No, Subaru Canada won’t give you $10,000 to turn your new car into a rally racer
In fact, the automaker has in place a plan that arguably even better supports grassroots rally racing
Rallying is an addictive sport, and it’s anything but cheap. Thus, the news that Subaru Canada would knock a hefty $10,000 off the price of any new Subaru if you intended to take it rallying caught the interest of many would-be rallyists. First posted on the internet by a Subaru dealer and subsequently reported by Jalopnik , the program met with applause. Just one problem: it no longer exists.
Subaru Canada was actually just in the process of wrapping up its program when this press release from 2018 popped up. So, no, you can’t get a massive discount on a new Subaru any more. U.S. Subaru fans need no longer direct their envy north of the border. Unless they covet our Kinder Surprises or whatever.
Thing is, Subaru Canada’s plan was attention-getting, but not really what grassroots rally actually needed. Getting a discount on a WRX or similar is a great way to get a few more new cars toeing the line at the start of a rally, but building a rally car comes at a huge expense. Building a car to pass proper safety inspection would burn through more than $10,000 pretty quickly, and the program also voided the factory warranty. The program got headlines, but didn’t actually have that many takers.
Instead, Subaru Canada offers a contingency plan that is arguably more valuable to people looking at getting into the sport. Let’s say you’ve done sufficient instruction to get your rally license, and you’ve found and refurbished a mid-2000s WRX with a bit of rallying history. You’ve gathered some friends to act as pit crew, and you’re ready to take to the gravel.
First, just for showing up at the start line, Subaru’s going to hand you $250 towards your entry fee. You could crash in the first corner, doesn’t matter. You could be entering a 1970s Brat or a modern Forester. Subaru’s got you covered.
Finish in the top six of any Subarus entered in a Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) series, and Subaru will award you from $1,000 to $500, depending on place (e.g. third place is $800). To be clear, this is Subaru rankings only. You could finish tenth behind nine Mitsubishi Lancer EVOs and Subaru would still give you top prize.
Finish in the top six of a CRC event overall, and there’s again $1,000 to $500 on offer to Subaru drivers, relative to place. There’s a $1,500 payout if a Subaru driver wins the Production 4WD class; and a first, second, and third place payout of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 for the overall best Subaru drivers in the CRC.
With eight CRC events in a normal year, the prize money adds up to more than a one-time discount. More important is what the contingency means for a mid-level team battling for fourth or fifth overall. You can come away from a race weekend having finished out of the podium standings, but having clung on high enough to recover consumable costs like tires and maintenance on the car. And maybe your pit crews’ morning coffee and doughnuts.