Subaru is reportedly working on an all-wheel-drive hot hatch that may end up serving as the basis for the Japanese brand's return to top-level rallying.
The mystery model is code-named Super AWD, and is due in the fall of 2022, Cars Guide, citing sources in Japan, reported on Tuesday.
It won't just be a hatchback version of the next WRX which is due about the same time, but a new entry positioned below the WRX, although the two cars are said to be similar in size, according to Cars Guide. The hot hatch and the next WRX will also reportedly share an engine, specifically a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4, but the hatch will be less powerful to reflect its lower positioning.
According to Cars Guide, the hot hatch is being developed with Toyota, though it won't just be a version of the GR Yaris hot hatch that Toyota recently launched outside the United States. One possibility is a twin with the mystery GR Hot Hatch that Toyota plans to introduce in the U.S. in the not too distant future. Another possibility is a new range-topping version of the next-generation Impreza hatchback.
Subaru was once a dominant player in the hot hatch segment when it offered WRX and WRX STI versions of the Impreza hatch. However, for reasons that aren't exactly clear, Subaru chose to exit the segment when its fourth-generation Impreza was introduced early last decade, with the WRX and WRX STI becoming standalone sedans. Buyers still in the market for a hot hatch turned to performance versions of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf in droves.