Subaru BRZ STI Performance-11

Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

Don’t get you hopes up on the mouth-watering prospect of a Subaru mid-engined, four-wheel drive hybrid sports car just yet. Australian portal CarAdvice reports that a key company official dismissed rumours of such a car being in development as pure speculation.

“I have not heard that, I don’t know what that is. I don’t know,” said Subaru of America president Tom Doll. “I don’t know where they’re getting their information from. I would like to know their source, I really would,”

The initial report by Car and Driver quotes a source close to the company, claiming that a prototype – based on the BRZ and utilising a mid-mounted 1.6 litre turbocharged boxer engine driving the rear wheels, with two electric motors powering the front ones – is already being tested at its proving grounds in Tochigi, Japan.

The configuration may sound entirely new to Subaru, but it was suggested that the company could be working on a reversed version of its Viziv Future Concept model’s powertrain – featuring a similar 1.6 litre turbocharged engine (derived from the one in the Levorg) that drove the front wheels and two electric motors that powered the rear wheels.

Subaru Viziv Future Tokyo 2015 6

Subaru Viziv Future Concept

However, CarAdvice added that while a MR Subaru sports car may be off the cards, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries has reiterated its interest in continuing to build Subaru’s current sports car, the BRZ. Its CEO Yasayuki Yoshinaga told the publication that it has already planned to build a next-generation model, and is in the midst of talks with Toyota to continue the joint venture – which spawned the 86 twin.

“We are discussing with Toyota to produce a new model change for BRZ,” he said. “We have not decided any details yet but we will make agreement. We want to continue BRZ.”

Elsewhere, FHI also confirmed that a new version of the WRX and WRX STI, based on the new Impreza, will be unveiled either in 2017 or 2018, although Yoshinaga did not say if these cars will adopt a hybrid powertrain to drive all four wheels.