Subaru has long held a dear place in the hearts of rally fans and people that live in icy, wet, or unpaved regions. But it has always been something of a niche maker, never reaching mass-market audiences with its AWD-only lineup. Now, Fuji Heavy Industry’s automotive arm is looking to catch the eye of the average buyer with its new front-wheel-drive Justy replacement.

Aimed squarely at the hyper-competitive subcompact market, the new Justy is looking to compete not just on performance and features but also cost - and so the AWD had to go, reports Automotive News Europe. Built on a platform shared with the Daihatsu Sirion, which will feature AWD as an option, the new Subaru will be offered in Europe as a front-drive only model. Although the move is a first for Subaru, the subcompact category is already dominated by front-drive cars, so it’s a safe bet.

There may be one cause for concern, however - as the new Mitsubishi Evo picks up steam on its solid platform and racy good looks, the Impreza is languishing. Could this front-drive econobox be just another indication that Subaru is moving away from what made it great in the eyes of so many of its fans? The move certainly has the feel of Subaru shareholder Toyota’s rather boring touch, and not that of the raucous, rowdy, rally car company we love so much.