It’s been revealed that Toyota is dipping its hand in the Subaru parts bin for the upcoming FT86 rear-drive sports car (slated to use a boxer engine and a modified version of the Legacy platform), but now it appears Toyota is also looking at ways the two manufacturers can share engineering when it comes to SUVs; specifically the Highlander and Subaru’s slow-selling Tribeca.
Both current models are slated to be dumped around 2014, though Subaru is currently working on a replacement for the current Tribeca coded 086A. However, it’s reported that Toyota will have a major hand in the project, since both the current Highlander and Tribeca are similar in size and configuration and shared componentry will be a good way for both manufacturers to save costs.
Although a common architecture will likely included a shared chassis and roof structure, challenges remain in how to adapt a variety of different powertrains. Subaru will be utilizing a version of its latest boxer engine for the new Tribeca, while Toyota will likely continue to use in-line engines and also a hybrid powertrain for the next Highlander.
Another challenge is how this singular platform will meet crash standards, since Subaru engines require a specific front floorpan and frame design to meet NHTSA requirements.
[Source: Motor Trend]