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September 8, 2023

Subaru Plugs In Another Niche With The First-Ever Levorg (WRX) Layback

After teasing it last month, Subaru has finally revealed the first-ever WRX (Levorg) Layback. Continuing the Japanese’s brand of coming up with weird, but commercially successful mishmash of vehicles, the Layback basically takes a WRX Wagon (aka Levorg Wagon in Japan), adds some cladding and ground clearance; and voila, turns it into another new crossover.

Compared to the normal Levorg, the Levorg Layback gets a different grille and front bumper design. It also dons black cladding that now runs the entire length of the bottom part of the wagon/crossover. The new grille, Subaru says, is supposed to give it a stronger SUV flair and it does so with its wider design and three-dimensional inserts, while the cladding adds strength.

Subaru raised the Levorg Layback’s ride height to 200 mm—up from 135 mm in the normal WRX. Yet, its overall height is an underground parking friendly 1,570 mm. At each corner are 18-inch wheels with 225/55R18 tires. Its overall length—4,770 mm and width—1,820 mm—means it slots between the Crosstrek and Outback in Subaru’s crossover family. It somewhat overlaps with the Forester which is being touted as an SUV.

The Levorg Layback keeps the WRX Wagon’s iconic hood scoop and that gives you an idea of what’s under the hood. For now, only one engine’s available and that’s the turbocharged 1.8-liter (CB18). This direct injected boxer engine outputs 177 horsepower at 5,200 to 5,600 rpm, while torque is at 300 Nm from 1,600 to 3,600 rpm. A Lineartronic CVT drives all four wheels via Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Curiously, its Subaru SI-Drive only has two modes—Sport and Intelligent.

Inside, the Levorg Layback stays close to the regular Levorg/WRX it’s based on, but gets contrasting ash-colored trim on the dashboard, knee bolsters, and seats. It gets a 11.6-inch portrait style screen, the Starlink infotainment system, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon speaker system with USB Type A and Type C connectors, a conventional sunroof, and ambient interior lighting. In addition, it adopts Subaru’s first-ever first full LCD meter cluster that measure 12.3-inches.

As for safety, it comes equipped with Subaru EyeSight 4.0 with EyeSight Assist Monitor. The latter projects colored LED lighting onto the windshield letting the driver know the status of driving functions related to the EyeSight system.

The first-ever Levorg Layback goes on sale in Japan this October. No word if Subaru will offer it for export to global markets.

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