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Subaru Rules Out Compact SUV, May Return To Motorsport: Report Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Aug, 08 2014 | 1 Comment

Subaru has reportedly ruled out any chance of a uniquely styled offering in the rapidly growing compact SUV segment, but it may yet return to the global motorsport stage.

Compact SUV Ruled Out?

According to the UK’s Auto Express, a tight budget has moved Subaru brass to scotch plans for a compact SUV that would take on the likes of the Juke, Renegade and EcoSport.

The report claims that while insiders have acknowledged the sales potential for such a model, there isn’t the cash available to develop it.

Introducing a compact SUV would reportedly require a new platform (Subaru has a new modular platform in the works) and, according to unnamed company insiders, smaller turbocharged engines than any currently available within the company.

And although not addressed, the potential for sourcing suitable engines and platforms from another company - similar to its BRZ/86 partnership with Toyota - may also have been ruled out.

That leaves compact SUV or ‘crossover’ duties to the XV, a jacked-up and ruggedised version of the Impreza hatch.

Subaru’s local arm is unlikely to be fazed by this report, however, with the XV already one of the most popular models in Australia’s small SUV segment with 6565 sales year-to-date.

The same category is inhabited by the Juke (1455 sales YTD), the Mitsubishi ASX (5312) and, at the top of the chart, Hyundai’s ix35 (10,506).

Motorsport Return On The Cards?

Subaru may be considering a new assault on the world motorsport stage, if the same report is to be believed.

A return to the World Rally Championship, where its WRX has proven famously successful in the past, may be off the table however, the series now focused on much smaller cars than the current WRX.

A run at endurance racing may instead be in Subaru’s sights, with Toyota’s LMP1 team and Nissan’s 2015 programme likely to provide inspiration.

Above: racing driver Mark Higgins sets a new record at the Isle of Man.
Above: racing driver Mark Higgins sets a new record at the Isle of Man.

The report adds that Subaru would be most likely to consider a hybrid prototype racing dynamic, allowing the company to further develop the diesel-electric all-wheel-drive system previewed with the Viziv concept last year.

A sleek racing car based on its virtual GT Vision concept could also be on the cards, depending on the racing series the company eventually decides on.

MORE: Subaru News and Reviews

 
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