During the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in late October and early November, Subaru unveiled the Viziv Performance Concept. Described by the carmaker a sports sedan that builds on its race as well as on its rally heritage, the attention-grabbing Viziv Performance Concept provides a glimpse into the next generation of the Subaru WRX. Now, it seems the next-generation Subaru WRX would be heavily influenced by the design of the Viziv Performance concept.
As revealed by company design chief Mamoru Ishii to British auto magazine Autocar, Subaru is expected to release the next-generation WRX sports sedan in 2020. Ishii noted that when the Japanese carmaker unveiled the Viziv Performance at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the concept received very positive feedback. Thanks to the affirmative response gained by the concept, Subaru decided to transfer many of its design and styling cues to the next-gen WRX, Ishii added. This means customers could expect a number of similarities between the Viziv Performance concept and the next generation of the WRX sports sedan when the latter is launched to the market by the end of the decade.
The Viziv Performance concept is gifted with an aggressive yet elegant front end. Its decidedly aggressive front grille, taut body shape, sporty bonnet scoop and angular wheel arches as well as flared front fenders and sleekly sculpted waist all point to the kind of performance the concept might offer while pointing to Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” design direction. Overall, the Viziv Performance concept features a geometrical shape that would really look great when carried to the new Subaru concept. As Ishii remarked, these design elements would allow the next-gen Subaru WRX to look fast even when at a standstill.
While the next-gen Subaru WRX is expected to feature a number of design details from the Viziv Performance concept, the production sports sedan is being seen as a toned down version of the study in terms of looks. Ishii noted that Viziv Performance concept set a number of expectations – both from customers and the company. The elements that would be practically carried over to the final car are those that were done correctly with the concept, noting that Subaru intends to respond to the changing lifestyle of its customers.
For instance, while many customers look forward to autonomous and connective technology, not all of them are really regarding these innovations are very important. Instead, Subaru customers see driving pleasure as a very important aspect in choosing cars, and the carmaker is responding by exploring into how to make its vehicles more enjoyable to drive.
According to the Japanese carmaker, the next-gen Subaru WRX will be a driver’s car, which could mean that the sports sedan would be a driver-focused offering. Ishii explained that while four-wheel drive (symmetrical all-wheel drive) is critical to the power and performance levels that customers expect, Subaru isn't restricted with the engine selection for the WRX. This means that while the Viziv Performance concept is powered by a boxer engine, it doesn’t mean that the WRX would be limited to this propulsion unit. Thankfully, the new Subaru Global Platform that will underpin the new WRX could accommodate a wide array of powertrains like a plug-in hybrid set-up.