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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Toyota/Subaru Lightweight Sports Car
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.
Toyobaru or Subayota?
 

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Nowadays, "light weight" is going to not be that light.

A 1.5 Liter engine in a (my guess) 2,500 lb car...BLAH. They should've had it with the 1.8 Liter duel VVT-i turd that's in Toyotas now so that we can swap in a 2zz.

If it doesn't make at least 150 hp for a 100 hp per liter ratio like our cars...then it will be a total waste.

But if the STI engine can really go in there... :hitit:
 

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2mil yen by today's standards in 17.3k

depending on how everything ends up i could see this being the next srt4. I know if most of what they're talking about is true i'd definately pick one up for a DD and may be another to play with... who knows. at this stage of the game i like it... a LOT.
 

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rasta, it is VERY hard to make a car under 1k kg that is still crashworthy to any extent. also 1100kg is their UPPER limit. and it'd be economy sports a lot like the celica, save it'll be rwd so it can more easily be called sports as opposed to sporty.
 

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GTsRasta said:
Nowadays, "light weight" is going to not be that light.

A 1.5 Liter engine in a (my guess) 2,500 lb car...BLAH. They should've had it with the 1.8 Liter duel VVT-i turd that's in Toyotas now so that we can swap in a 2zz.

If it doesn't make at least 150 hp for a 100 hp per liter ratio like our cars...then it will be a total waste.

But if the STI engine can really go in there... :hitit:
The exact number is 2420. That's not bad at all considering this is an entry level car. This could be the next car I buy.
 

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Valid points.

Considering that manual transmission Celicas are right under 2,500 lbs, MR2-Spyders are 2,200 lbs, and Lotus's are near 2,000 lbs...2,500+ still seems heavy...but to today's standard's that's freakin light as hell...and especially if it's going to have a driveshaft.
 

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Because the Celica transformed into a Integra GSR, FWD econobox rival :chuckles: .

But it would be a nice throwback, especially since everybody's drooling over the new FT-HS to be called the next Supra.

Toyota would definetally solve it's sport car market gap with these two new Celicas and Supras just fine, and make the emission Nazis of the world happy...or at least for another 7 years until they decide to choke emissions even more...
 

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That would make it a nice throwback. I'd enjoy it that much more to be honest. I must say I've grown rather fond of my 7th gen; even if sometimes it leaves me restless for something more and new.

Although emissions are getting extreme hard to meet for motor companies, only extreme ingenuity in both materials and design are allowing them to keep up. Also with new fleet mpg laws it'll be even harder to keep up with the demanded improvements. It seems that the eco people are managing to put up enough laws to actually manage to possibly phase out the internal combustion engine possibly within our lifetimes (assuming oil technology improvements allow it to last that long)
 

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neological said:
Why don't they just call it a celica.
Then people will think its a slow FWD econo box. **EDIT** Well actually with a 1.5L it will be slow but With an STi swap all of the torque and hp problems will go away.

On another note, hopefully this car will get some sweet TRD goodies as well.
 

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Red Falcon said:
Then people will think its a slow FWD econo box.

On another note, hopefully this car will get some sweet TRD goodies as well.
It'll never happen but it's be very sweet if trd made some staged upgrades like with the srt4... wait... nm... scratch that. Thankfully that'll never happen
 

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neological said:
Why don't they just call it a celica.
x2

It seems to take some stylistic cues from the Celica. If the FT-HS never comes out, this is almost definitely my next car.

With a little bit of love and some TRD options, I think we have a winnah! :D

But 14.7 kg/m is like, what 100 lb/ft of torque? This car needs a motor swap or turbo like nobody's business.
 

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jlitman said:
It seems to take some stylistic cues from the Celica. If the FT-HS never comes out, this is almost definitely my next car.
If the FT-HS never comes out? This car is going to cost around $17k, half as much as the FT-HS is predicted to be.

I would think that if you had $35k set aside for a car, you could do better than this (Evo, STi, S2k, C6 'vette...hell even save another 5k for an Elise).


Unless you're just looking for a DD to get you from A to B. Even then, the FT-HS is spec'd at 25mpg.
 

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bps1804 said:
jlitman said:
It seems to take some stylistic cues from the Celica. If the FT-HS never comes out, this is almost definitely my next car.
If the FT-HS never comes out? This car is going to cost around $17k, half as much as the FT-HS is predicted to be.

I would think that if you had $35k set aside for a car, you could do better than this (Evo, STi, S2k, C6 'vette...hell even save another 5k for an Elise).


Unless you're just looking for a DD to get you from A to B. Even then, the FT-HS is spec'd at 25mpg.
Your interest in my plans for future car purchases is flattering -- Paypal me $42 and I'll explain everything :D
 

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jlitman said:
bps1804 said:
If the FT-HS never comes out? This car is going to cost around $17k, half as much as the FT-HS is predicted to be.

I would think that if you had $35k set aside for a car, you could do better than this (Evo, STi, S2k, C6 'vette...hell even save another 5k for an Elise).


Unless you're just looking for a DD to get you from A to B. Even then, the FT-HS is spec'd at 25mpg.
Your interest in my plans for future car purchases is flattering -- Paypal me $42 and I'll explain everything :D
Sorry dude. I wasn't trying to criticize you on anything, just my thoughts on the matter.
 
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