Back in 2008, Toyota and Subaru set out to make a RWD sports car that would take advantage of both of their strengths, and later details and images of these car made their way into our pages and put giant smiles on our faces. We would think that the next step would be the unveiling of production versions of the Toyota FT-86 and the Subaru FT-86, but instead, Subaru is taking a step back by unveiling the RWD Concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Really? Give us a break!
Featuring Subaru’s horizontally-opposed Boxer engine, the RWD Concept will allow the company to show potential buyers just how Subaru proposes to integrate this expertise into a rear-wheel drive car to offer a new and highly enjoyable, Subaru-like driving experience.
A production version of the Subaru RWD Coupe - ahem, the Subaru FT-86 - is expected by the end of the 2011.
Next to the RWD Concept, Subaru will also display the Impreza concept and the new Trezia.
UPDATE 02/22/2011: Subaru has released the first teaser image of their BOXER Sports Car Architecture set to make its world debut at the Geneva motor Show. Check it out!
Hit the jump for more details on the Subaru RWD Sports Car Technology Concept.
Exterior and Interior
Based on an all-new platform, the RWD Coupe will be inspired by the classic rear-drive AE86 Toyota Corolla GT coupe from the 1980s, but, the Subaru version will also get some of its design from the Impreza. However, it will shortened, lightened, and have a coupe body.
The Rear-Wheel Drive Sports Car Technology Concept will be powered by a 2.0-liter flat four engine that will deliver 175bhp (for the naturally aspired version). Subaru will also unveil a 2.5-liter turbocharged version few months after the standard version.
For this project, Subaru has given up the standard four-wheel drive system in order to save weight. Both companies will adopt the RWD system in order to make the car more compact, lightweight, and faster.
Pricing and Sales Date
Since this is a concept, the car will obviously not be going on sale. However the production version is said to be had for a base price of under $25,000, while the STI may hit $35,000.
The main market for the upcoming model will be North America, but will also be offered in Japan and Europe.
We don’t really care about the competition for a concept because we’ll never get a chance to ride around in one, but the production version will no doubt be competing with Subaru’s partner for top FT-86 ranking. There have been rumors that Toyota’s FT-86 may be rebadged as a Scion which may give Subaru the upper hand.
Another competitor for the Subaru RWD Concept will be the next generation Mazda MX-5 which is scheduled to be produced in 2013. This model will be powered by a newly developed four-cylinder engine with up to 160 hp. It will be a direct injection engine and will come with a start-stop system, giving it a slight upper-hand against the Subaru. Of course, the Subaru will be working with a few more horses so that upper-hand may not matter to some.
Cheaper than its competitors
Combined efforts may make for a stronger vehicle
Sporty exterior design
Only a concept so it’s really irrelevant
Taking too long to come to fruition