- Even before Toyota officially announced its intention to partner with Subaru on a small, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive coupe, a rumor and speculation brush fire has been burning around the car.
The latest flames are licking up over what brand(s) the new coupe will wear when it finally hits the U.S. market sometime in 2011. According to recent Internet chatter, the Subieota, or Toyobaru, will instead don the Scion badge for Toyota when it comes to the States.
If true, it would be a logical choice for Toyota. Scion is clearly in desperate need of a true performance-themed halo car. The tC is a solid vehicle you can have some fun with (especially if you add the factory supercharger) but it's front drive -- not the type of car you're taking to the local drift event. The Scion tC coupe is also aging, and the brand could conceivably make a big splash with a turbocharged, rear-drive replacement. The coupe would join the Scion version of the new Toyota iQ, the quirky small car we recently told you is coming to the U.S., giving the brand two interesting new cars to market.
Under the hood of the sports car will be a Subaru boxer engine, most likely a version of the automaker's 2.0L turbocharged unit (the 2.5L is a remote possibility for the U.S.) tuned to about 200 hp. In addition, while the car will sit on a new Subaru platform, it will be "designed" by Toyota, the companies said in April (we're not sure if that's a good or bad thing). Each brand will have its own version of the car for sale in markets around the world.
Will Subaru bring its version to the U.S.? That's still unclear, but with the company staking its reputation on AWD here, it would be surprising if Subaru decides to introduce a rear-drive car to the American market. Reports have indicated that the platform will support both rear and all-wheel-drive applications, and that a higher-spec version is being considered.