Forget the worthy but plain Justy four-wheel-drive supermini of the 1980s - reports in Tokyo suggest that Subaru is planning to create a new small car for Europe, and it’s likely to be small, smart and swish.
The new car could replace the current Justy supermini, which is not on sale in the UK, and is built in collaboration with Suzuki. With Toyota having bought a stake in Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, however, it is more likely that any new car will use Toyota know-how.
Expect the new car to take its lead from Subaru’s Japan-only R1 three-door and R2 five-door city cars, which are designed to appeal as much to wealthy suburbanites as budget-concious motorists, and are available with features such as leather and Alcantara trim.
While the new supermini would have to be frugal (car makers have committed to meet tough voluntary emissions targets by 2008) that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be slow or staid - the R1 is available with a supercharged engine and a choice of front- or four-wheel drive.