11 June 2008

Toyota hearts Subaru

Japanese firms get jiggy to produce rear-wheel-drive coupe. We approve

Subayota SVXMR2

Toyota and Subaru are lighting the scented candles, cranking up the Marvin Gaye and settling down for a frantic bout of rear-wheel-drive coupe-making.

Yes, the two Japanese companies have confirmed that they are combining to develop a pair of rear-drive sports cars, set to arrive in late 2010.

This is big news: Toyota has quietly slipped out of the performance car game with the demise of the Supra, Celica and MR2, while Subaru hasn't had a proper coupe since the SVX, which died in 1997.

Some less reputable sites have published so-called first-sketches of the coupe, but naturally we've taken the far more sensible measure of taping together a SVX and an MR2 for our interpretation. What do you think? No?

The coupes' engines will come from Subaru, so expect a two-litre, four-cylinder boxer followed by a version of the 2.5-litre boxer found in the Impreza STi.

In fact, both cars could sit on a modified Impreza platform, but word is that they'll differ significantly in the looks department.

Probably good news for Toyota, that, given Subaru's penchant for, erm, unadventurous styling.

We mock, but the thought of a pair of tail-happy coupes with a boxer thrum and Japanese build quality makes us inordinately happy.

The only question is what to call the joint development: the Subayota SVXMR2 doesn't really have much of a ring to it...

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