July 9, 2014
Subaru says no, but Toyota may find another partner
Rumours are swirling this week that Toyota may go in another direction with their GT86/FR-S sports car after Drive.com.au spoke to Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.
When asked about continued involvement by Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s parent company, in the rear-wheel drive project, Tada stated, ”Maybe, but this is not decided at the moment.”
BMW, one of Toyota’s newest partners, was suggested by Drive.com.au as a potential replacement for Subaru, with Tada replying, ”That is one possibility.”
Toyota and BMW are currently working on a sports car to sit above the GT86/FR-S, possibly to be named Supra. The two companies could expand their cooperation to include the smaller sports car.
However, this would also mean putting a company on the sidelines that Toyota partially owns. Before collaborating on the GT86/FR-S/BRZ, Toyota bought 20 percent worth of shares in Subaru.
Subaru, for its part, is fully committed to a second generation BRZ.
Fuji Heavy Industries president Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said to Automotive News that if he were told a second generation model were not happening, he’d “pass out.”
“It’s not going to be just one generation,” exclaimed the executive.
But, if Toyota does decide to switch partners, Subaru may be out of luck as the brand most known for all-wheel drive vehicles may not have the resources to develop another generation of the BRZ on its own.