WRC – New supermini could herald Subaru’s return to World Rally Championship

WRC – New supermini could herald Subaru’s return to World Rally Championship


Subaru could be returning to the World Rally Championship with an entirely new contender in the supermini market.

A report by Japanese publication Response claims the firm is developing a hot hatch that will be offered with a performance variant – taking on the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and Toyota Yaris GRMN – that will underline a return to rallying.

The Japanese manufacturer last competed in the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2008 and has three Constructors’ Championship titles to its name. The Impreza WRX STI has been its most famous rallying machine, but regulations don’t allow that car in its current form – which was recently discontinued in the UK ¬– to compete in the series.

Response claims the WRC return would take place in 2020, with its home country also bidding to make a comeback on the schedule. A provisional agreement had been in place for Rally Japan to be on the calendar from 2019, but those plans were shelved by governing body Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile last month. Rally Japan last made an appearance on the WRC calendar in 2010.

(PA)

The same report also predicts the supermini will take design inspiration from the Viziv Concept unveiled by Subaru in 2017, boasting a low, wide silhouette with aggressive design details. The performance-orientated version, said to arrive in 2019, will reportedly use a 1.8-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.

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