A joint-venture between Toyota and Subaru to build a rear-drive sporty coupe has so far produced several different concept cars, agonizing anticipation for enthusiasts, and near-endless speculation regarding the tech specs of the final car. Autocar adds to that latter, as the British publication unearthed a few interesting facts that may shed some light on Subaru’s version of the Toyota FT-86, the upcoming BRZ.
What we know from the press conference held at last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show is that the rear-drive layout of the BRZ will allow Subaru to place the 2.0-liter boxer engine lower in the chassis than it could normally sit in one of the company’s all-wheel-drive cars. Given this fact, Subaru could be correct in its claim that the BRZ will have the lowest center of gravity of any production car when it finally goes on sale. Although the so-called “Toyobaru” is a collaborative effort, Subaru has done most of the heavy lifting on the engineering front.
However, Subaru confirmed to Autocar that the BRZ’s boxer-four will utilize a direct-injection system developed by Toyota. Another thing the British publication learned was that the BRZ could pack more than the roughly 200 hp of the Toyota FT-86. Speaking to Autocar at the Frankfurt show last month, Subaru’s product planning chief and head of BRZ development Toshio Masuda said the 2.0-liter boxer-four would produce “less than 300 hp.” As for just how far south of that 300-hp cap the final pony count will be, it’s anyone’s guess right now.
Though the final design of the car is kept tightly under wraps even for a few Subaru higher-ups, Autocar learned from insiders that the BRZ will be differentiated from the Toyota model primarily by the grille and bumpers. A roadster version could be in store for the future, though that option is still under consideration by Subaru’s top brass. Autocar reports that Subaru has confirmed the Volkswagen Scirocco (sadly, a model only available abroad) as the main competitor for the BRZ, and the UK-based buff book expects pricing to fall within the range of the sporty VW. The Scirocco starts at 19,845 GBP in the UK, or roughly $31,748 U.S. by today’s conversion rates. Keep in mind, though, that cars tend to sticker for a bit less when they arrive on this side of the pond.
Even without a final price announcement, eager enthusiasts in the UK are already lining up for the BRZ, registering their interest with Subaru’s dealer network through the company’s website. Will those fans be disappointed once they have the full details regarding Subaru’s rear-drive coupe? We’ll know next month, when the BRZ is officially unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.