No AWD For Subaru’s Version Of The FT-86

March 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Japanese News, Latest Articles

Cost overruns have made Subaru think again about developing an AWD version of its FT-86 based sports car.


It’s been a while since we reported that Subaru were working on an AWD system for its 216A variant of the FT-86 compact sports car and since then some changes have come about concerning the driveline and how that could impact sales. Apparently development costs have spiralled to the point where Subaru can no longer justify the inclusion of the AWD system and as a result has brought some doubt upon the 216A’s ultimate sales potential as a ‘clone’. This has essentially rendered the rumored STi variant a carbon copy of the FT-86 G Sports Concept under its skin, so Subaru have now turned to exterior styling to make up for the lack of mechanical differentiation from the FT-86.

To bring added individuality to the 216A, the focus in now on redesigning the area from the A-pillar forward and giving it a more distinctive front end design rather than merely swapping badges and putting on a different grille. If Toyota do indeed go ahead and release the G Sports version of the FT-86, Subaru will counter that with its own STi version which will then provide the basis for an R205-like special edition.

Prices for the STi and G Sports versions are expected to be 3.5 million JPY and 3 million JPY respectively, with the base model for both automakers to sell for around 2.5 million JPY.

Source: Best Car

Enter Google AdSense Code Here
  • Stingray

    Well I guess that by dropping the AWD system Subaru will make happy the people that are only interested in this car, but the die hard Subaru fans may not be too happy about it. It’s true that an AWD system adds a some weight to the car, but it may prove it’s utility to buyers that live in areas where wet roads my appear from the sudden or where the roads can by icy even in march, countries like the UK, Canada, the Scandinavian countries or Russia.
    The distinctive design and the STI version are two things that everybody will appreciate, can’t wait to see a concept of the 216A, at the New York Auto Show maybe?

  • Jose M.

    I don’t think it will be such a loss for Subaru as they already have a full line of STI version vehicles. This may also bring a little alternative to AWD, I understand the benefits AWD has on conditions such as snow, rain, ice and those wonderful cornering abilities but at the same time having a little RWD light machine in their roaster can give Subie a little edge above other car companies lacking these kinds of vehicles. I can’t wait to see their version to compare to the FT-86 and just that STI badge alone will be an amazing selling point.


    Call me a pessimist but I feel it will probably still be a little over priced when it all shakes down even if they eliminate the AWD. The bang for the buck of the STi is really hard to beat, yeah yeah, it has four doors but with a few mods and a good tune they are monsters for what you invest. I just hope the gear box is as strong as STi Impreza’s six speed so they hang together when someone is banging a hard 1-2 shift at the strip.

  • Bryce

    Yesss! and Subaru is back in the running for my performance dollars.

  • Jonnybimmer

    Maybe for the best, as an AWD version might hit too close to Subaru’s beloved Impreza WRX STI in both performance and price. Will Subaru at least make a turbocharged version?

  • K’

    Can’t say I’ll miss the AWD on this car, but I’ll be pretty disappointed if the HP numbers are very close to the FT-86′s.

  • Levi

    I wouldn’t call it dead yet. I would expect a special edition or new trim option later that includes AWD, or even a second-gen version with AWD. By then, R&D costs will be a thing of the past and they’ll be able to justify the extra development work.

  • Soravia

    Toyota might not allow Subaru to be very different on base HP of the variant. Subaru will have to focus on the look, suspension and weight. If they are smart enough, they can offer performance upgrades from the factory the way TRD offers superchargers and fancy gimmicks for Scion. I won’t miss Subaru’s AWD since the layout won’t ever allow near 50:50 weight in a small car like this. It puts the engine too far over the front Axle. All this car needs is a strong transmission and space between engine and radiator for a front-mount aftermarket turbo.

  • celica-xx

    This makes sense. I remember some guy commented that it was impossible to make the FT-86 AWD (I call it 4WD still lol) because the nose was too short or something. That’s right, it’s too short thats why they were developing a new AWD! Now that’s canned I suppose either car will appeal to people just so long as they look different enough. I think that because the engine is a boxer and Subaru uses boxer engines mostly that people will think the FT-86 is actually a Subaru rather than a Toyota. So Toyota are ‘borrowing’ the car from Subaru and putting their badges and bumpers on it. Anyway, Toyota has my money for this car already so all they have to do is stick to their schedule and bring it out in 2012 and I’ll be very happy. It’ll be my first brand new car lol.

  • S_fourteen

    Man the future sure looks good for RWD fans, we got the genesis coupe, ft86 and now this one (if it makes it to the states). But what happened to Nissan, are they really gonna hope to compete with that middle age life crisis called 370z against those young cars? Damn it Carlos give us a new S16 now !!!!!

  • Dima

    AWD hachiroku ? Does anybody see any sense ?

  • Ashe

    This does look promising for RWD fans (myself included), and actually this little “hick-up” could be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps all this hoopla will indeed give Nissan a swift kick in ass and get back to designing a new Silvia. Thanks Hyundai for stirring the pot!

  • GroupA

    No awd eh? So looks like Subaru will have to focus more on the engine and exterior looks to give it that Subaru appeal..

  • Derek

    The Toyota sports coupe has sure done wonders for 7tune readership. It seems that these are the most popular articles and that 7tune is the English speaking world’s authority on this subject.

    Great stuff





    “Where there is no choice, we do well to make no difficulty”


    • Matt

      Agree! Don’t break the AWD chain subaru, yes you will gain a slightly bigger share in the market but think about your loyal customers & the people who distinguish Subaru as an AWD brand.. by doing this I think is the start of the death of AWD in subaru :(

  • K’

    Maybe Subaru can justify a hood scoop with a TMIC or something *hint hint*. Then Toyota will offer their version with a weight savings track model (similar to the ITR and Genesis R-Spec). Eventually Nissan will jump on the pocket rocket bandwagon and start up their RWD coupe project again after they’ve made some money back from their Rogue and Leaf EV platforms. Obviously Honda won’t stand for this and vamp up their CR-Z with a higher amperage electric engine and larger displacement gasoline engine. Meanwhile Mitsubishi will still be trying to get rid of their pig-of-a-car Eclipse.

    I can picture it now.

  • Henry

    I’m hoping one thing that will differentiate Subaru and Toyota versions is that the Subaru have unequal length header and Toyota have equal length! Subaru should keep the rumble!!!

  • fernando rodriguez

    please SUBY, make this car! :(

  • Dre

    It is more than possible to make it awd, and have excellent weight distribution.

    See the link


    Doooooo it Rear Wheel Drive!!!

  • David

    No AWD and this has zero appeal for me now. A 300hp turbo AWD coupe has been done before by Subaru on their GC8 chassis. That’s what I was hoping this car would be like. And as Dre says, the whole point of Subaru’s symmetrical AWD is low center of gravity. The boxer engine sits a lot lower than most cars and the entire system isn’t much more weight over FWD or RWD.

    How the heck did they go over budget working with Toyota, who squeezes their suppliers like Wal-Mart?

  • gouki

    I think this is actually the first time Subaru actually let me down

  • dee

    thank God someone just became smart inside Subaru. FR for sho!

  • FT86 fan

    AWD version would die slowly like the Celica GT-Fours..

  • Erick

    The Celica GT4 ended because Celica was banned from rallying after the cheating with turbo. Subaru AWD coupe would be great, but not sure if cost effective.

  • 216A fan

    it isnt logical from a sales perspective just like a FWD genesis,Z or EVO would flop if put into production. i mean look at the porsche cayenne and how it flopped because porsche deviated from what they do best. This car is obviously meant to revive a great era but an AWD subby clone just wouldnt make sense as it would have to be priced below the STI and could potentially hurt WRX sales. However, if it does make production as a RWD it could also stimulate mitsubishi to throw out a RWD competitor. in that case we’d have some rwd junkies in just about every import camp.

Follow us

Recommended sites

Advertise your business here  
Advertise your business here  
  • Enter 120x600 Banner Code Here