Subaru had two motor shows this week in which it premiered a total of three new concepts and cars for the world to see.
We, along with the rest of the web, have had a lot to say about Subaru’s concepts during 2013. Some of it was good, a lot of it was bad, but hey – there’s no such thing as bad press, right? You’re welcome, Subaru.
But I digress. As you continue reading, we’re going to cover each of the brand-new Japanese cars unveiled by Subaru over the past few days.
2015 Subaru WRX (LA Motor Show)
This is the car that has inspired so much talk about how Subaru handles concepts.
In case you missed the debate, the issue is that they’ve developed a habit for releasing incredible concept cars, and then dropping every redeeming quality in the transition from concept to production model. After a discouraging series of leaked photos supposedly showcasing the new WRX over the past couple months, the automotive press has had fine old time slamming Subaru’s failure to fulfill the expectations they create for their cars.
With all that in mind, it’s hard to make a solid opinion about the 2015 Subaru WRX. On the one hand, it actually looks quite a bit better than the unofficial leaked images had led us to believe. But the last generation 3 Series look about the C pillars, and the general lack of panache makes us wonder if Subaru have really lost the plot.
But, of course, there is more to a car that looks….
The 2015 Subaru WRX also gets a turbocharged version of the Subaru BRZ’s 2.0L FA-Series engine with a total output of 268hp, under-tuned from 297hp (likely for durability reasons). While that may seem like a negligible improvement compared to the outgoing WRX’s 265hp, the new engine offers much higher actual torque across a wider RPM range.
The WRX also gets new brakes and a tuned suspension for all-around better handling. Inside, the 2015 Subaru WRX gets one inch of extra space thanks to a lengthened wheelbase, more comfortable seats, and a premium Harman/Kardon audio system.
Subaru Legacy Concept (LA Motor Show)
The other big debut Subaru made at the 2013 LA Motor Show was that of the Subaru Legacy Concept, which celebrates 25 years of Subaru Legacy production. While nobody officially specified that this is the next-gen Subaru Legacy sedan, it’s a pretty safe guess that it will be. If it is, then we’re excited – it’s refreshing to see a sportier coupe-like design language applied to a family sedan.
By the way, keep your eyes peeled for the next-generation Legacy in either 2014 or 2015. Seeing this concept now, you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether Subaru needs to work harder on translating conceptual themes to production vehicles.
Subaru Levorg Concept (Tokyo Motor Show)
The name is ugly, but the Levorg Concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show looks pretty good.
After seeing the Legacy Concept in LA, the Levorg is a fitting follow-up as the two cars share many stylistic similarities. With the debut, we get some nice information regarding specs – the hood apparently houses a new 1.6L Direct Injection Turbocharged (DIT) Boxer engine, although the prototype is also capable of handling a 2.0L DIT with a bit more ‘oomph’.
Basically, you can look at the Levorg Concept as an Outback-sized Subaru Legacy Concept with an incredibly spacious interior. Subaru says that the Levorg will launch in Spring of 2014, so there’s a good chance that this is, in fact, a Legacy wagon (which would explain the extensive similarities). If so, then we’ve just been given specs for next year’s Subaru Legacy, in addition to whatever car the Levorg eventually produces.
Subaru Cross Sport Design Concept (Tokyo Motor Show)
Last but not least, we have the Subaru Cross Sport Design Concept, also from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Although, it actually is least in the sense that we know the least about it. All we know is that, “This model has a compact body with overall length of 4,300mm that allows brisk driving and yet makes available features such as easy seat access, comfortable interior, and abundant luggage space.”
The best guess put forth by the automotive community right now is that this is an SUV-ified Subaru BRZ. Something that might fit into a similar niche as the Nissan Juke NISMO RS we talked about yesterday. But, of course, this is mere speculation and shouldn’t be taken as fact.
All in all, Subaru has done a spectacular job this week. Every single one of these cars features an excellent design, and everything we can tell about their handling leads us to have high hopes. But, you can’t drive on hope, so we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not these concepts’ production models stand up to their precedent.