The Subaru brand has not exactly been the prime example of a fuel-efficient automaker. Its recent partner Toyota has been missing from boys' posters of their favourite hot hatches and sports cars. Together the companies decided to rectify this situation by creating the 086A Project, a small sports car destined to take the best of both; performance with fuel-efficiency.

So far it's been going well but the eco snag has hit the project harder, possibly because of the current state of the world economy but more so because of tighter government pressures. The result of all this is that the 086A will now get less power from its rumoured 2.0-litre boxer engine. What was thought to be a 147kW (200hp) spicy two-door has instead turned into a 118kW (160hp) mild ginger. Incidentally the two respective power figures appear on the VW Scirocco's spec sheet as well. Never mind we are told, the car has also lost some weight to counter this sudden power-shedding.

More still is that the primary target market has shifted from a younger set to buyers between 30 and 50 years of age. The much-depleted Tokyo Motor Show coming up in October will provide the first official public glimpse of Project 086A and executives are sure to be present in order to gauge public reaction.


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