According to Japanese website Spyder7, Subaru are rumoured to be preparing a new B-segment hatchback to occupy the space between its Japanese kei cars and the Impreza.

While the brand is a popular choice in North America, it lacks such a presence in European markets. A hatchback model would help Subaru in this regard, but it will have to face competition in the form of the Toyota Yaris.

The source claims that Subaru’s compact car will take on the Yaris not just in terms of market sales but also in the World Rally Championship. In the case of the latter, the Yaris’ return to the competition has proved to be a fruitful one, with Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT securing the 2018 title.

Subaru withdrew its works team (Subaru World Rally Team) from the WRC in 2008 following gloomy economic conditions at the time, and a return would certainly bring more attention to the brand.

As the Yaris is offered as a hotted-up version, so to will the Subaru hatchback, with the 1.8 litre turbocharged flat-four being a likely candidate (also to be used in the next-gen Levorg).

While the current Impreza-based WRX and WRX STI models are capable, they are considered rather large (in size) to take on the current crop of Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20 and Citroen C3 rally cars.

The Japanese publication says the new hatchback will make an appearance by 2019, although the lack of any concepts up until now does add some skepticism to the claim.