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Coming Soon: The Next-Generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ

subaru brz toyota 86

The rumors are true after all. The next-generation models of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been confirmed. An official announcement about the scheduled debut of the two is yet to be made but sources suggest that it might take place at the Tokyo Motor Show this month.

A few months ago, Toyota definitely impressed us with the unveiling of the new Supra. Demand was high on the new sports car as orders piled up from US customers. However, it seems that Toyota has more surprises to come.

According to the press release of Toyota, the joint development of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been green-lighted. With that, the two sports cars are expected to share plenty of features.

The specifications of the cars are yet to be revealed but they will likely come with a new version of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Subaru Ascent. The power unit will not be too overpowered though in order to avoid casting a shadow on the performance of the Supra. The two brands will probably keep the rear-wheel-drive platform of the said vehicles.

At the end of September, Toyota increased its stake in Subaru. Toyota raised its holdings in Subaru from 17 percent to 20 percent. This makes Subaru an equity affiliate of Toyota. Moreover, the move also brings the strong US sales and profits of Subaru onto Toyota.

The expansion of the partnership between the two automakers will allow them to share plenty of interesting technologies for their future cars, including Toyota’s new hybrid system and Subaru’s advanced all-wheel-drive system.

Subaru WRX, BRZ Get Updates and Price Bumps For 2020 Model

2020 Subaru WRX (2)

The Subaru WRX and BRZ, the brand’s two performance models, got significant updates and price bumps for the 2020 model year.

The 2020 Subaru WRX now has the EyeSight safety suite as standard on models that are equipped with the CVT. Pricing for the base WRX will now start at $28,395, up by $315 from last year’s model. That comes with the standard six-speed manual transmission.

If you want the CVT, you need to get the Premium trim that’s priced at $32,595. If you want more aesthetic and aggressive appeal, buyers can get the Performance package (exclusive to the Premium trim with the six-speed manual) that now has Brembo brakes on all four corners and Recaro-branded eight-way power-adjustable sport seats.

There’s only one engine available: a 268-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four unit.

The Subaru WRX STI is the more powerful variant. It has a keyless entry and start, redesigned engine bay cooling ducts in the front bumper, and 19-inch alloy wheels in dark gray. The price for the base STI trim starts at $37,895 and $42,595 for the WRX STI Limited. The latter gets a Harman Kardon audio system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, Recaro front seats, and embedded navigation.

The only engine available for the WRX STI is a 2.5-liter turbo-four that makes 310 horsepower. This is paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

Meanwhile, the Subaru BRZ starts at $29,745. For the 2020 model year, there will be no more Premium trim. The Limited will be the base model instead and it comes standard with Starlink infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, embedded navigation, heated front seats, two USB ports, and full LED headlights.

You can choose the six-speed automatic transmission for an additional of $1,100. Buyers can still opt for the Performance package to the BRZ six-speed manual, which brings Sachs Performance shock absorbers, dark gray 17-inch alloy wheels, and Brembo brakes in all four corners for $1,195.

Top 4 Things To Expect From The 2020 Subaru Outback

subaru outback 3

The Subaru Outback, despite its weird position in the market (it’s a wagon with the off-road capabilities of a crossover), remains to be Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the United States. It’s targeted for people who like the space of a wagon but do not necessarily like driving a crossover. Though the current model is still a piece of work, Subaru is scheduled to introduce a next-generation Outback to keep it competitive with its rivals.

1. New Platform

Every new model from Subaru will now use the Subaru Global Platform. The Outback and its Legacy siblings are no different. The new platform is expected to have increased rigidity in the body and chassis. There are also stronger joints between parts. These changes will make handling the Outback easier and it will also improve the ride quality for passengers. It promises to have less noise and vibration in the cabin, which is what the new Impreza and Forester saw in theirs when they migrated to the new platform.

2. New Engine Options

The current Outback offers a 2.5-liter boxer-four that makes 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque and a 3.6-liter boxer-six with 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. The new Outback might get rid of the six-cylinder option to make the vehicle more fuel efficient. Subaru might continue selling the 2.5-liter engine, though it will be cranked up to produce more power. New Subaru models will also come with direct injection.

3. Minor Design Changes

Subaru will make minor design changes on the new Outback. The updates might include a slightly redesigned front end that will resemble other Subaru models such as the Forester and the Ascent. It will also grow bigger, producing more space in the cabin for passengers to relax.

4. Prices And Timeline

Subaru releases a new generation of Outback every five years. We saw them in 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. We expect to see the new-generation Outback for the 2020 model year. That means it should begin selling the 2019 models this summer.

The current Outback has a selling price of $27,320 but prices will, of course, increase for the new model.

3 Things That Define The 2019 Subaru WRX Raiu Edition

The Canadians are getting a special edition Subaru WRX. The model is called the WRX Raiu Edition, which takes its name from the Japanese word meaning “thunderstorm.” It features exclusive exterior and interior elements. Since there are only 100 units available, the model is a must-have for fans and enthusiasts.

1. It Is The First Special Edition For Canada In Years

The 2019 Subaru WRX Raiu Edition will signify the first time that Subaru created a special edition car for Canada in over 15 years. That’s a seriously long drought for a market as big as Canada but alas, the Japanese company has decided to give the North more focus.

The WRX Raiu Edition is based on the WRX sedan but without the STI designation. To be clear, the special edition car will have the same power as the other WRX models. It is going to be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine. It makes 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

2. It Offers Exclusive Features

The car is dressed in a Cool Grey Khaki paint finish. That color is exclusive to the WRX Raiu Edition, so you know your special edition car is special simply because of its color. That will be contrasted with blacked-out door mirrors, a shark-fin antenna, and a lot of badging showcasing the special edition status of the car.

It will have a lot of STI components such as the ground-effect aerodynamic components and the short-throw shifter in the cabin.

3. It Is Similar To The Subaru WRX Series.Gray

The WRX Raiu Edition will only be released in Canada but that should not be the cause of envy of American buyers. The car is very similar to the WRX Series.Gray Edition that the automaker launched in America a few months ago. Each model of the 100 units will cost CAD$40,995 or about $31,000 in USD.

 

 

2019 Subaru Legacy, Outback Get Price Increase And More Features

Subaru Legacy (1)Subaru Legacy (9)

The 2019 Subaru Legacy and Outback will be priced higher than the previous generations. Like the Subaru Impreza, the price increase also gets a slew of new updates including the EyeSight that will be made standard on every single version of the two models.

The base model Legacy 2.5i now has a price tag of $23,430, an increase of $375 over the 2018 model year while the Outback’s starting price would be $27,320, which is up by $510 from the previous generation. The prices include destination charges. All variants will get price increases, except for the Legacy 3.6R Limited and Outback 3.6R Limited, both of which experienced a slight drop in prices.

The price increase is being compensated by a number of new features both for the Legacy and the Outback. For one, both models will be fitted with the EyeSight feature. The base trims will have the EyeSight as well. The EyeSight includes a suite of driver safety aids such as automatic forward emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

On the 2018 Legacy, the EyeSight was not made available on the base model and was only an option for the other trims. On the 2018 Outback, it came standard only on the 2.5i Touring and 3.6R Touring, and was an option for the Premium, Limited, and 3.6R Limited trims. The feature was not available even as an option on the 2.5i.

Aside from the EyeSight feature, the 2019 Legacy 2.5i Sport will also get as standard the blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert features.

There are limited interior updates on both the Legacy and the Outback. All models will get an instrument panel that includes a 5-inch LCD display while the 2.5i trim gets extra lighting and a pair of front USB ports. Standard to the Premium and Limited trims are the auto-dimming mirror with compass and Homelink garage door opening button.

Both of the models will be available starting this summer, so you should be expecting them in dealerships soon.

All You Need To Know About The New 2019 Subaru WRX And WRX STI Series.Gray

Subaru WRX And WRX STI Series.Gray (3)

Subaru wants to keep the aging WRX and WRX STI models and it came up with a tricky way to do so. Enter the 2019 Subaru WRX and WRX STI Series.Gray. The two vehicles are coated with a coat of Cool Gray Khaki paint and finished off with black-painted mirrors, black wheels, and black badges.

The WRX Series.Gray is based on the current-generation WRX Premium. Priced at $30,380, the car has a six-speed manual transmission and the optional $2,050 Performance package that will come with Recaro front seats, power driver’s seat, sunroof delete, and high-performance brake pads. The WRX Series.Gray will be sold for $33,480, and it will include all those plus a proximity key with push-button start, LED lights, and fog lights.

The WRX model underwent previous experimentations from Subaru, including special edition colors such as orange, black, and white.

On the other hand, the WRX STI Series.Gray is priced at $41,465. It comes with silver brake calipers, microsuede seats and steering wheel, and Bilstein dampers. And like the WRX, it also has Recaro seats and a proximity key with push-button start.

Aside from these limited-edition Series.Gray WRX and WRX STI, the lineup includes a slew of upgrades for the 2019 model year. The entry-level 2019 WRX is now priced at $28,080 and comes with a larger 6.5-inch infotainment screen rather than the previous 6.2-inch unit. The WRX Premium and Limited trims will come standard with a 7.0-inch screen.

It’s the 2019 WRX STI that came with a lot of upgrades. There’s a new intake and exhaust setup and the turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine can now produce 310 horsepower, up five horses from last year’s model. It sells for $37,480.

There will only be 750 units of the WRX Series.Gray and 250 units of the WRX STI Series.Gray, so better get your hands on them fast.

3 Things To Know About The 2018 Subaru Viziv Tourer Concept

subaru viziv tourer (1)

It has been years since we last saw Subaru come up with a new model as it has been busy showcasing new design features under the Viziv name. After introducing the first concept in 2013, Subaru has launched a new one every year since then. This latest concept is called the Subaru Viziv Tourer and it was introduced during the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

1. Exterior

Just like its predecessor, the Viziv Tourer will use the company’s new Dynamic X Solid design language, though this one is a bit more aggressive than past concepts. In front, there’s the same hexagonal grille but the headlamps are sharper and the fender vents have muscular surrounds. There’s an aggressive splitter on the lower bumper that’s made from carbon fiber, as well as the wheel arch inserts and the side skirts.

There are no door handles and the side mirrors have been replaced by cameras. The overall profile is that of a sporty hatchback with a sloping roofline and quarter windows.

2. Interior

We don’t know anything yet about the interior of this new concept from Subaru, though we heard that it has a four-seat layout for maximum comfort. This configuration, of course, will remain with the concept as this could not be carried over to a production model. We all know that wagons and hatchbacks must provide seating for five passengers, at the very least.

Tech features include the EyeSight system, a new radar system, and a new GPS and navigation system. All of these would work to give the car semi-autonomous driving assistance and eliminate accidents.

3. Drivetrain

The Tourer will be a gasoline-only vehicle. It will be powered by a boxer engine, but that’s as far as we’re able to know. The Japanese automaker has yet to reveal output details of that said engine. Interestingly enough, Subaru chose to keep hybrids and electric engines out of this concept. Some Viziv concepts were hybrids, but the Tourer will only be running on gasoline.

2019 Subaru Crosstek PHEV Is Company’s First Plug-In Hybrid

subaru crosstrek

Subaru’s third best-selling car, the Crosstek, will be the company’s first-ever plug-in hybrid. It’s quite telling, actually, that the automaker chose the Subaru Crosstek to be its first plug-in hybrid version seeing as it was the first conventional hybrid introduced for the 2014 model year.

Since the Crosstek is the company’s fast-selling vehicle, it makes sense that it would like to experiment on it as people are more open to shelling out their money for something they would choose to go with, in the first place. Subaru has yet to reveal photos of the plug-in hybrid variant, so we’re left to wonder how this would look like.

The Crosstek PHEV will be similar to the Subaru BRZ since both of them will benefit from Toyota technology—the hybrid system, that is. It will still be paired to a flat-four and will be capable of driving in full EV mode and in conventional hybrid mode. We have yet to receive information on what the range of the Crosstek PHEV will be.

What Subaru did reveal is that the Crosstek PHEV will be coming soon, even as early as the end of 2018. We might be seeing this in dealerships before the year comes to a close. Of course, while we’re on the subject of release dates and arrival in dealerships, this also signals that more information and details are bound to come in droves.

There aren’t many plug-in hybrid compact crossovers in the market, but there are a few and they are quite interesting. The closest competition of the upcoming Subaru Crosstek PHEV would be the Kia Niro PHEV, which claimed to have a range of 26 miles on a single charge and a solid 46 mpg when running with the gas engine. The Kia Niro PHEV has a starting price of $28,840, so we’re thinking the Crosstek PHEV might play near this number.

Another competitor is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with 22 miles of range and 25 mpg on gas. The Outlander has more cargo, but it has a higher base price of $35,915.

Subaru WRX STI Will Get Minor Power Bump For 2019 Model

2018 subaru wrx sti

It is not much, but reports said that the Subaru WRX STI will get five more horsepower for its 2019 model. Subaru’s WRX and WRX STI offer a kind of free-driving experience that not many sedans currently in the market can boast of. Both models have aged in many aspects, but they are still as popular as ever, especially to their loyal fanbase.

According to a document submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by the North American, the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine of the WRX STI will now produce 310 horsepower. That’s five more horses compared to the previous model. The 2019 Subaru WRX, on the other hand, will still get 268 horsepower.

The 310-horsepower output of the WRX STI for the 2019 model is familiar because it’s the same output as the limited edition STI Type RA. This is the quicker and “more nimble version” of the STI that was unveiled last year. This special edition model was limited to just 500 units in the United States.

Aside from 310 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, the STI Type RA will also have a suite of modern and exclusive components. The special edition model had a carbon fiber roof, Bilstein shocks, a high-flow exhaust, larger intakes, a retuned engine control unit, and a modified multi-mode vehicle dynamics control system.

The STI Type RA was seemingly produced for the STI fanboys, and there are plenty of them. These are the same people who will be excited to know that the 2019 WRX STI will get the same output as the STI Type RA.

The WRX STI may not have plenty of components fans can go gaga over, but they can tap through a large number of aftermarket channels to customize and give their WRX STI more personality.

 

Next-Gen Subaru WRX Still Offering Manual Transmission

Subaru VIZIV concept (1)

Subaru hinted before that it may stop offering manual transmission altogether for safety measures. This caused annoyance among car enthusiasts who believe that manual transmission is still the way to go. Subaru North America CEO Tom Doll finally put to rest these fears, saying that the next-generation Subaru WRX will still offer a manual transmission.

He told Drive during an interview that the company would still be producing manual transmission for its performance line such as the WRX. The Forester, however, would not have the manual transmission.

The news that Subaru would kill off the manual gearbox spread at the Geneva Motor Show last month. Subaru UK Managing Director Chris Graham that the production of the automatic emergency braking would be the trigger to end the manual shift.

Subaru’s EyeSight system includes a suite of active safety features, including automatic emergency braking. The suite is fine, but it does not work with a manual transmission, leading the brand to ponder the possibility of altogether closing its manual gearbox offers. Remember that a manual transmission has a clutch pedal that has to be depressed to keep the car from stalling out when stopping.

Subaru VIZIV concept (2)

In terms of comparison, the automatic emergency braking systems from Honda and Mazda are compatible with manual transmissions. What the system does is to let the vehicle stall rather than get in an accident unless the driver presses the clutch on time.

Subaru is not saying anything if it would develop something similar to the systems produced by Honda and Mazda. The current option across all Subaru variants is the brand’s Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The BRZ remains to be the only model in the lineup with a traditional 6-speed automatic.

The next-generation WRX will most possibly be inspired by the Viziv Performance concept shown during the 2017 Tokyo auto show. The concept features a turbocharged flat-4 boxer engine.

 

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