By on October 13, 2009

Or is that awkwardly promising? (

The guys at SpeedLux caught the Subaru version of the Toyobaru coupe practicing for the big dance at the Nurburgring. It sure isn’t as pretty as Toyota’s FT-86 concept, but Subaru’s brand faithful won’t let that get in their way. Of course there’s the minor detail that this is a mule, not a concept, but given Subaru’s perennial styling challenges, this might just be as good as it gets. Looks aside though, the shared boxer engine and Subaru-developed RWD driveline make it clear that the FT-86 will be the poser rebadge of the two coupes. Which is why it’s preening in Tokyo while the Subaru is running reps on the Norschleife. Here’s hoping we won’t have to stretch so far to determine the difference between Toyota and Subaru versions when they hit the market sometime in 2012-ish.

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24 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Sube Coupe Looks Promisingly Awkward Edition...”

  • avatar

    That’s a good looking car. I’d put it on my shortlist if it were for sale.

  • avatar

    It’a a mule, so absolutes on looks are impossible at this point.
    But Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

    How might Subaru market a RWD-only car given their AWD emphasis for many years.

  • avatar

    Hideous. Looks like a WRX with the back half chopped off. Seriously, it looks like a photchop. The proportions are all wrong.

  • avatar

    Are you really criticizing the looks of a test mule?


  • avatar

    THIS IS NOT WHAT THE ACTUAL VEHICLE WILL LOOK LIKE. The bumper, headlights, and fenders are from an Impreza STI, with the fenders modded to have more sheet metal between the wheelwells and doors. The greenhouse is also a hacked up Impreza. These were off the shelf parts that they could mangle to create a “body”. It is obvious that the greenhouse is from a sedan/hatch with it being so vertical.

    I’m happy to see the wheel placement where it is. It looks as if the wheels are pushed toward the corners which means Subaru’s understeering AWD system likely won’t fit and this has a chance of being a light, balanced finesse car.

  • avatar

    I realize that this is clearly a development mule with parts-bin body panels tacked on, but it really looks just like an enlarged version of the old BMW Z3/M Coupe. Like, literally, seperated at birth similar.

  • avatar

    “I’m happy to see the wheel placement where it is. It looks as if the wheels are pushed toward the corners…”

    You mean besides the enormous front overhang?

  • avatar

    It’s clearly a development mule – probably made from a chopped Impreza so it’s a little early to be passing judgment on aesthetics.

  • avatar

    In addition to being a mule, the car is clearly heavily camouflaged, precisely so that the photos won’t accurate. At this stage, you would need an artists rendering to guess how it may look stripped of the coverings, etc.

  • avatar

    I’m optimistic about the looks. It seems to have good proportions overall. There are a couple little oddities, but there is also a LOT of camo there distorting things. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the final product looks like.

  • avatar

    Low cowl, high greenhouse. Isn’t that what we’ve all been bitching for, or have did we forget that low cowl/high greenhouse looks dorky?

  • avatar

    Looks like the deformed offspring of a mating between a BMW Z3 Coupe and an XR4ti. Eek.

  • avatar

    On the bright side, if your back your new Subie into a pole after having a couple of beers you can simply carry on and nobody will notice.

    Just kidding. Actually, “promisingly awkward” says it best… I look forward to seeing the real deal.

  • avatar

    M3 coupe was my first thought, too. Not the worst design to crib if you’re Subaru.

    Hopefully it will be a compelling product in both Subie and Toyota guise.

  • avatar

    I realize that is cammo on top of a mule, but I still think its the best design out of Subaru in at least a generation. I’m digging the Z3 Coupe proportions.

  • avatar

    Sabastian : You mean besides the enormous front overhang?

    Well, there isn’t much they can do with the overhang considering they are using an off the shelf STI front bumper. Hint: The bumper on the mule contains much more volume than the production model will need. Thus, when the production model arrives, it won’t have the huge overhang. Come on folks, I expect better out of TTAC’s B&B.

  • avatar

    HaHa Subi fan boys are sure sensitive. It’s a Subaru it’s supposed to be ugly as F***. I wonder what the Toyota and Lexus versions will look like.
    If that is such a mule, does that mean it is still years away, or we will never see it?
    Why would they take such a crude POS to the ring?

  • avatar

    Why would they take such a crude POS to the ring?

    Errr…. Data collection perhaps? Tyre choice, suspension settings, engine mapping, transmission ratios, steering assist/rate, seat comfort, air-con, stereo volume needed at 120mph…

    The list is probably endless.

    Given Toyota have a track to themselves (Fuji) should they need it, I think the more likely answer is to piss people in blogs off, or annoy Honda/Hyundai.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    My God, the test driver must’ve backed it into a wall at 40 mph!

    Okay, that’s too harsh. I’ll reserve judgment until the finished product. I agree that (barring, perhaps, the Legacy) endearing ugliness has become almost mandatory for Subarus, there’s a very thin line between endearing and revolting. Case in point: the current egg-shaped Impreza with the face of a baleen whale.

    Actually, it reminds me of the late ’90s 2.5RS coupes. Always liked those.

  • avatar

    I hope that they’re channeling the Alfa Brera, that sweet little hatch (That’ll never make it here)

  • avatar

    First off, Scooby Doos are always either ugly or weird, this one is no different, just so long as they keep the weight and price down.

    Secoindly, Why are car magazines and manufacturers so obsessed with this Nerdbergthing?

    There are other race-tracks for testing cars and anyway most people drive on roads with speed bumps, pot-holes and expansion gaps. Can we have a car that can get around these in under 8 minutes please?

  • avatar

    The list is endless

    Yea and without correct aero forces the data useless. You have to ship it to Germany for that?
    This is a PR Mule for blogs to chatter about, it appears to be working.

  • avatar

    Mashed-up Impreza wagon fake. As someone above points out, much greater distance from wheel well to front of door than in AWD or FWD Subies, so she’s a RWD chassis, with engine set-back not suitable for AWD.
    Clever, bet it looks nothing like this in the end — it’s a camouflage of a camouflaqe.

  • avatar

    Doesn’t make any sense for Subaru to give up their AWD rep for this sedan. Not one bit. Enthusiasts who buy Subys will buy an Impreza which as real racing bones and is moddable to hell.

    Toyota desperately needs this car. If the platform is sufficiently flexible, they could take it up market with bigger engines to remake the Supra as a modded up Celica duology that actually would make financial sense. It could also form the basis of a sportier IS and even a small Lexus roadster.

    If the price is above $25K, it will be DOA versus the 370z though.

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