Could Subaru Return To The WRC?

After a hiatus of over a decade, Subaru could make a grand re-entry into the World Rally Championship. The iconic brand, which last graced the WRC in 2008, is reportedly considering a comeback and might have Toyota to thank for it.

Subaru is one of the most iconic brands within the world of Rally. From their first entry in 1990 with the Legacy RS, to the iconic 555 Impreza which won three straight constructor titles from '95-'97, the legendary brand could be poised to make a return to the World Rally Championship. 

The buzz around Subaru's return was ignited in a conversation with rally publication DirtFish where FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem hinted at the Japanese automaker's renewed interest in the WRC. He recounted a promising discussion with Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda about the possibility of Subaru's re-entry. 

"It’s not a secret I had a good meeting with (Toyota President) Mr Akio Toyoda, and I ask him what we can do [about enticing more manufacturers into the WRC] and I listened to someone who is passionate. And he mentioned Subaru," Mr Ben Sulayem told Dirtfish.

"Toyota own a percentage of Subaru and they are going to support an initiative of Subaru entering. And I feel someone like him, when he speaks, he speaks with confidence," he added.

The WRC's current Rally1 regulations, which employ spaceframe chassis with silhouette bodies, present a golden opportunity for Subaru to rejoin the sport. Subaru just unveiled a new WRX rally car for competition in the USA, however it's not a car that could directly compete in the WRC. 

Subaru doesn't currently have an engine that would comply with current WRC rules, so it's understood Toyota would become an engine supplier for the fellow Japanese manufacturer.

Subaru's legacy in the WRC is nothing short of legendary. Before bidding adieu in 2008, amidst the global financial crisis, the brand clinched three drivers' championships in 1995, 2001, and 2003. Additionally, it secured manufacturers' titles in 1995, 1996, and 1997. While its presence on the global rally stage has been missed, Subaru has been a force to reckon with in American rallying over the past decade.

The potential return of Subaru to the WRC is not just a nostalgic trip down memory lane but a testament to the brand's enduring passion for rallying. With the backing of a fellow Japanese manufacturer like Toyota, Subaru's re-entry could mark a new era in the WRC. We're sure Rally enthusiasts worldwide would be pretty stoked to see the return of the blue sedan.


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