Toyota has officially revealed plans for its upcoming sports car co-development program with Fuji Heavy Industries, who owns the Subaru brand. The compact rear wheel drive car will feature a Subaru boxer engine, and both Toyota and Subaru will market the car separately under its respective badges. It will be built on a new Subaru platform, but will be designed by Toyota.
“I think there is high potential for this car. We haven’t had a sports car for a long time. This is a long-awaited-for model. Pricing would be not prohibitively high,” said Toyota Motor Corp CEO Katsuaki Watanabe. The car should be quite fun indeed, with rear wheel drive dynamics and that rumbly boxer engine note.
Since FHI president Ikuo Mori says he has personally driven a test version of the car and is pleased with it, development must have been going on for quite some time now. The car will be launched in 2011.
Other Toyota-FHI joint ventures will also increase, and FHI will stop producing compact vehicles of its own design. It will use Daihatsu badge engineered vehicles instead. The Subaru Justy based on the Daihatsu Boon was the first such Daihatsu-based compact vehicle, with the next one set to be a Subaru-badged Daihatsu Coo in October 2008.
Also confirmed is Toyota’s increase in Subaru stakeholding from the current 8.7% up to 16.5% in a deal valued at 31.1 billion yen (US$311 million).