Toyota, Subaru Rear-Drive Coupe A Go

April 10, 2008
UPDATE: Automotive News is reporting that Toyota has confirmed the arrival of both sportscars for 2011.

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When Toyota bought into Subaru a few years ago, auto pundits assumed that the companies would start sharing brainpower at some point. Now Britain's Autocar magazine says it has the first evidence that the companies are working on a new vehicle together -- a rear-drive sportscar that would be sold by both companies.

Autocar has also published a sketch of one of the cars on its Web site. According to the report, the new car will be a spiritual successor to the Corolla GT from the mid-80s, but will be based on Impreza mechanicals. Priced from about $20,000, it could give Toyota a replacement for its MR2 Spyder and its Celica.

The magazine's sources claim that the new sportscar will be small, light and fast. They also say the 2+2 will be powered by a version of Subaru's 2.0-liter flat-four engine, making it the first Subaru engine to take a place in a Toyota vehicle.

Base cars would have a 175-horsepower version, but the turbocharged 2.5-liter four from Subaru could also make its way into the car. However, Subaru's hallmark all-wheel-drive system would be left off to save weight, or could be available on a single version of the new models.

Subaru will build both cars in a plant in Japan, with a production time frame in 2010.

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