Toyota, Subaru To Share New Compact RWD Coupe
The fact that Toyota and Subaru have been collaborating on a new rear-wheel-drive small two-door coupe has been one of the worst kept secrets of the year. However, Toyota CEO Katsuaki Watanabe recently confirmed the rumors by acknowledging the existence of the project.
He also mentioned that Subaru would be getting a piece of the action, and will be developing a FR coupe on the same platform as Toyota's-widely believed to be the spiritual successor to the venerable AE86 Corolla. They won't just be badge-engineered versions of each other though, as the Subaru and Toyota versions will feature different sheetmetal and different spec levels. The engine is currently believed to be a 220 hp naturally-aspirated EJ20 boxer four, which will be mounted up against the firewall and behind the front axle centerline to promote an even weight distribution. A six-speed manual gearbox will most likely be on offer, as will an automatic.
Recent rumors have worryingly suggested that the Toyota version of the car will be sold as a JDM-model only, leaving the international market to Subaru. From the enthusiast's point of view it doesn't make sense, as the prospect of an AE86 revival has generated a great deal of excitement both here and in the rest of the world. Is Toyota really willing to shoot itself in the foot like this? We'll find out for sure in 2011, when the FR coupe is expected to enter showrooms.
JDM Goodness: Subaru unveils Legacy STI S402 In Japan
Perhaps you've just started a family or maybe you've got some kind of hobby that requires a lot of equipment to be transported like scuba diving, for example. The bottom line is that you need a car that's got a decent trunk, but you loathe to give up the performance of your current sports car. Enter the Legacy STI S402.
With its wagon body and STI-tuned powertrain and suspension, the S402 should be more than adequate for spirited street driving with the occasional foray to the track thrown in. The S402's turbocharged EJ25 produces 281 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque. It's not huge power, but Subaru has chosen to attend to other parts of the Legacy to make it a more engaging drive. Parts like the six-piston Brembo brake calipers, and the Bilstein dampers and springs. The standard rubber suspension bushings have also been replaced with tight pillow-ball joints and the steering ratio has been dropped to 13:1 to sharpen up direction changes. Suspension tower bars are standard at both ends of the car and sticky 235/45R18 Bridgestone RE50As are fitted to those 18-inch BBS rims.
The exterior boasts a pair of widened front fenders (20mm wider on each side), as well as a dry carbon-fiber front splitter. The only catch is that Subaru will be building just 402 of the S402, and they're all earmarked for the Japanese market.
Knuckle Down: Gp Sports Releases Hyper Knuckle Kit For 240SX/Silvia
Serious racers know that lowering your car can (and often will) affect the vehicle's bumpsteer properties, which can make for a pretty skittish ride when travelling fast over rough surfaces. A variety of bumpsteer correctors are already on the market, but GP Sports' latest release not only solves bumpsteer issues but a whole lot more too.
Designed as a replacement for the front steering knuckle of S13, S14, and S15 (we know there's at least a handful of those in this country) Silvias, the GP Sports Hyper Knuckle kit features a repositioned steering arm as well as a lowered ball joint seat for the lower control arm. The Hyper Knuckle kit is also split, allowing spacers to be inserted between the steering arm and the rest of the knuckle-perfect for extremely lowered vehicles. Not only does the GP Sports knuckle reduce bumpsteer problems, it also returns the lower control arm to a position that more closely resembles stock, thereby raising the roll center back to an optimum height. As an added bonus, the steering arm design also increases the amount of steering lock available, which is handy if you're a drifter or autocrosser.
The Hyper Knuckle kit costs the equivalent of $938, not including shipping from Japan. There's also a cheaper non-adjustable Super Knuckle kit available from GP Sports that costs $650. Head over to GP Sports (www.gpsports.co.jp) to find out more.
Mine's Releases Differential Cooler For 350Z
Japanese parts manufacturer and GT-R tuning gurus Mine's released a differential oil cooler kit for the Z33 350Z, giving owners who regularly beat the snot out of their Z a means of protecting their differentials from any temperature-induced failure.
Temperature control is of particular importance for those running an OEM-type viscous limited-slip differential, which can lose it's locking ability if the oil gets cooked under the strain of hard driving. Mine's differential cooler kit contains the cooler core, mounting brackets, hose relays, and an electric oil pump that circulates the fluid through the core when it gets a bit toasty. The extra piping also increases oil capacity of the differential to 1.4 liters, meaning there's more fluid to absorb the heat before it requires cooling. It's not cheap though; from Mine's it costs the equivalent of $1,607, so it's probably something that's best left to the more serious racer.