When it comes to quality within the automotive world most consumers would still think of Toyota. But when it comes to fun to drive automobiles, most consumers will not think of Toyota. Why is this, well it could be the lack of a fun to drive sports car or even a coupe model. Since the departure of the Celica and Camry Solara, Toyota has made no progress into improving its image within the aftermarket and sport compact world. With its competitors ramping up production of more and more coupes and sports models, it seems that Toyota is being left further and further behind. Of course all of this would be true, if not be for a limited supercar offering and a brand new coupe model from its Scion division. But since Toyota still does not have its own fun car, it seems that its time to get to work on something new. For starters most people would think of added an aftermarket version of your current lineup. Ford has done this with its Focus, Taurus and even its Fiesta lines. So why not build a cool version of the Camry and Corolla. Well the answer to this question comes from a division which most forget that Toyota currently owns. And that company would be Subaru. Yes Toyota currently owns Subaru and yes they are together building a sports coupe for both companies. No its not a reincarnation of the Celica or even a new Supra. It’s a possible FT-86 reincarnation. Yes Toyota has stated that their version of the new collaboration sports coupe will be a new version of the original FT-86 (Corolla GTS). It will not take on the same look as the previous car, but it will bring back the rear drive, small car fun to Toyota.
Now as for Subaru, this will be its second foray into the sports coupe arena. Yes you heard me correctly, Subaru did have another sports coupe. Its hard to remember, but if you were old enough, Subaru had a fun to drive sports coupe called the SVX back in the early 90’s. It wasn’t the best looking car on the road, but it was one hell of a ride. And if now your thinking, he Everett your wrong, Subaru did have a coupe model back in the late 80’s. Well your right, it did with the coupe model of the Impreza. Yes Subaru at one time had a coupe model of its iconic Impreza. Why did they get rid of the coupe model of the Impreza. Well for that answer you have to look at the automotive market of the late 90’s. Back then most companies were getting rid of coupe models, since most of the demand in the aftermarket arena, came from sedans, hatch’s and wagons. Well it seems the coupe fad is back and this time Subaru is going to be prepared to fight back.
If you’re wondering why collaborate to build a sports coupe model. You would have to look at the cost of development, production and marketing. If you do it together it brings the cost down for both the company and the consumer. This is good in one way, but bad in another. Why is it good, well you save time and money. And why is it bad, well you have another Matrix/Vibe model fighting for the same market share and consumers. Then you have the fact that car will possibly look very similar to one another. This is bad because you need difference within the market. The only way this could ever be a great thing, would be if the Toyota model was a dedicated rear drive model with a track mindset. And the Subaru model be set as an all wheel drive rally mindset car. If this is not achieved then all these two companies will get from the marketplace, will be another Sky/Solstice model trying to differentiate itself from one another with no clear mindset on what it really wants.
January 25, 2011. Everett Junkala