The next President of Toyota Motor Co. Akio Toyoda gives us a little more insight into the Toyota/Subaru compact FR sports car.
In a press interview at the Tokyo Auto Salon last month, the next President of Toyota Motor Co. Akio Toyoda was asked many questions about where Toyota was heading and also one question which might be of particular interest to Japanese sports car enthusiasts, “How’s the development coming along regarding the sports car jointly developed with Subaru?” This question was answered in 3 parts:
Project Moving Ahead
Despite some reports to the contrary, the Toyota/Subaru compact FR sports car was not cancelled (even partially) and will continue to go ahead. It is seen as a vital part of Toyota’s “rejuvenation” efforts and reflects the company’s desire to develop a car that appeals to the younger generation of car enthusiasts. Having a FR sports car at the entry level end of the market is Toyota’s way of cementing its image as an rejuvenated car company and will surely dominate the segment as its competitors struggle to keep up.
Codename: “086A”, Delayed Production
Development of the body and chassis is complete and we’re told the development code for the new FR sports car is “086A”. The numerals “86” should make fans of the now legendary AE86 Sprinter Trueno/Corolla Levin happy as it’s rumored that the numbers will be carried over as the chassis designation. It was thought that the freeze put on construction of the new Subaru factory slated to produce the Toyota/Subaru sports car was the main reason for delays in production, but this is actually in no way related and the real reason for the delay. Production will be postponed for several months so that D-4S direct injection can be applied to the flat-4 boxer engine. Production will now be postponed until March 2012.
Akio Toyoda also confirmed that the price of the Toyota/Subaru compact sports car is still 2,000,000 yen and that there will be no changes to the original plan to build an affordable entry-level sports car. The car is seen to be a formidable model when it joins Toyota’s line up as it will surely push the boundaries of a market segment occupied by front wheel drive compact cars.
Words: Justin Karow
Image: Holiday Auto