Confirmed: Bigger, Badder Subaru “216A”

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Japanese News, Latest Articles

Just as soon as the Toyota FT-86 was born and came to this world at the Tokyo Motor show, it’s bigger, badder twin brother is about to hit the stage.

It’s well known that Subaru and Toyota have been in the same bed developing the FT-86 but one question that remains on everyone’s lips is how, if they are developing the same car, can the two be different? Well it’s emerged that Subaru has been busy waving their wand over the 086A/FT-86 and is going to bring some very Subaru style magic to the table.


The biggest news to come out of all this is that rumors of the car being turbo and all wheel drive are now in fact confirmed. However staff close to the Subaru development side of the project have revealed is that the first thing to differ will be the codes which the cars will be known by. While the version of the FT-86 to go on sale in Japan will be known by the code 086A and in the US and Europe as the 087A and 088A respectively, the Fuji Heavy Industries version will be branded as the 216A. This is to “clearly distinguish between the Toyota and Subaru version of the car”. Things get juicier from there though with the confirmation of what many have been suspecting all along. The car will be driven by a 2.0 liter turbo charged powerplant feeding power to all four wheels. This will either come in the flavor of a revised, lower power but more efficient 250ps and 34.0kg/m EJ20 from the Impreza 2.0 GT or the EJ20 Turbo from the current Impreza WRX STi pumping out 308ps and 43.0kg/m of torque. Our guess is the latter may well be used for an STi version of the car down the track. No pun intended.


Body wise, the the Subaru version will be bigger and badder but at the same time tipping the scales to the tune of around 100kg more than the 086A. This seems to be a reasonable weight gain seeing that 4WD has been added and the dimensions have been increased in the region of 20mm all around. Total height and width will go from 1260mm to 1280mm and 1760 to 1780mm respectively. Wheelbase and total lengths have also been extended, with overall length reaching 4180mm and the wheelbase gaining 30 to 50mm, up to around 2600~mm from 2570mm. This is almost spot on to the current Impreza’s 2620mm so the possibility of them sharing parts or being very similar is undoubtedly high. The final distinguishing factor between the two? Well that will be the price. The increased performance, all wheel drive and pumped body will be adding around half a million yen to the tag bringing the car to around 3 million yen come 2011. This is not only to cover the extras over the Toyota but also to distinguish itself from the FT-86 version.

Words: Peter Horniak
Images: BestCar

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50 Responses to “Confirmed: Bigger, Badder Subaru “216A””
  1. Stingray says:

    Give me just the turbo, I don’t need a heavy 4WD system to slow me down. And the final distinguishing factor can be the interior and exterior design better then the price. In Europe the PSA group(Peugeot & Citroen) have models that go one against the other without a significant price difference, only the date when the cars are launched difer.

  2. paper time says:

    Hyundai, Toyota and Subaru are all recognizing the importance of 25.000$ sports market,my question is: what is up with Nissan? Is it really that hard to resurrect the S chassis(modded it so it can meet new safety standards) give it a 2.0 – 2.2 turbo engine, sprinkle some G37 looks on it and call it S16 Silvia – if that is so hard to do then why am I still a Nissan fan. When this car comes out I will either buy this or the Genesis coupe. Current owner of a 98 240sx with some hopes to one drive a S16.

  3. Justin says:

    phwoar! if they can keep it wrx priced if and when they sell it here… I would prefer this over the toyota.

  4. celica-xx says:

    Hmm a 2 door Impreza STi. I like it but being a Toyota freak I’ll still go for the FT-86. The turbo is tempting but I’m sure aftermarket turbo kits and superchargers will be available for us Toyo people. I own’t miss the extra weight either.

  5. N/Aonterun says:

    Are they using the same engine? How hard would it be to slap this EM and Turbo setup on the toyota and put a smile on? ^__^

    Maybe TRD will turbo it?

  6. My guess is that as soon as this car and the FT-86 is out, all the big tuners will be modifying it. And I mean everyone! It will be like being in the bubble again ;)

  7. Stingray says:

    I want one, in white with Subaru blue rims and a two tone blue and white interior :D . Paper, you could buy a nice used Infiniti G35 coupe, it’s a pretty good car, and it’s better then a Hyundai Genesis. Still Nissan is the Japanese car maker with the largest sports car lineup, with the 370Z, the Infiniti G37 Coupe/Skyline and of course the R35 GT-R.

  8. celica-xx says:

    @ N/Aonterun, TRD sounds good but going by their previous efforts (7tune wrote about the TRD 2000 the other day) I would expect a TRD FT-86 to be about $10K more expensive :(

  9. Robert says:

    I want the Toyota version with Subaru hood but it looks like it has different headlights so cant change it over which sucks & i want the Turbo. I dont want the all-wheel drive… Is the Engine Head on the Subaru verison going to be different from Toyota verison? I hope not bc then it will be easy to convert parts over.

  10. TrkWhre says:

    Being they share the same chassis and most likely similar EJ engines. It shouldn’t be too hard to swap a ej25 from the sti (or 216a?) into the ft-86. Of course, Subaru could be designing a whole new engine (with help from toyota) to put in these cars? But judging from the fact that the legacy chassis used in the legacy (doh!), wrx, sti and these two cars, parts and drivetrain swaps will be common :)

  11. Adam says:

    It only makes sense for Subaru and Toyota to keep to what they know best and that is with Subaru powering up an AWD point to point shooter with the WRX in mind and with Toyota keeping to their tried and tested RWD small sports platform. This is a win/win for both manufacturers and both still keep their brand identities not to mention being able to share technology and spread the market share because both platforms will be so inherently different.

    An intelligent move.

    This is why I was saying that the FT-86 didn’t sound like nor looks likely to be a boxer engine. It just isn’t feasible when you consider both brands and product identities are so different that they have to make sure people continue to understand the difference.

  12. paper time says:

    Stingray, my girlfriend drives a G35 and it’s geared more towards luxury rather performance. Heavy V6 on the front axle = numb and scary steering, thank god the chassis is balanced but the sheer weight makes me sad. The 370Z is better but only two seats… plus all this vehicles start at 30.000$ upward. Maybe I am crazy but I can see room in their line-up for a 3100 pounds, turbo (2.0) 2+2, rwd that starts around 25.000$. My 240sx needs to be replaced, are you listening Nissan !

  13. Robert says:

    Paper, I don’t think will see another 240sx anytime soon with how the economy is I don’t think the 370z is doing to well on sell’s. I will be surprise if we do see one soon. I love my S13 been building it for 7years in the garage very slow the past 3years and I think this will be a great alternative will be glad to get rid of my A4 for this.

  14. Tom says:

    WTF AWD, damn you Subaru and your stupid “AWD” mantra, just make it a boosted RWD car and be done with it. I want a light sports car not a TANK!!! If I wanted an AWD monster I would buy and STI or LanEvo.

  15. K' says:

    So it’s essentially a two door Impreza…I got all worked up for nothing. As much as the pocket rocket race is about to begin, I don’t see the need for Subaru to be splurging like this and having TWO of the same car. I honestly don’t believe there’s room for this car in their lineup.

    It has to be different if they want it to sell. I mean it’ll sell, but “it has two doors instead of four!” might not be enough to convince people. At least not me.

  16. Jurgen says:

    People, toyota one or subaru one? what you think?

  17. Fii says:

    They finally managed to screw this up :(

    Like people are saying, stay away from the AWD, it’s just an extra weight for this type of car. And what’s worse, engine placement to integrate AWD will probably lead to compromises that will screw up the Toyota version as well by putting the engine too much forward.

    Turbo version might be a good idea, though.

  18. Chris Davy says:

    I think the EJ20 will eventually find it’s way under the hood of the FT86:)) If not by the hands of Toyota, then by the hands of the swap-crazy tuners. That would give a good base engine to develop for higher power on a lighter, smaller, better balanced car that is the FT86. Finally!!! The auto industry is exciting again!

  19. Stingray says:

    Well, the AWD may be just an optional, an optional that almost nobody will want, but who cares, the car will be awesome anyway. I guess we have to wait until more details emerge.

  20. Crimson Ghost says:

    Wait, why are all of you complaining? If you want a new AE86 buy the Toyota, if you finally want a 22B buy the Subaru.

  21. John G says:

    To those saying there is competition here, I say it’s smart. They share development cost and stick to what each company does best. Subaru isn’t “splurging” on this concept, it is smart and cost-effective to co-develop like this.

    If you have never experienced AWD in a performance car, you don’t know what you’re missing. You can lighten the car other ways, or slap a turbo on the Toyota if it bothers you that much ;)

    I’m excited, but probably going to hold on to my STi forever still.

  22. Dave says:

    I have been looking & waiting for an affordable AWD Turbo Coupe in the US with no avail … I can’t wait for the 300hp AWD Turbo 216A to be built. I have owned a 2nd Gen DSM (1995 Eclipse GSX) previously and it was my favorite car, but if this does truely materialize I may have a new favorite in the near future! Thank you Subaru!

  23. Pakos M says:

    This is pure BS. Dont you people know anything about car mechanics?
    If the boxer engine and gearbox are placed behind the front axle (as it is planned) for better dynamics there is no way it can power the front wheels. They would actually have to put the transmission at the rear axle (aka GTR) and then send the power from there to the front. The gearbox should be something like double clutch. And not start talk about pricing or weighing the whole system…

  24. Greg says:

    It seems that Toyota and Subaru will start with the same “basics.” Toyota will do their NA magic on their engine, and Subaru will carry over AWD and turbo, like always.

    Toyota wants to go back to their roots and follow the same path as the original Hachi Roku. I like this way of thinking, simple and pure.

    Subaru will fill the spot left by the old WRXs and STis, which is a compact, lightweight rocket (now that the new WRXs are large, heavy and ugly).

    They are taking their respective designs in 2 very different directions.

  25. anonymous G says:

    The awesomeness is so intense a I can taste it!


  26. gouki says:

    Oooohhhh baby *drools*

    My only problem is I want BOTH the Subaru and the the Toyota!

  27. DorkiDori says:

    well…im going to restate what i always say on zilvia…

    NISSAN……………………..O <—–ball dropped

  28. Buntas says:

    Finally. An answer to those who were always bothered by the other two doors of their STIs. Can’t wait till these get tested.

  29. Twelve says:

    interesting… yesterday here in Australia the subaru md said that there was not going to be sooby version made, as it didn’t fit in with their philosophy????

  30. celica-xx says:

    @ Pakos M, Bud, no offence, but maybe you’re the one who doesn’t know anything about *the 216A* rather than no one here knowing about mechanics. When you say “behind the front axel”, this car WILL NOT be like the S2000 in that the entire engine is physically behind the front axel. It’ll be further back than the Impreza and Legacy engine pacements I believe, but still able to power the front wheels through the transfer case and drive to the front diff. It’s not impossible. Do you really think that the guys who wrote the article have no idea what they’re saying? I think it’s you who should open up to the possibilities here, not point out we’re wrong for doing so.

  31. Justin Karow says:

    Twelve: The Subaru Australia MD may have made that comment before this new information surfaced? I don’t know when he made it but it sounds like he’s not privvy to all the new info (to badly quote Jeff Lebowski) :)

  32. MaydayJohnP says:

    I am a toyo head for sure, but man, the 216A looks sooo tempting. Damn hood scoop looks great too :D

  33. dorichan says:

    Subby ft86 look awesome but i still get teh toyta ft86 because i can still dorifutoooooo ! ! HAHA

  34. Laz says:

    FINALLY! my dream car is here! I’ll take one in black please!

  35. drk says:

    increible….precioso!!!…lo quiero ya!!!!

  36. jdimacali says:

    Nice stuff but only the turbo is all i want. AWD should only stay on the impreza. but who knows this could be a hit on the circuit.

  37. Mike says:

    I can already see the costs skyrocketing, someone already said it’s basically a two door Sti. But I’m a GM guy, but hell the new SS Camaro loaded about $40K :( I need something cheap like this. I feel like there will be more potential for a Toyota/Subie vs the Genesis coupe V-6??? Based off past Toyota parts Supra, anyone remember. Seems like the Nissan guys are getting upset since the 370Z has taken a jump in price. We’re all screwed.

  38. mixemup says:

    see now if i could i’d take the suby’s power and handling with the ft-86′s looks – especially it’s interior!!

  39. Heath says:

    Tom, if you don’t like AWD. Then don’t buy it!

  40. Greg says:

    Toyota was bound to certain design principles as soon as they labelled it “FT86,” NA, FR layout, and a straightforward approach to low weight, tossability, and finesse over brute strength. My kind of car.

    Subaru, of course, does what they do best. Take something, give it gold wheels, slap a turbo on it and make all 4 wheels spin.

  41. bh says:

    Tuners will drop a EJ22T in there and boost it to 30psi and have a nice 22b car.

  42. The news Subaru very good. It’s nick Nissan GT-R killer.

  43. 00rs-jshol says:

    Coolest car I’ve seen in a good while. If the claims are right that the AWD will only add about 100kg then this car will be incredible. Those of you debating the Rear/AWD thing it’s really preference. Sure the pure AWD of the toyota will be fun as **** but for people daily driving this car the AWD would seem logical especially if they have to deal with inclement weather. Not to mention the fact the Subaru will surely put it’s DCCD system in the car meaning you can bias the power front – rear with the turn of a dial. Plus because it’s using the EJ20 that’s been proven to make some pretty nice power, tuners will be all over this in a matter of minutes. I’ll take the Subaru version.

  44. Tenka says:

    The current AWD system Subaru uses will not fit in the pictures shown above. If Subaru designe a new system, it might work, but it wouldn’t be the Subaru Symetrical AWD system we all know and love..

    @ celica-xx: The engine on my current 08′ STi sits entirely in forward of the front axle, there isn’t enough room in the bumper of that car for it to fit. Pakos M is correct in his statement.


  45. tez says:

    im already saving my money for the toyota

  46. freak-a-leak says:

    Wow !!! Man I just can’t wait for these to come out !!! The only reason I wouldn’t buy one is if Nissan would bring back the Silvia (highly unlikely).

  47. Phontsolo says:

    Is this the actual final design created by Subaru or just a render from some guy not involved with Subaru? I know the announcement is official but is the design also official?

  48. Phontsolo says:

    Apparently it’s just a rendering from Japan’s BestCar magazine using the Toyota FT-86′s art. Lets hope Subaru follows this design closely and that it doesn’t succumb to they’re current designs.

  49. newtdg says:

    It’s the return of the Subaru SVX!!!!

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