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XCAR: Toyota plus Subaru equals awesome: The GT86 and BRZ story

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XCAR: Toyota plus Subaru equals awesome: The GT86 and BRZ story

6:28 /

Things made by committee can feel less than the sum of their parts. With this grand tourer, however, Toyota and Subaru proved that one plus one could be more than two.

[MUSIC] They say that two heads are better than one. A problem halved is a problem shared. And many hands make for light work. And that's certainly true if you are moving house, or building flat pack furniture, or moving a body. But turns out it can also be true if you're building a car. You know what that is. When it came out it absolutely blew critics away, and it reintroduced the idea of an affordable rear-wheel drive front engine sports car that wasn't an MX-5 [MUSIC] But what do you call it? The fact that there's more than one correct answer to that question, hints at this car's origin. [MUSIC] Those names, of course, are the Toyota GT86, or Subaru [UNKNOWN]. Or maybe even the Scion FRS, depending on where you are in the world. Same car, different names. All because these incredible. Little cars were born out of a collaboration between two different companies. Now, Toyota already had a rich past of doing sports cars. We know that from the Celica and the Supra, and we knew that people loved them. I mean, when we posted our video on the Supra, you all went crazy. But Toyota has left that behind. They've moved into more sedate cars. They've been pursuing the whole hybrid ethos. And the idea had always been floating around to come back to sports cars one day. By the end of the last decade, though, that thought was creeping back up to the surface. And a team got put in charge of coming up with a concept. Quickly though, they realized that something was missing. That little something was Subaru's boxer engine. [MUSIC] Now, Toyota and Subaru aren't completely disconnected as companies, Toyota owns stake in Subaru's parent company, and even some shares in Subaru itself, which it bought off. But they never really collaborated together on a project. And it was a tough sell. When Toyota first approached Subaru, they kind of shot the idea down, and it put the whole project back by six months. But Toyota did something smart. They put together a concept, with an engine based off of the Subaru Legacy, and then they showed that to the executives at Subaru. They lend them the car, and when it came back the tires were bald, and it was a yes. [MUSIC] Now, it's. Knowing of course, that the GT86BRZ had the Subaru engine inside, but it's not as simple as that. In fact, the fuel injection system is one of the more advanced units that Toyota make. That itself caused them all kinds of problems. When the engineers working on the project spoke to the executives at Toyota, and explained to them that they wanted to take one of the most advanced fuel injection systems had developed, and share those secrets with an outside company. They lost their nut. Over our dead body was one of the phrases used, and it took. Took a lot of convincing before they were allowed to share that information with Subaru. When they finally were allowed to though, and they went to Subaru, and explained to them that they wanted to use Toyota's fuel injection system, some where they use direct fuel injection, Subaru told them, not over our dead body, because they had experimented with direct fuel injection, and had found it to not work so well with air engines. Eventually though, both sides conceded that it was the best way to work together. So, the engine we now have, is the best of both worlds. [MUSIC] Integrating super retention into the project wasn't completely straight forward, and they had issues around carbon emissions and hitting their target horsepower rate. They turned to the chief engineer of the LFA for help. He recommended the specific Toyota fuel injection and indeed the exact bore and stroke of the engine that would be needed to get the best out of the Boxer engine. And of course he was right. [MUSIC] When all is said and done, the GT86 BRZ came out on the market and everyone was blown away. And what's not to love? Sports cars have just been pursuing more and more power, more and more speed. But, they knew that wasn't the best way to go about this car. It was all about handling, it was all about fun, it was about pure driving experience. And that's exactly what you get with this car. And unlike some of- One of the incredibly powerful sports cars that we get to drive. When you get in this car, you're immediately at 7/10. And after a couple minutes of thrashing, that goes up to 8, 9, maybe even 10. Most supercars, these days, when you get in them, you barely touch their potential. With this car, you can really see what you're made of. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] You usually think of thing built by committee or built by larger teams that, being compromised. Somehow though, it just seems to work and they've just managed to get the best each company had to offer in one car. [MUSIC] It turned out to be one of the greatest collaborations between two car manufacturers, in recent times. But what else could happen? What other car manufacturers could get together, to create the best of both worlds? What other amazing combinations are out there? Hopefully, we'll find out. [MUSIC]

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