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Old 09-26-2007, 04:42 PM   #1
chairmandave
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Default Toyota/Subaru Lightweight Sports Car

May Sweet Zombie Jesus strike me dead if this is a re-post:

http://www.7tune.com/?p=112#more-112



Best Car Scoop - A few weeks ago on September 3rd, Daily Car Newspaper (Japan) reported on an interview with Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe and his announcement of a joint Toyota-Subaru ‘Entry Level Sports Car’ which is underway and in it’s initial development phase, with a test mule spotted on a test course at Toyota’s headquarters in Toyota City.



The Test Mule

The test mule is actually still very early in it’s development and in its experimental stage being based on a shortened Subaru Legacy chassis and running a SOHC 2.0L flat-four engine. Best Car isn’t aware of any wheelbase measurements at this time, but going by reports the test mule chassis is around 200mm shorter than it’s Legacy donor platform. The Legacy underpinnings are for experimental purposes only as the new Toyota Lightweight Sports Car will actually be based on a shortened Impreza 15S platform which is better suited to a smaller 1.5 - 2.0L (flat-four) engine and has ‘rear wheel drive friendly’ double wishbone rear suspension. The test mule is in very early stages with the car running the aforementioned 2.0L SOHC engine and a 4WD driveline (without front drive shafts) so it isn’t undergoing any serious performance driving tests at this point in time. Apparently Toyota has the ability to have this new lightweight sports car ready and on the market by the end of next year… if only they were so inclined. Instead, a lot of effort is being put into getting the most performance while keeping the retail price below 2,000,000 yen.



Why a 1.5L engine?

Price seems to be the limiting factor regarding the type of engine, and therefore total weight, of the Toyota Lightweight Sports Car. Best Car has been told that if a larger 2.0L engine were to be used, the cost of the car would definitely rise above the 2,000,000 yen limit and would then not live up to its ‘Entry Level Sports Car’ namesake. Also the rear differential sourced from Subaru (from the Impreza 15S) has been cited as a weak link, it being limited to engines of 2.0L capacity or under for reliability concerns. The 1.5L engine - named ‘EL15′ - is a DOHC flat-four powerplant and is also noted for producing less emissions than it’s larger SOHC sibling which is another important criteria that Toyota is trying to address. The EL15 only puts out 110ps @ 6,400rpm and 14.7kg/m @ 3,200rpm so Toyota is doing its best to lighten the chassis and body as much as possible in order to give the car a reasonable amount of performance. Just how much weight can be shed? Toyota is aiming for 1100kg and no more… this is another reason why the 2.0L engine was rejected as the larger engine would dictate a heavier chassis which in turn would exceed the 1100kg (total vehicle) weight limit by 100kg or more, even with considerable weight reduction. Only so much weight can be shed, and only so much can be done to keep the Lightweight Sports Car within the 2,000,000 yen limit so Toyota has a big job on its hands to address these issues and will certainly be an ongoing problem throughout the development cycle.



Possible WRC Challenger?

Best Car hints at a possible WRC challenger in the making! Toyota could easily use Subaru STi engines and 4WD chassis together with the lightweight FR body for an assault on the World Rally Championship. This is just wishful thinking at this stage but Best Car sees no reason why this wouldn’t be a possibility.



Main Target Market: Europe

Toyota hopes the Lightweight Sports Car will appeal to young European drivers by keeping prices low and giving it a sleek and sporty shape inspired by previous successful designs. The smaller capacity and light weight will put the new Toyota Sports Car up against some well established European competition, but the main focus will be excellent value for money, so we can expect prices to be between 1,800,000 and 2,000,000 yen (in Japan). In the future Toyota hopes the Lightweight Sports Car will be equally successful in China and other markets as well. If development progresses at a fast rate we could see the Toyota Lightweight Sports Car on the market by late 2009 or early 2010.

Text: Justin Karow
Images: Best Car
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:56 PM   #2
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The topic is a repost, but there is a lot of new info here, at least info I don't remember from before.

Keep in mind if this is branded as a Toyota, Subaru would likely have their own branded version that is true to the brand (AWD) and would probably be suped up (inclusion of the Turboed 2.5 or possibly the Tribeca's 3.6 engine) as a premium sports car taking the place of the WRX-STI as the fastest Subaru.

Remember the B11S? This could fill the space that the B11S never took in the model line.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:57 PM   #3
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Almost a repost.

Could this be the next prototype revision for the rumored AE86 successor?
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:12 PM   #4
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^^^ Ding! Ding! Ding! Remember, the celica is dead... toyota needs a small car in its line up. Not sure how this plays out with scion and its small cars... i know fwd vs. rwd but most people don't care.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:18 PM   #5
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Why not beef up the diff and add a turbo?
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:19 PM   #6
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Why not beef up the diff and add a turbo?
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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It may even come to NA as a scion tC replacement...
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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looks like they used a tc for the basis of those photoshops
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #9
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will it be RWD?
I don't think so but I hope so.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodiox View Post
will it be RWD?
I don't think so but I hope so.
You kinda suck at the reading part of forum participation.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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So this thing's actually becoming a reality. Freaking awesome!

I'd want it to be:

* <180 HP, NA
* RWD
* under 2800 pounds
* under $20K
* Illegal for anyone under the age of 20 that has seen Tokyo Drift to operate, thus keeping the insurance rates affordable

They seem to be getting the idea right, what with the < 2500 lb weight being the prime concern. Now if we could teach parents how to raise their kids to be good drivers in this damn country, we'd have a winner.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:21 PM   #12
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Man, a 2400 lb RWD platform would be awesome...
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulbazz View Post
Why not beef up the diff and add a turbo?
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:32 PM   #14
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looks like a scion tc, but better
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:45 PM   #15
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I really like the way the car looks. It'd be cool if Toyota's model was a zippy, NA, RWD car, focusing more on being light weight, and Subaru's was AWD and turbo, those adding some weight, but more power.
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewMarchand View Post
Toyota's got plenty of money they should just take one for the team !
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:00 PM   #17
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ADD AWD for a version subie version and my P2 dream is damn near a reality!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrel2.0 View Post
ADD AWD for a version subie version and my P2 dream is damn near a reality!!!!!!!!
we are on the same damn page man BUT i will add that it better have a H4, AWD, the tribeca like interior with the family nose and i'm happy
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:43 PM   #19
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Naturally aspirated EJ25 + RWD + STi or WRX rear diff = awesome-o?
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:46 PM   #20
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STi swap anyone?
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:01 PM   #21
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This was also in the new Car and Driver, although not nearly that amount of info.

"The Committee for Interesting Cars" has been busy. I am all over this thing. The first car I bought was a 1986 Toyota MR2, and it was one of the most fun cars I've ever owned. Perhaps not quite as good of a drifter as a Trueno, but I cut my teeth on that little tail-happy bastard. Fun stuff. That car was ~2350 lbs, 112hp, btw.

Big bonus if it comes with a boxer! I was thinking the new Corolla engine, but a nice 1.5L Boxer would make this thing really sing.

My wife said I could turn the STI into a track rat and buy a daily driver. This would be just the ticket. PLEASE make it, Toyota.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:02 PM   #22
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mememe
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:04 PM   #23
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thats an h4 in the pic, unless im THAT DRUNK
Quote:
Originally Posted by only1agam View Post
we are on the same damn page man BUT i will add that it better have a H4, AWD, the tribeca like interior with the family nose and i'm happy
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:05 PM   #24
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Doesn't it seem like back arseward (and a lot of wasted money and parts) to get RWD by using an shorted AWD platform, chopping off the front differentials, etc.?

As much as I like Subaru, there are qualities of its driveline layout that are compromises--like the boxer engine sticking out, the resulting overhang, etc. These are tradeoffs we generally accept because of the value of AWD, but now... we're taking it away?

I don't see why Toyota doesn't just take their RWD IS platform and make some cheap car based on that. If they want to cut more costs, just use last gen's IS chassis.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0bman View Post
So this thing's actually becoming a reality. Freaking awesome!

I'd want it to be:

* <180 HP, NA
* RWD
* under 2800 pounds
* under $20K
* Illegal for anyone under the age of 20 that has seen Tokyo Drift to operate, thus keeping the insurance rates affordable

They seem to be getting the idea right, what with the < 2500 lb weight being the prime concern. Now if we could teach parents how to raise their kids to be good drivers in this damn country, we'd have a winner.
180hp out of that SOHC ej20!! come on i'd be happy if they make it ~140hp (my 04 impreza is SOHC ej20, and it's makes 120hp @ 5600rpm)
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