Toyobaru coupe to launch at Tokyo Motor Show
The long awaited debut of Toyota and Subaru's jointly developed coupe project is to go ahead at next month's Tokyo Motor Show.
Originally dubbed the Toyobaru - the two cars share the same chassis, engine and gearbox - the finished products will actually be quite different when they eventually land in the UK next summer.
Toyota's FT-86 coupe will hark back to the days of the original rear-wheel drive AE-86 Corolla favoured by Japanese drifters and aims to entice driving enthusiasts out of their VW Golfs and Sciroccos and into the Japanese firm's dynamically-focused coupe.
Toyota have aimed it squarely at VW too, highlighting the fact that the FT-86 will tip the scales at just 1100kg. That's over 200kg lighter than a Scirocco.
With an expected price tag of just £20,000 it'll undercut the Scirocco by nearly ten grand as well. Toyota also claim that the dampers will be of a much higher spec than any £20,000 car has any right to ride on – they certainly haven't scrimped where it counts – and that the car's chassis is being tuned with a European flavour.
With 200bhp on tap courtesy of Subaru's flat-four motor, a paltry kerb weight and a chassis that should delight when the going gets twisty, the FT-86 will be a serious driving prospect and will have the potential to embarrass much more expensive machinery.
If you're attacking your favourite section of back road in your 911 and see one of these things in your rear-view mirror, we'd just pull over and let it past.
If you'd like a bit more oomph however, then Subaru's take on the joint-coupe, the BRZ, should do.
The Japanese firm, well known for its rally specials of the venerable Impreza, confirmed to Autocar that the BRZ will push out just less than 300bhp thanks to some electronic trickery with the cars ECU – a mod we're sure more than a few Toyota owners will make given both cars similar DNA.
But for your extra horses you'll have to cough up another £5,000 over the Toyota's asking price.
Unusually for Subaru though, there won't be a four-wheel drive version as both cars will use a conventional limited-slip differential (that'll please the drifters) and will be mechanically almost identical with only a few minor tweaks with wheel designs and around the front grille to set the two coupes apart.
If you're looking for wind-in-the-hair motoring then you'll have to look elsewhere too as Subaru has also ruled out a convertible version of its BRZ.