Subaru is closing on a World Rally Championship return, according to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Subaru last competed in the WRC back in 2008 when the global financial crisis forced it to pull out.
But Ben Sulayeam, who is present in the Acropolis Rally Greece service park, has revealed that the iconic brand is interested in returning to the WRC in the near future with the support of Toyota.
“It’s not a secret I had a good meeting with Mr Akio Toyoda, and I ask him what we can do [about enticing more manufacturers into the WRC] and I listened to someone who is passionate. And he mentioned Subaru,” said Ben Sulayem.
“They own a percentage of Subaru and they are going to support an initiative of Subaru entering. And I feel someone like him, when he speaks, he speaks with confidence.
“I hope that some of that will come. I feel more manufacturers are good.”
Building a car to comply with Rally1 regulations would not be an issue for Subaru, given the cars are based on a spaceframe chassis.
However Subaru does not currently produce an engine that would comply, but DirtFish understands that sharing engine technology is a concept which has found favor with Toyota chairman Toyoda.
“I see positive signs from the chairman of Toyota in convincing Subaru to come back and providing the engine, where Subaru’s issue is with the engine,” said Ben Sulayem.
“It’s not with the car, it’s with the engine they have. And I can see some signs of optimism there, really.”
Subaru has remained active in rallying through the Vermont SportsCar-run Subaru Motorsports USA program, where it has won every single American championship bar one since 2011. It recently developed a brand-new WRX rally car, based on the 23R chassis, which won on its debut at last month’s Ojibwe Forests Rally.