Having had a couple of days in the Toyobaru sports car only last week, I’m still not sure whether it’s really a Toyota or a Subaru. The tale of the car’s conception makes it pretty clear that, had Toyota or Subaru gone it alone with this project, the end result would have been very different.
As a Toyota, it wouldn’t look as great, nor perform or handle as well without a boxer engine. And as a Subaru, I just don’t think it’d be such a clearly conceived, well-executed car.
Clearly, we should all celebrate the enduring power of collaboration. But given that both cars will cost the same £25k, and both are clearly sensational to drive, which are you more tempted by?
Does the relative rarity and added focus of the Subaru tip the scales, or is the Toyota more appealing for its slightly easier going, easier-to-own credentials?
Were I seriously considering the prospect, I’d probably have the Toyota – but I also somehow feel guilty about that. I’d just expect better warranty care and better customer service from Toyota.
And yet I can’t help thinking that, putting self-interest to one side, we should all be backing the minnow and buying the Subaru. It’s Subaru that actually builds the cars, and can take credit for the beating heart of the car, after all.