Subaru’s version of the FT-86 sports car could have as much as 60bhp more than its sister Toyota model if development plans come to fruition, according to sources in Japan.
The car is being developed jointly with the FT-86 which has been delayed until 2013 because Toyota wants to improve the fuel efficiency of the engine.
The car will use a retuned version of Subaru’s naturally aspirated 2.0-litre flat four, using a revised head to produce around 200bhp.
However, Subaru plans to give its version of the coupé (still without a name) much higher performance, and it will feature a version of the Impreza STi’s turbocharged powerplant with around 260bhp on tap.
The two cars will use a variant of Subaru’s six-speed manual gearbox, too and similar body panels, but different bumpers, front grilles and wheels.
Subaru is likely to use these variations to make its version look the more aggressive of the two. Testing of the rear-wheel-drive coupé has already started at the Nürburgring in Germany.
Subaru’s test team is said to be responsible for the initial development on its model and the Toyota, because its drivers are more familiar with the FT-86’s underpinnings: a modified Legacy platform, with the Impreza’s rear suspension.
Subaru is said to have ruled out the idea of making its FT-86 four-wheel drive, because the added complexity would have increased weight and pushed up a price that’s already likely to be higher than originally thought.
Expect the Subaru to cost between £25,000 and £30,000 when it reaches the UK soon after the Toyota’s debut.