Friday, November 6, 2015

Tokyo Motor Show 2015: Subaru Concepts Form Cornerstone of Prominence 2020 Plan

Photos by Ulysses Ang and Subaru Press
Fuji Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, used the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015 to show the first and most important piece of its mid-term “Prominence 2020” corporate vision: the Impreza 5-Door Concept. Although purely a design concept previewing Subaru’s entry-level model, the Impreza 5-Door Concept does show cues that hint at the design direction of the entire future line-up.

Built around the theme of “Dynamic & Solid”, the Impreza 5-Door Concept exudes a feel that it’s been machined from a single block of metal. The front, sides, and rear are all seamlessly joined creating a solid structure giving a feeling of solidity. Furthermore, designers are keen to keep the practical nature of the Impreza by creating excellent aerodynamic performance without sacrificing the space and practicality akin to that of a C-segment hatchback.



The front is low and wide featuring the hexagonal grille with a detail line that extends to the hawk-eye headlights. At the sides, the strong upward character line give energy while the extended fenders express the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Finally at the back, the powerful shoulders and C-shaped combination lights echo the same low and wide stance seen from the front.

The upcoming production model 2017 Impreza (launching at the end of 2016) is very important for Subaru since it sits atop an all-new platform. This will underpin all future models including the widely successful Forester and Subaru XV as well as a new three-row, 7-seater crossover.


Speaking of crossovers, taking center stage at the Subaru stand is the Viziv Future Concept. Another design study at this point, the Viziv Future Concept does preview new technology for the Japanese brand.

Like most Japanese automakers, Subaru is keen to introduce its version of automated driving technologies using high-precision GPS data. Combine that with its own EyeSight technology, the Viziv Future Concept can drive by itself in a wide variety of situations including crawling in the city or cruising on the highway. Aside from being able to drive by itself, the Viziv Future Concept also previews the brand’s newest powertrain technology. Taking know-how from the Subaru XV Hybrid and Levorg engines, the Viziv Future Concept features a downsized turbo engine with an electric hybrid system. Thanks to its hybrid layout, this concept car eliminates the propeller shaft while still providing the security of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with torque vectoring.



The Viziv Future Concept’s true SUV styling can be seen down to the strong and solid form. It is said to preview the brand’s future crossovers, potentially the next-generation Subaru XV.

Finally, something closer to showroom reality, Subaru has unveiled a new limited edition car based on the WRX STI: the S207. Limited to just a 400-unit run in Japan, the S207 is what Subaru’s tuning division, STI (Subaru Technica International) calls the pinnacle of its complete car line-up. The S207 features enhancements both in aesthetics and performance to set it apart from a ‘regular’ WRX STI.



The goodies start out with a balanced engine, exclusive ECU, and new twin-scroll ball bearing turbocharger that bring the output of the SP3T Nurburgring 24-Hour Race winner to 328 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 431 Nm of torque from 3,200 to 4,800 rpm. A new silicon intake duct and performance muffler ensures better breathability for the engine as well. In the handling front, the S207 comes with exclusive Bilstein DampMatic shock absorbers and dampers, STI-designed body stiffeners, brakes and 19-inch BBS alloy wheels. It also has a quicker ratio steering (bumped up to 11:1) and new tuning to the Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control system.

Outside, the S207 gets an exclusive front grille with a cherry-red stripe, new black side garnish, and revised rear bumper. Adding the NBR Challenge Package gives you black door mirrors and door moldings, yellow side sill plates, and a dry carbon rear spoiler. Inside, it features STI-spec Recaro front bucket seats, a new instrument cluster, and of course, a limited edition serial number plaque.


“Subaru’s aim is to become a partner in our customers’ lives”, says Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, President and CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries. “A life with Subaru is a richer life. We want to create and share such opportunities for enrichment. We want our customers to create indispensible partnerships with their Subarus that go beyond what people usually expect from their cars.”

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