And that's a shame. Here's why.
A few days ago we learned that the next-generation Subaru WRX and WRX STI aren't likely to debut until early spring 2022. The successors to today's Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 RWD twins are even expected before that. What's taking Subaru so long? For starters, the WRX and STI are niche models with relatively limited appeal, meaning the priority always goes towards hot-selling vehicles, such as the Forester. But Subaru's rally racing history is important and retaining that tradition is still important. And thanks to its ongoing and recently expanded partnership with Toyota, Subaru is reportedly working on yet another performance machine.
According to Japanese-language publication, Best Car, Subaru is rumored to have a new hot hatch based on a Toyota in the works. This small hatchback, only referred to as 'Super AWD,' could very well be a rebadged and modified Toyota Yaris Cross.
That vehicle isn't slated to come to the US, at least for the time being. In fact, the current Yaris sold overseas will remain overseas because American demand for subcompact hatchbacks, such as the Ford Fiesta, has dwindled down to almost nothing. The highly regarded Fiesta ST couldn't even survive this segment slowdown. It was the same situation for its big brother, the Focus ST. For now, there has not been any prototype sightings of any kind, but this could change in the near future.
Turning the Yaris Cross into a hot hatch wouldn't be an overly difficult undertaking. For starters, the Yaris Cross is built on Toyota's new GA-B compact car platform that can accommodate both a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive, and has already been turned into a hot hatch in lowered form.
The Yaris Cross is, essentially, a raised and re-bodied version of the new Yaris hatchback. Assuming Subaru is proceeding with the project, what will be under the hood remains unknown. It could opt for Toyota's new 1.5-liter, three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine that's paired to an electric motor in the Yaris Cross. Alternatively, Subaru could go with one of its own boxer engines, but it all depends on whether or not it'll fit properly within GA-B.
Chances are we'll be hearing more about this rumored project in the months ahead, so stay tuned. And try not to be too jealous.