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Toyota, Subaru expand alliance, confirm new 86, BRZ

Run it back: The Toyota 86 (left) and Subaru BRZ have been around for seven-and-a-half years, but successors are now officially on the way.

Capital investment, joint development highlight renewed Toyota-Subaru alliance

30 Sep 2019

TOYOTA Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation have once again expanded their alliance, this time announcing further capital investment as well as confirming joint development of the next-generation 86 and BRZ rear-wheel-drive sportscars.


“In this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, by strengthening their bonds and aligning their capabilities, Toyota and Subaru aim to pursue driving enjoyment in the CASE (connected, autonomous, shared and electric) era and to make ever-better cars beyond what either company has been able to achieve thus far,” the two companies said in a joint statement.


“Furthermore, to deepen their relationship and to strengthen their ties toward advancing to the next stage while respecting the identity of each other's brand, the two companies have agreed that Toyota will increase its equity stake in Subaru and that Subaru will acquire shares in Toyota.”


Specifically, Toyota will increase its voting rights in Subaru by 3.17 per cent, to 20 per cent, by acquiring about 24 million more shares, while the former will purchase shares in the latter equivalent to the same monetary amount, up to ¥80 billion ($A1.1b).


As a result of the first transaction, Subaru will become an affiliated company of Toyota, pending the approval of the relevant competition authorities.


Significantly, this alliance expansion marks the first official confirmation of the second-generation 86 and BRZ, although GoAuto did report in February this year that, at the very least, the former was on the way.


Toyota and Subaru have not confirmed any other details on the sportscar pair, other than to say that they will retain their RWD layout.


However, extra information may soon emerge as Japanese automotive magazine Best Car recently reported that a concept will be revealed at next month’s Tokyo motor show ahead of a series-production launch in the first half of 2021.


The 14-year-old Toyota-Subaru alliance will also see the former’s hybrid powertrains used in more of the latter’s models, following in the tyre tracks of the Crosstrek (XV) Hybrid that is exclusively sold in North America.


Connected vehicles and autonomous driving will be two other areas of collaboration for the pair.


As reported, Toyota and Subaru will also partner up to develop a fully electric platform for mid-size and large models, dubbed e-TNGA, that will, among other vehicles, spawn a mid-size SUV that will be sold by both brands.


This model is now one of seven that TMC is jointly developing with its competitors, with it already known to be working on a small car with Suzuki, while mid-size and large SUVs, and a mid-size sedan and people-mover are also in the pipeline.


The e-TNGA architecture will support single- and dual-motor set-ups, enabling front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive applications, with Subaru providing its expertise on the latter, while Toyota is chipping in its know-how on electrification.


The platform will have pre-determined fixed (electric-motor placement) and variable (front and rear ends) points, with the latter allowing the two partners to differentiate their resulting mid-size SUVs as well as future products.


Toyota announced it entered into a similar alliance with Suzuki Motor Corporation a month ago and has an existing financial relationship with Mazda Motor Corporation.

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