Subaru Eyes Le Mans, Has None For Compact Crossovers

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

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.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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12 of 14 comments
  • Zykotec Zykotec on Aug 11, 2014

    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?)

  • Wmba Wmba on Aug 11, 2014

    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: and his plastic Subaru engine at: 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.

  • Geozinger Geozinger on Aug 11, 2014

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

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Aug 11, 2014

    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.)

    • See 6 previous
    • Tim_Turbo Tim_Turbo on Aug 12, 2014

      @Corey Lewis 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.