It’s pretty remarkable, when you think about it, how Subaru has held on to its rally-conquering image ten years after having withdrawn from the WRC, and over twenty years since it last won the title. But the latest rumors coming from Japan suggest that it’s preparing to return, and develop a new road-going hot hatch to pave the way.
Response claims that the initiative will center around a B-segment (supermini) hot hatch, similar to the Ford Fiesta ST, Volkswagen Polo GTI, or (perhaps more to the point) the Toyota Yaris GRMN.Details are still sketchy at this point, but it’d likely pack a turbocharged four-cylinder engine – maybe a boxer like those for which Subaru has become known – and all-wheel drive. We’d expect upwards of 200 horsepower and the brakes, suspension, rolling stock, and aero kit to go with it.The thing is that Subaru doesn’t currently have a vehicle that size – at least not in the North American or European markets – on which to base the performance model. (Pictured is the 2017 VIZIV Performance concept.) So it’d either have to develop one from scratch, or borrow one from another automaker.Like Toyota, for example, with which it developed the BRZ/86 sports car. Motor1 reports from its sister-site Autosport that Akio Toyoda has been privately urging Subaru to return to the WRC to compete against his namesake company, and could prove eager to help make that happen.At any rate, we’re taking this all with a bigger grain of salt than you’d find at a kosher butcher – but not without holding out some hope that it might come to fruition.