Don't Expect Subaru To Follow Toyota To Mazda For BRZ RWD Platform

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

According to Car & Driver, the folks in Toyota City are smitten with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. So much so they’re considering using the platform for the next Toyota GT86, sold as the Scion FR-S in North America.

The rumor states what goes for Toyota goes for Subaru’s sports car – the BRZ – as well. I’m not so sure about that.

“If Toyota were to employ the MX-5’s chassis, it would be on the next-generation FT86,” Car & Driver was told by a source.

The source says nothing specifically about the BRZ, though the magazine infers the Miata platform will also be used on the next sporty Subaru. However, Subaru may be smart to forego a second generation BRZ altogether.

Currently, the Toyobaru triplets are produced by Subaru in Ōta, Japan. The company is currently capacity constrained. Subaru will stop producing Camrys for Toyota at their Indiana facility in 2016 in order to claw back some of its own capacity to build the Legacy and Outback, the most popular model at Subaru. This shift to the Mazda platform could be a way for Subaru to get out of the RWD platform business and focus more on core models or variations thereof.

Mazda is building the MX-5 at their own facility in Japan and will build the forthcoming Fiat 124 Spider upon its debut. Considering Mazda and Toyota have been getting cozier as of late with a new facility in Mexico building the new Mazda2 along with the Scion iA/Toyota Yaris Sedan, Toyota could also move RWD sports car production to Mazda’s facility in Japan alongside the new Miata.

This would free up capacity for Subaru at their Ōta plant to build other models currently in demand.

So, if Toyota does see the MX-5 Miata platform as a solution for the next generation GT86 and Scion FR-S, don’t expect Subaru to follow suit.

[Photo credit: AutoGuide/Adam Wood]

Mark Stevenson
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  • Durishin Durishin on Jun 28, 2015

    Will Subaru's FA20F flat 4 fit? Nope. Didn't think so either. Next...

  • Kvndoom Kvndoom on Jun 28, 2015

    A non-convertible Miata coupe at last?? Man, now my interest is piqued!

    • JMII JMII on Jun 29, 2015

      Mine too. Its understandable that Subaru will not follow Toyota's path, after all what kind of frankencar would this new BRZ be? A Mazda body with Toyota running gear with a Subaru engine? Maybe Ford can supplied the audio system and GM the transmission with Fiat putting the wheels on? A better question is why is little old Mazda the only company that seems to be able to make such a car successful to begin with.

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