Tony O'Kane | Feb 24, 2016

After being absent from the local rally scene for more than 10 years, Subaru Australia has announced it will return to the stages of the Australian Rally Championship in 2016 with a single production-based vehicle with rising star Molly Taylor at the wheel.

The as-yet-unnamed team will campaign a WRX STI NR4 this year, with the largely production-spec car to be prepped by Les Walkden Rallying in Tasmania.

The NR4 differs from the Australian-delivered WRX STI, with the local car's 2.5 litre turbo flat four swapped out for the 2.0 litre turbo of the Japanese-specification STI.

The interior has also been stripped out and racing seats and harnesses installed, along with a number of smaller changes to make the cars FIA-compliant.

Driver Molly Taylor will follow in the footsteps of rally greats Possum Bourne and Cody Crocker, both of which drove for the Subaru Rally Team Australia until the brand announced its withdrawal from the domestic rally scene in 2005.

While the name of her co-driver and team have yet to be announced, Taylor said she's keen to get started on the ARC campaign.

"This is a fantastic opportunity and I'm both humbled and excited to be part of Subaru's new plans to build on their amazing rally heritage in Australia," she said.

"We've got a lot of work to do in testing before the first round in April, but the NR4 is a great car and we look forward to seeing the return of the Subaru rally fans both new and old."

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