Since 2009, Toyota has been eager to display their new entry level FR concept coupe throughout its development. First displayed at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, it made appearances at Geneva, New York, and Frankfurt auto shows as well. The press has been so tired of covering the concepts, in fact, that journalists have dubbed it the “perpetual concept car.”
Inexplicably, Toyota’s marketing and media push is in stark contrast to Subaru‘s sister BRZ concept, its designs still shrouded in mystery.
What’s even more strange is that Masashi Uemura, Subaru’s deputy general manager of corporate communications, made it clear that ongoing platform and drivetrain development, production engineering and final assembly for the compact rear wheel drive coupe are all being handled by Subaru at Subaru facilities. Since Subaru has been in charge, why haven’t we seen any concepts from them?
In an attempt to clear things up, Car Magazine had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Toshio Masuda, Subaru’s product planning senior general manager and the director of the BRZ project.
During the Q&A, Masuda provides a few telling answers that shed light on the BRZ’s development. First off, the BRZ will only come in a rear wheel drive trim. Masuda explained that the team has been approaching the BRZ as a test bed, focusing on rear wheel drive handling characteristics that they hope to apply onto all future all wheel drive Subarus. Furthermore, the BRZ’s 2.0-liter flat-four engine will be naturally aspirated, instead of turbocharged as rumors had suggested.
Secondly, the “Boxer Sports Car Architecture” platform used for the FT-86 and BRZ are bespoke. It is not a chassis that will be shared with any other models so do not expect to see four door variants. However, future generations of Subaru vehicles will no doubt adopt innovations from the chassis. The party piece of the chassis is its incredibly low 450mm center of gravity.
In terms of exterior design, lines and proportions of the BRZ will share a likeliness to the FT-86. Expect to see a similar glasshouse as well as elements along the central body. Brand specific styling will be penned for the front and rear ends.
[Source: CAR Magazine]
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