Rumor: Subaru Working on Mid-Engined Hybrid Sports Car

With a turbocharged flat-four mounted amidships and sending power to each corner, the rumored Subaru sports car sounds ready to set the market ablaze.

byJames Gilboy|
Subaru News photo

According to Japanese car magazine Best Car, Subaru is developing a mid-engined hybrid sports car.

One Japanese blog shared the October issue's cover early, along with a summation of the feature article. Cover text describes the sports car—linked to Subaru's Viziv GT concept of 2014—as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with three motors: two electric on the front axle and the internal combustion unit behind the driver. According to the article's summary, said rear axle engine will be a turbocharged "Boxer" flat-four, an engine configuration for which Subaru has become known. Displacement sits at 1.6 liters according to 2016 reports of the same vehicle, and power at 330 horses combined, distributed through all four wheels. No information about the potential model's transmission has yet been revealed.

The article reportedly cites multiple sources which tell it that development of the car as originally reported in 2016 has continued, but that whether it makes it to production is ultimately dependent on the model's business case in the United States market. For Subaru, the U.S. is not only a growing market (it claimed a record 3.76 percent market share in 2017 according to Car Sales Base) but also arguably more important for the company's health than its home of Japan, which buys less than a third as many of the company's products each year—potentially as low as a quarter as many if Subaru's self-reported sales slide in the Japan market and record American market performance continues.

Best Car attaches the Viziv GT name to the car, but one other possibility is obvious: Evoltis. Subaru trademarked the name in the U.S. in March, reportedly for use on an upcoming PHEV.

The Drive contacted Subaru for official comment on plans for such a vehicle, and we will update when we receive a response.