Does this model preview Subaru’s next seven-seater SUV?

Remember that funky-doored Subaru Viziv Concept that debuted at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show? Well, that thing eventually evolved into the 2015 Subaru Viziv Future Concept that made its debut last year at the Tokyo Motor show. It was a fair evolution that brought about a more production-ready model, at least on the outside anyway. Subaru has since been planning to take advantage of the American love for massive gas guzzlers won’t a new, three-row midsize SUV that will debut in 2018, but has decided to take advantage of the L.A. Auto Show to show off its direction for this model with the next evolution of the Viziv concept: the Viziv-7 SUV. Boasting a look that could go into production as early as tomorrow, and seating for up to seven people, it’s a prime example of what we’ll see from Subaru come 2018.

For now, Subaru hasn’t said too much about this new concept, but the exterior utilizes technology that is readily available, including full LED headlights with bright LED running lamps, and LED fog lights that are also surrounded by LED running lights. The unique way that the wheel arch trim integrates into the front fascia to provide housing for the fog light fixtures in innovative and fresh, while the small side-view mirrors give the side profile a sporty look. Around back, there’s even more sexiness with a single LED bar is in place of traditional headlights, running the full width of the rear. Down below, there is a pair of LED reverse lights that are surrounded by red LED strips to provide ultimate visibility from the rear and to effectively tying together the front and rear ends of the vehicle.

Subaru has yet to say anything about the interior, aside from the fact that it has three rows of seats that can seat a total of seven people. The interior of the Viziv models that came before it were highly futuristic, with the 2015 model being toned down a little closer to reality. With that said, the interior of this concept could very well be futuristic too, but based on the exterior design, it could also be toned down to near-production form. With any hope, this model is an accurate representation of that upcoming SUV that Subaru has been planning. Besides, if you’ve looked at some of the brand’s recent cars, they don’t exactly fare as well as Subaru has hoped in the looks department, but the styling language seen here could really turn things around for the company.

On that note, Subaru has also said nothing about the drivetrain. There isn’t any exhaust exit in the rear, which could be indicative of an all-electric drivetrain. Then again, there’s no evidence of a door that conceals a charger port or fuel port, so if it is all-electric, it would have to make sure of inductive charging or has a charging cord stashed away somewhere that we can’t. It is a concept, though, so it’s also quite possible that there is no drivetrain at all. Either way, the concept itself looks great and, should Subaru build its next SUV based on this look, it could very well have a big hit on its hands – at least here in America, anyway.

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Why it matters

As far as previewing upcoming production models, I found it near impossible to that the last two Viziv concepts seriously. The first from 2013 was way too futuristic and that weird door setup would never pass U.S. safety regulations. It was pretty damn cool to look at, but in reality, it’s a reach. The next version in 2015 was more on point outside, but inside was still a bit much. With the Viziv-7, Subaru could put that body into production today if it really wanted too, but as far as it representing that upcoming SUV, it’s really hard to say without knowing what’s under the hood or more about the interior. Subaru has said that it is representative of what a large Subaru SUV would be, so we can expect a very similar size when that new SUV finally makes its debut in the next couple of years.

2013 Subaru Viziv Concept
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2015 Subaru Viziv Future Concept
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Subaru Unveils VIZIV-7 SUV Concept in Los Angeles High Resolution Exterior
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Press Release

Earlier today, Subaru unveiled the VIZIV-7 SUV concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Subaru Unveils VIZIV-7 SUV Concept in Los Angeles High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Subaru VIZIV is derived from Vision for Innovation, and is a concept series embodying the future vision of car development for “enjoyment and peace of mind” that Subaru wants to provide to customers.

With the VIZIV-7 SUV Concept, Subaru is demonstrating its thinking about how big a future Subaru SUV can be. “The concept expresses our core brand values, safety, dependability, capability for outdoor activities and a forward-looking attitude,” said Takeshi Tachimori, Corporate Executive Vice President, Fuji Heavy Industries, LTD. “We know customers in this segment want a full-sized vehicle and the next 3-row from Subaru will be the biggest Subaru vehicle ever.”

Subaru Unveils VIZIV-7 SUV Concept in Los Angeles High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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With full three-row capability and Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy, Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept shows the size direction of the all-new three-row midsize SUV to be introduced to North American market in early 2018.

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Press release
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