Impreza hot hatch could be a Yaris GR 'lite'.
Japanese motoring media are reporting that Subaru fans might have something worth crowing about soon.
With Toyota having a significant share in Subaru, cooperation between the two Japanese companies is a given. The result of which has also proven to be rather good, as illustrated by the BRZ/86 twins.
This latest report, filed by Japanese website BestCarWeb, makes mention of a new joint-venture hot hatchback. With Toyota currently thought to have the world’s best production hot hatch in its product portfolio, the Yaris GR, Subaru fans will be very keen for some shared componentry.
Those hoping for a Yaris GR clone are likely to be disappointed. This new joint-venture hot hatch is not thought to be quite as bespoke in its componentry, or focussed in purpose, as the Yaris GR.
The most interesting specification conjecture, which is not confirmed at this stage, is engine configuration. Subaru’s characteristic flat-four engines deliver excellent centre of gravity benefits and this new joint-venture hot hatchback, is expected to feature a horizontally opposed engine.
In the history of hot hatches, flat-four engines are rare. Extremely rare. Nearly as rare, as Subarus. The company’s best known hot hatchback was the third generation Impreza WRX STi. Although traditional sedan fans of the brand were disappointed by it, the WRX STi was an all-wheel-drive superhatch before AMG had even conceived of building an A45 and Audi was only supplying S3s instead of RS3s.
The platform for this new Impreza hot hatch is expected to be a shared version of Toyota’s compact high-performance structure, due for American customers. The Yaris GR is not available in America, despite enormous interest.
Toyota is keen to service its most important market with a compact performance car. Developing a slightly modified vehicle platform to serve the Americans, could also spin-off the twin chassis to make a new Impreza hot hatch possible.