Subaru BRZ and Toyota ‘86’ coming soon
In early 2007 Toyota decided to reignite its performance intentions by asking Subaru for assistance, which resulted in generating the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes
In early 2007 Toyota decided to reignite its performance intentions by asking Subaru for assistance, which resulted in generating the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes.
Subaru is responsible for the coupe's original and ongoing engineering development and its production at the Fuji Heavy Industries' Gunma plant, while Toyota is in charge of body styling and production planning.
The cost of the coupe has not been decided yet, not even for the Japanese market, and if Subaru Australia decides to add it to the local lineup, the coupe will need to stay under Subaru's WRX pricing at a shade under $40K.
It may indeed also introduced to the market at an entry level price of around $25K to $30K, depending on sales expectations.
Both manufacturers know to make the new two-door sporty, accessible, affordable and also liveable, meaning very well suited to everyday travel and functionality. It is not a two-door version of the WRX STI, but the BRZ is all about superb handling and respectable fuel economy before straight-line speed.
Therefore, initially no turbocharged version will be available, with the normally aspirated engine delivering 147kW/205Nm output. Subaru engineers believe much more is possible from the FB20 (a derivative of Impreza's FA 2.0-litre boxer) four-cylinder engine and confirmed that a performance version is already in development. If not, there are plenty of after-market STI type performance bits, wheel and tyre products to make the BRZ look and feel angry.
From the inside, the BRZ's engine will sound amazing, assisted by a new concept onboard audio generator which can generate an aggressively sporty exhaust note through interior speakers.
Top speed for the small coupe is estimated to be over 250km/h and its 0-100km/h time, according to informed sources, is expected to be a shade under 6.9 seconds.
The six-speed auto will have normal and sport modes, the former designed to help economy, bringing earlier shifts, and the sport mode able to hold it in gear until around 6000 revs. Redline is 7000 rpm and max torque develops at around 6500 rpm. In this development, the 86mm x 86mm boxer engine will deliver power progressively.
The BRZ's steering will be electro-assisted for driver input to be met with quick reaction and the ride will be firm but not bone-jarringly rough over less than smooth surfaces.
The auto transmission will offer manual operation via steering wheel paddles while the six-speed manual version inclusive of a quick-shift short-throw stick will not be restricted by any engine management modes.
The engine will sit lower in the engine bay than the suspension strut towers, allowing for the brace bars to be set high and to facilitate a low sloping bonnet. The engine is set well back, the radiator slopes rearwards and even the battery is next to the firewall, all for better front-to-rear weight distribution.
The seating also means front passengers are positioned low and despite the wide windscreen and thin A-pillars, the BRZ has a coupe's compactness and an enhanced wide stance due to its bold wheel arches. The rear seat is only able to accommodate two passengers for short trips as it is more designed for extra cargo space with the seats flipped down.
Toyota's version '86' will come mid-2012 but it won't be any different than the Subaru BRZ. Whatever your choice - Subaru BRZ or Toyota '86' - the power, performance, ride and handling will be very similar.
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