Sketches of Subaru's half of the 'Toyobaru' Toyota-Subaru small coupe project leak out
These design sketches reveal some of Subaru's plans for its half of the new 'Toyobaru' coupe.
Toyota has already revealed its version and, although the Toyota FT-86 is still officially a concept, Toyota says that it is extremely close to the finished production version.
But while Toyota is heading to the forthcoming Tokyo motor show with a near-finished product, Subaru's version hasn't even been given the official green light yet, let alone reached the design sign-off stage.
As these pictures, leaked to Autocar show, the Subaru coupe is at a far less finished stage, with final design details still to be settled.
With an on-sale date for the Toyota of late 2011, it is unlikely that a Subaru version will be production-ready in time to hit the showrooms simultaneously - especially since Subaru has far fewer R&D resources to call upon.
The Toyobaru is also a controversial idea within Subaru, being well out of Subaru's comfort zone - it doesn't have four-wheel drive and Subaru has never done a small rear-wheel drive coupe before. The thought of sharing its boxer technology and chassis development knowledge with Toyota (the Toyobaru project has been largely engineered by Subaru and will be built by Subaru) is also said to make some Subaru high-ups uncomfortable.
On the other hand, a small, rear-drive coupe would provide Subaru with some much-needed new metal and open the company up to new customers. A technical partnership with Toyota could also reap plenty of benefits in the form of potential engineering contracts to help develop new sporty Toyotas.