NEWS: Toyota and Subaru might be collaborating on the next WRX STI

Rumor around the interwebs is that Toyota and Subaru will join forces for not only the next-generation BRZ/86, but also the next WRX STI. The scuttlebutt comes courtesy of Japan’s automotive-tabloid-best-picked-up-with-can-coffee-and-onigiri-at-your-local-convenience-store industrial complex, so taking the news with a mountain of salt would be advised. Nevertheless, here’s what’s being reported.

According to Best Car magazine, Toyota and Subaru will jointly produce the next Impreza sedan and the WRX STI on Subaru’s new Global Platform architecture. With the EJ20 engine coming to an end, the car will run a turbocharged FA20 (likely an FA24 for the US market) and will debut in 2021-22.

The companies want to produce the “best AWD” system, Best Car‘s sources say, and to do that they must join like Voltron. Currently, Toyota competes in WRC with the Yaris, and is actively developing AWD on that front. Sadly, that also Subaru is unlikely to return to WRC, as bigger brother Toyota would not want Subaru to show them up too hard on a global stage. The possibility of Subaru in direct competition is, according to the article, “not high.”

The rumors come quickly on the heels of Subaru’s announcement of the EJ20 engine’s end of production. Recently, Subaru announced the sale by lottery of 555 EJ20 Final Edition WRX STI cars with specially-built balanced engines. Reportedly, about 6,000 applications were received (with WR Blue being the overwhelming winner in color choice, natch).

Best Car believes that the decision was prompted by Toyota’s recent increase in its ownership of Subaru’s stock, from 16.83 to 20 percent. The article leaves room for the fact that it could be a jointly developed AWD system, but also an entire rebadged car. Who knows. All we know is that there just a good a chance that Toyota is going to name it the 2000GT.

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7 Responses to NEWS: Toyota and Subaru might be collaborating on the next WRX STI

  1. teddy says:

    where do you find the collectible Japanese only items for sale (such as the AE86 backpack and Nissan Z Postcards) I have family over there and would like to know about this sort of stuff as much as possible

    • Ben Hsu says:

      The postcards can be ordered through Japan Post’s website or at certain post offices. The backpack is ordered through the manufacturer’s site. I don’t have the info off the top of my head right now, but I believe it’s mentioned in the article.

  2. Clay says:

    If you want Honda stuff, just go to the headquarters building in Tokyo. Neat items are for sale in the lobby.

    • Ben Hsu says:

      Yes, and you can ask for any new car/bike brochure as well, from Monkey to NSX. Just bring a sturdy bag if you’re planning to get a few. Japanese brochures are thicc.

  3. Alvin says:

    So does that mean there might be a new 4WD Corolla?

  4. Lance says:

    Might be the next AWD celica!

  5. Lindsay Druett says:

    Rumors usually mean speculation and frankly Best Car magazine are writing a lot of bullshit based on specualation mixed with their personal opinions of Subaru and Toyota…

    Yes, Toyota and Subaru have further cemented their relationship by having a further shareholding (which involved Toyota shareholders buying more Subaru shares and likewise Subaru shareholders buying more Toyota shares).

    But Subaru will develop their own WRX and continue to develop their AWD system (as, afterall, they are the pioneers of the AWD) and the enhancements around the horizontally opposed engine (which they are also pioneers of), I don’t believe Toyota will have much input into the WRX. I also believe that Subaru will have a come back into the WRC, it would be beneficial for Toyota if they did in the long term.

    I’m picking that Toyota and Subaru are looking into the future and the sustainability of their respective car manuafacturing business with the rise of electric cars and self driving cars.

    This is from the horse’s mouth..

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