The Subaru name has grown by leaps and bounds with sales up more than thirteen percent last year over the previous year and a trend that will see the brand sell over one million vehicles in the US for the first time; the company is enjoying unheard of success. This grand sales boon is led by the Forester followed closely by the Outback, Impreza and XV Crosstrek all of which are fantastic models that offer the AWD we want to enjoy from Subaru, but dealers are asking for something more and said they wanted something extra special to sell.
With special in mind, Subaru is working on something new that hasn’t been done by the company before. The first part of this new is they took their wonderful turbocharged boxer engine and set it behind the seats in a two seater sports car and let the engine run the rear wheels. This mid-engine setup is a first for Subaru, but they didn’t stop there. In order to keep with the fact that all but the BRZ have AWD two electric motors were added to power the front wheels to make for an AWD sports car that is also a hybrid model.
If you were Subaru, a company proud to have nearly every model in the lineup using AWD, what vehicle would you use to make this new setup work? That’s right; Subaru is testing this new platform on a modified BRZ which is already perfect because it’s already a rear-drive car. What this testing will actually result in is still undecided, we could see a great new sports car or a fantastic small SUV but the fact that Subaru is making this happen with the BRZ leads thought toward a great new sports coupe.
The timing of the success and request from dealers couldn’t have come at a better time. Subaru has just announced that it will turn to a new Global Platform to begin building its entire lineup from which is expected to save money and time when developing a new vehicle of any type. With this new platform, if Subaru does go forward with the plans for this new sports car the expected power plant will be the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Although this new Global Platform is available, don’t think for a second Subaru isn’t already considering used the Viziv Future Concept as the drivetrain but in reverse. This Viziv showed up at the Tokyo Auto Show and offered a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain with one electric motor in the front and two in the rear. This new coupe with the engine mounted behind the seats would have one electric motor to assist the engine in the rear and two of these motors up front. Using a torque vectoring system, similar to that found in the Acura NSX, The new couple would possibly be set up to push a little over 330 horsepower from this amazing hybrid setup.
Will this new coupe be the next version of the BRZ or will it come in with its own name? That still hasn’t been determined and it’s still extremely early in the talks about what this car will eventually become. The only thing we know for sure is a car that is built the way this one is expected to be needs to be brought to the market and with the success of Subaru this could be a fitting way to celebrate.