The Toyobaru, in case you haven’t heard, is a secret car that, as the name would suggest, is being built as a joint project by Toyota and Subaru. Code named the 086A, the possibility that the two Japanese automakers might actually build the thing sounds like a dream – and yet the rumors about it keep surfacing.
The latest new reports come from 7Tune, which sources a Toyota insider who apparently has seen the car in the flesh. And according to this insider, the car will have styling that is not unlike that of the top-level LF-A supercar from Lexus.
Original reports of the car put it as an all-wheel drive vehicle using Subaru’s turbocharged boxer engine, but the consensus has now turned to the Toyobaru being an entry level front-engine, rear-drive compact sports-coupe.
Toyota has long been absent from the entry-level sportscar arena and apparently wants to get back into the game. In a recent interview with Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport magazine, the company’s new boss, Akio Toyoda, said that for too long they have neglected this segment of the market.
The car will apparently be sold as both a Toyota and a Subaru, similar to the way both GM and Toyota worked together to develop the Vibe/Martix. As for pricing, the 7Tune insider says Toyota is trying to keep the cost closer to 2 million Yen ($20,000). The price should give a clear indication of the amount of horsepower to expect and the latest speculation is that it will be just under 200hp thanks to a direct-injection four-cylinder.
With the unfavorable exchange rate between the Yen and the dollar, however, the car may never make it to U.S. shores.