By on August 11, 2014

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

If any of you were hoping for a small crossover underneath the Subaru XV Crosstrek, you may breath now. The Pleiades-bedecked automaker has no plans for such a thing, as it has its sights on the Mulsanne Straight.

Auto Express reports Subaru has no cash to spare to develop a CUV in the vein of the Jeep Renegade or Nissan Juke, which would need a (non-existent) supermini in its European portfolio and matching turbocharged engine just to start. If it did have every ingredient needed, however, its small crossover would be a Euro-only affair, despite sales of 500,000 per year in the United States and a rebounding Japanese market.

Meanwhile, the automaker has eyes on going back into the racing game with hybrid power, with Le Mans in particular. Toyota’s fortunes in LMP1, along with Nissan’s 2015 return, have the executives’ attention, and company insiders claim the budget to go all in could be found “if there is a big English audience to recognize the Le Mans commitment.”

As for a return to WRC, Subaru would need to rework the WRX STi to attempt to compete against current rally fighters like the Ford Fiesta RS, Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo R. Thus, a return to rallying is not likely anytime soon.

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14 Comments on “Subaru Eyes Le Mans, Has None For Compact Crossovers...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Subaru and road course racing just doesn’t seem to mmesh the granola loving, Birenstock wearing Subie buyers stateside.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Hmmmmmmmmm Subaru was successful in WRC therefore they should put effort into racing at LeMans. Yes this makes logical progressive sense.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    As a CRV owner that could possibly consider a Forester, who could possibly want a crossover that is even smaller than an XV?
    (yeah, I know my fellow European car buyers are weirdos, but, come on?)

  • avatar
    wmba

    Just last November, a well-known ex-Canadian now Euro scam artist name of Al Solaroli claimed to have a 550hp “adiabatic” version of the new WRX engine ready for Le Mans.

    Even hoodwinked the respected journal Racecar Engineering to write an article on it. Of course, readers soon apprised the magazine of Mr. Solari’s talents as a good con artist and general nutcase.

    Like any good sociopath, Solari has resurfaced again, I’d guess, and the Internet, with the attention span of an average gnat, has forgotten it was hoodwinked a mere 9 months ago.

    So it has stepped off the cliff again, having swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. Read about Solari here:

    http://lastturnclub.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=147&Itemid=51

    and his plastic Subaru engine at:

    http://www.racecar-engineering.com/news/subaru-engine-for-le-mans-revealed/

    What earthly need does Subaru have to compete at Le Mans? Obviously none, since European sales are in the toilet, and all Subaru factories are fully utilized trying to keep the US market satisfied for numb Foresters, Crosstreks and Outbacks, powered by the FB engine, itself subject to a class action lawsuit for drinking oil.

    Subaru has doubled US sales in the last five years and has kicked Toyota out of its US factory. Who needs Le Mans?

    Al Solaroli. That’s who.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    For all of the people who complain about GM’s marketing, witness this from Subaru. Add this idea to the list of bad ideas…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The XV is already plenty small, and indeed something I would consider a compact. Isn’t the Impreza a compact?

    In any case, they certainly didn’t need something smaller than the junky XV. (A car which seems both too small and too expensive.)

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Its a modern compact (and it is an Imprezza with a lift kit & beefier suspension. Heck, even the user manual says “Imprezza” on it), so its actually remarkably roomy inside for such a small car (small cars have gotten much bigger on the inside in the past few years), but it is small.

      However, expensive I’d disagree with. The price premium over the standard Imprezza is low (a hair over $1k), but having taken it out on various ranch roads over the past couple of weeks, and also through pretty impressive blizzard conditions, the wee beastie is remarkably capable over some fairly rough terrain.

      It doesn’t have the approach angle of a real 4×4 (its decent at 21.5 but not spectacular, a typical factory 4×4 pickup is 24+), but the ground clearance is actually pretty capable (8.7″, aka “your typical 4×4 from the factory pickup”), the fuel economy is solid (we see over 30 MPG in standard driving), the drive is nice, and the utility is very high.

      But there is no point in going smaller: a shorter wheelbase wouldn’t really improve the offroad ability much (it would improve the breakover, but manuverability wise, the current XV is darn good), and would remove a lot of onroad utility: Unless your living in Paris, any parking space you find the XV will fit in.

      Plus there is not all that much to go down price-wise: The cheapest AWD Juke is $21.1k, while the base XV is $21,995.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The XV is really just the recreation of the Impreza Outback Sport of the ’90s.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s funny you say that – I do believe they had the Impreza Outback Sport until 2010 or 2011. It was only dropped recently – the low sales numbers were probably because everyone thought they dropped it about 1999.

        • 0 avatar
          Tim_Turbo

          They had it until 2011.

          Funny to me that people say this all the time…but the Impreza Outback Sport never really had any real ground clearance difference vs. the regular Impreza (6.3″ if I am correct). While the ones from the 90’s were made to look more off-roadable they really weren’t. Hell in 2008-2011 the Oback Spt. package included a larger wheel and a lower profile tire-so the emphasis was more on the “sport” and less on any kind of added utility.

          So yeah-the currect Impreza Sport is really what replaced the Impreza Outback Sport.

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