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Subaru ‘Celica’ slowdown

Low priority: Toyota FT-HS concept may preview 'Toyaru Subota' sports car.

It’s coming, but Subaru admits Toyota co-op sports car is not a priority for now

27 Nov 2008

SUBARU Australia boss Nick Senior has revealed that the upcoming Subaru-developed sports car to be shared with shareholder Toyota Motor Company as a possible successor to the Celica may have been put on the back-burner for now.

Speaking in Melbourne yesterday, Mr Senior said that there are other priorities for both companies in the current global economic climate.

However, he did indicate that development is still forging ahead for a future sports car, even though it is still in the early stages.

“It… is not really dominating our thinking at the moment,” Mr Senior explained.

“That is a vehicle that… is still some time away, and discussions around the vehicle – the marketing of it – is still at a very high level, and not at this level at the moment.

“It hasn’t even been on our agenda with meetings with FHI (Fuji Heavy Industries – Subaru’s parent company).” In April, Subaru and Toyota confirmed that they are co-developing an all-new sports car in the mould of the old Toyota Celica, but reportedly with rear-wheel drive (although all-wheel drive is also a possibility given Subaru’s involvement), as well as a derivation of a four-cylinder boxer engine.

Back then, 2011 was being touted as a possible launch date for both the Toyota and Subaru-badged versions.

Toyota has a 16.5 per cent share in FHI.

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