The new sporty is a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota and each will sell unique versions of the final production car.
It is easy to see that Subaru is serious about its upcoming sports car.
It went straight to the Nurburgring in Germany to torture-test the very first prototypes of the two-door go-fast coupe it is jointly developing with Toyota. Carparazzi pictures show a flat-black Subaru with a long, low nose and a cut-off tail with a very Subaru signature shape around the back window and boot area.
It's not unlike the Impreza hatch which has been cannibalised to create the first test hack, although very definitely different in its overall look. But there is a lot more to the car than first pictures of the Toybaru can show. The new sporty is a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota and each will sell unique versions of the final production car.
Toyota came out first with its concept tease on the car, called the FT-86 and revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, but Subaru is doing the hard work on the engineering front.It will be responsible for the chassis, engine and drivetrain, although Toyota will drop its own bodywork over the final mechanical package.
Toyota is likely to re-introduce the Sprinter name when the FT-86 goes into production, but there is nothing concrete yet from Subaru on the new coupe — including its potential for Australian showrooms. It misses a key piece of Subaru Australia DNA, as it will only be rear-wheel drive, although it could still make the cut if there are enough potential customers down under.
Subaru Australia's chief, Nick Senior, has currently ruled it out because it is not all-wheel drive but there is likely to be more pressure to take the car once its on-sale date in the back end of 2011 gets closer.The Nurburgring test car is powered by a 2-litre version of Subaru's signature boxer four, although there is no firm detail on things like turbocharging of the engine.
But the hack is definitely rear-wheel drive and is about the same size as the long-dead Toyota Celica. The test car has all sorts of camouflage gear, some effective and some ... plain silly.
The air diffuser on the rear could have been made from tape and the cardboard box on the boot is clearly not for production and covering something much more useful.