Subaru developing new Yaris-class hatch, plans WRC return – report

New car could be the replacement for the long departed WRX hatch

Could Subaru be preparing a new model, as well as a return to the World Rally Championship? A report out of Japan claims it soon will.

According to Japanese website Spyder7, Subaru is developing a Yaris-size vehicle, which would bridge the gap between its Japanese-only kei cars and the Impreza.

A hotted version will reportedly be powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine developed initially for the next-generation Levorg wagon.

Such a vehicle would not only serve as a replacement for the long gone WRX hatch, but also be the basis for the company’s return to the World Rally Championship.

The Impreza-based WRX and WRX STI models, on which the company built much of its rally heritage, are now too large to qualify.

Spyder7 claims Subaru is developing this new model because its fortunes in Europe have flatlined ever since it withdrew from the rallying scene.

The Japanese publication claims the hatch could be launched as early as 2019. If this report turn out to be true, it would break the company’s recent tradition of previewing upcoming new models via glammed-up concept cars.

We’re a little sceptical about the timing outlined here, given no prototypes of this car have been spied so far.