Do you remember when… Subaru (sort of) announced they were going to return to WRC in 2014?
Subaru is one of those brands that belong in WRC, period. Like Lancia and Toyota, even Porsche… and Opel. But back to Subaru and their recent announcement concerning the new 2015 Impreza WRX STI. The new flagship is scheduled to debut in Detroit in 10 days and what better time to disclose some tasty and exciting news regarding the possible return of the iconic Japanese marque to the sport of WRC. Because Rallye Monte Carlo will start few days after that and Subaru could really make a very loud impact by unveiling this kind of news in Detroit? Are they going to do it? Well, let’s say I wouldn’t put what little money I have on it.
However, if we rewind back to 2011 we just might remember some very telling statements, coming from unnamed sources (of course!), claiming Subaru is up to good things in the next couple of years. There and then, Motor Trend ran a story featuring all the important keywords, such as “WRX”, “WRC”, “return” and of course “Subaru”. This source confirmed the new WRX STI debut in 2014 and behold, they were right. But they also confirmed more elaborate things, such as collaboration with Toyota, aimed at development and subsequent launch of a brand new motorsports assault in various disciplines. Both companies worked on a highly successful GT86 / BRZ project and they do have 1.6 liter turbocharged engine in store, so bit by bit we ended up with a somewhat realistic chance of seeing Subaru return to the WRC.
Since then, however, little was said about these plans. In fact, Toyota was more openly discussing the possibility of a WRC return. After all, they do have a car for it – Yaris does compete with Polo, DS3/C3 and Fiesta, unlike Impreza.
“The first thing you must understand about our all-new WRX is that we have developed it from the ground up to win in motorsports events. That’s why we have focused so heavily on weight issues, not to mention a shorter wheelbase that permits faster, more precise turn-in. Marry that to our proven AWD system, and we think we have a winner,” explained Motor Trend source.
“Obviously the rally model will be based on the top-of-the-line STI car, but unlike previous Impreza WRXs, this new WRX will be more hard-core and less forgiving on bumpy road surfaces” they added.
Things have obviously changed in the meantime, because a wee while ago Subaru teased us with the idea of new WRX STI becoming a two-door coupe, but the relatively recent spy photos show the four-door sedan with a huge rear wing. Did Subaru just play a nice PR game back in 2011? Were they really considering coming back to the WRC, at all? Perhaps Motor Trend just decided to harvest some clicks and visits by using all the right words?
We’re going to learn more about the new WRX STI on January 14. Are we going to learn more about it returning to the WRC stages as well?
In case you wish to give yourself more (false) hope, here’s the original article on Motor Trend.