and Tribecas so conservatively, they're simply sacrificing their character to do just that. They'll easily drop the AWD requirement if they have a plan on keeping their reputation for well-designed AWD cars.