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Subaru to debut sporty car in Tokyo

Automotive News reports on a new sports car from Subaru, to debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

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  • Automotive News
Automotive News
Subaru drive train
The Subaru-designed drive train of the sporty car to be shown at this year's Tokyo Motor Show is visible through a transparent shell. Automotive News

TOKYO--Subaru will display the production version of the long-awaited sporty car it is co-developing with Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show in December.

The rear-wheel-drive car, which has a Subaru-designed drive train and Toyota-styled body, goes on sale next year. Toyota will sell its version as a Scion in the United States.

Subaru expects a longer-than-average life cycle for the car and is looking at variant packages, including a possible STI version, to keep the offering fresh, said Toshio Masuda, a Subaru senior general manager of product planning.

Subaru's STI tuner package typically offers turbocharging, lower profile tires, more powerful brakes and sport-tuned suspension. But going turbo is doubtful: Subaru officials say the vehicle's original concept calls for keeping the engine naturally aspirated.

The car will be built on a new line at Subaru's plant in Gumma, Japan. Styling will draw from Toyota FT-86 concepts that have made the auto show rounds since 2009.

Power is expected to come from a new generation 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine that will be used in the redesigned Subaru Impreza arriving this fall. But the engine will be positioned nearly 5 inches lower than in the Impreza to bring down the car's center of gravity and improve handling.

The car also will have Toyota's D-4S fuel injection system. And unlike the new Impreza, which gets an option for a continuously variable transmission, the sporty car will get a manual or automatic.

Subaru hasn't officially commented on the price. But Japan's Nikkan Kogyo business daily said the company plans to price the car in the $20,000 range.

(Source: Automotive News)