It's no secret that Toyota and Subaru have been jointly developing a sports coupe as Toyota's version, dubbed the FT-86, made its debut at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show in conceptual form. We've yet to see the Subaru variant in its finalized sheetmetal, but Motor Trend's spy photographers managed to catch the sporty two-door testing in Europe.
Don't let the funky-looking body bring you down. Like previous spy photos, the car shown here appears to be a development mule, which utilizes an awkward coupe body crafted from random bits of Impreza sheetmetal. Given the enormous hood scoop, it's a safe bet that this particular prototype is an STI variant. Recent reports suggest such a vehicle will either utilize a turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer-four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger, or a larger 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer-four with a single-scroll turbo. Although U.S.-spec Impreza WRX models are fitted only with the 2.5-liter engine, buyers in other markets -- notably Japan -- can order the car with either powerplant.
We expect a similar situation to arise with this new sports coupe, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Subaru further expand the engine portfolio. Base cars could possibly use a normally-aspirated, 2.0-liter flat-four-cylinder, while the WRX's 265-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter engine may also join the range.
At this point, it's still unclear if Subaru's two-door will adopt the company's hallmark all-wheel-drive system, or if it will simply keep the rear-wheel-drive arrangement used on its Toyota sibling. We wouldn't be too surprised to see Subaru implement the all-wheel-drive system to help bolster its performance credentials while simultaneously appeasing the brand's die-hard fans.
If all goes according to plan, we'll likely learn more about the coupe later next year, as reports suggest the Subaru coupe could launch at either the 2011 Frankfurt or Tokyo motor shows. Stay tuned to Automobile Magazine as more news on the Toyobaru project develops.
Source: Motor Trend