Subaru is out with some new concept cars at the Tokyo Motor Show, and though they’re debuting in Subaru’s home country of Japan, there’s a strong likelihood that these concepts will help create a new global design direction for the brand.
One of the concepts hasn’t left the drafting table yet, but Subaru will be previewing sketches for a new Impreza compact car. It builds on Subaru’s use of angular LED lamps and the more aggressive, WRX-esque front fascia. Though the sketch is not a whole lot to go by when considering the production model, it does offer a glimpse into Subaru’s thinking with its next volume seller.
Alongside the new Impreza is a conceptual crossover called, appropriately, the Viziv Future. Off the bat, it looks like it could be an incarnation of a future Forester, and the popular CUV will likely take cues form the rendered concept at some point. It could also be a blueprint for a rumored Tribeca replacement, a vehicle that would get Subaru back into the larger SUV game.
The Impreza looks like a new car — a hot hatch, even. It sports a similar sloping roofline that’s becoming more commonplace on all varieties of vehicles, and the muscular shoulder line implies that Subaru — at least in the design context — is looking to make more of a statement with its entry-level cruiser.
Overall, both concepts look great. The Visiv Future looks appropriately rugged for Subaru’s outdoor-minded clientele, with sturdy wheel arches, ample ground clearance, and clean, incorporated roof rack mounts. It looks muscular. It looks rugged. Really, it’s what Subaru needs to get back to its roots — the brand, in an effort to grow sales, has watered down and diluted its design language to appeal to more people.
Tangentially, Subaru’s concepts have fallen into a pattern of sorts over the last few years of building up really high expectations, only to fall well short of them come production. The latest generation of the WRX was the most obvious example of this, and the Legacy sedan was let down by high expectations of its concept, as well. Hopefully, Subaru has learned not to toy with its fans’ emotions too much, and the Visiv Future and new Impreza sketch represent a more realistic idea of what we can expect from Subbie’s future vehicles.
Both concepts will be presented alongside an updated Forester for the Japanese domestic market, though the changes will more than likely find their way onto the American version as well. Per Automotive News, the front fascia has been revised for a wider, more planted stance, “as well as tweaked rear combination lamps. The 18-inch aluminum wheels get a bolder design, while the 17 inchers get a sleeker pattern to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency,” it said. The interior also gets minor adjustments, and the CVT has been reprogrammed.
We’ll have to wait and see what Subaru’s plans for the new concepts are, specifically the Visiv Future. But if Subaru can deliver on these ambitious vehicles, then it’ll put the brand in a good place — both for sales, and with its loyal, diehard fans.