Asporty beast under the skin
The Subaru STi seems to be playing a role in FT-86 tests, writes Paul Gover
THERE is a very good reason why this car looks like a sliced-and-diced Subaru STi. It’s a test mule for the upcoming Subaru version of the shared FT-86 sports car being developed by Toyota.
The outrageous body bits are supposed to disguise the car underneath, but instead — particularly because of the rear wing — they point directly to the Subaru connection.
It’s some of the most bizarre camouflage to hit the road in recent years, but there is already a change from earlier test cars — a bonnet with a major bump.
This could point to a topmounted intercooler, something common on turbocharged Subaru engines, but there are also signs of a front-mounted cooler in the test car.
So the bump points to this being a Subaru mechanical test car running the engine and transmission from the Impreza STi.
Carparazzi sources say the FT-86 project uses a modified Subaru Liberty chassis with some Impreza parts, but with rear-wheel drive only. It has two-plus-two seating in the cabin and fully independent suspension.
Some sources say the car will be ready by the end of next year, at least as a Toyota.
But there are also rumours it will not be ready for the road until the back end of 2012.
Even so, there is every chance of FT-86 appearances on the international motor show circuit, wearing both Toyota and Subaru badges, next year.
For a full gallery of spy shots, visit www.carsguide.com.au