The new Subaru BRZ coupé will have the lowest centre of gravity of any production car when it goes on sale next summer, according to the manufacturer.
The BRZ’s rear-wheel-drive configuration has meant that Subaru's compact 2.0-litre Boxer engine can be mounted even lower in the chassis than would normally be permissible in the manufacturer's conventional four-wheel-drive layout.
Despite being co-developed with Toyota, the vast majority of the engineering work has been undertaken by Subaru; although the company has confirmed that the BRZ's flat-four unit will incorporate a Toyota direct fuel-injection system.
Power outputs, however, will differ with a Subaru-spec ECU liberating the BRZ’s power to “less than 300bhp,” compared with the FT-86’s 200bhp figure.
Details of the car’s final spec remain under wraps - even Subaru's UK new MD admitted to Autocar that he'd only seen a clay model of the finished product - but insiders suggest that the grille and bumpers will differentiate the RBZ from its Toyota-badged sibling.
A roadster version could yet play a part in future model plans, but a topless car is ‘under consideration’ rather than developmental reality.
Subaru insists that no costing strategy has been established, but with the Volkswagen Scirocco confirmed as the main rival, expect the RBZ’s price tag to land somewhere in the current coupé ballpark.
The lack of a final figure - or even an image of the production car - has apparently not dissuaded Subaru fans from already registering their interest with the company's dealership network.
While the new 2+2 coupé is expected to fill a healthy new niche for the manufacturer, Subaru UK has made it clear that it intends to focus much of its energy on 'lifestyle' products, such as the new XV crossover, as it looks to achieve a sales target of 7500 units in 2012.
The Subaru BRZ will be unveiled at the Tokyo show next month.