Could this preview the next-generation XV Crosstrek?

Subaru has used two of the more recent auto shows – Tokyo in October 2015 and Los Angeles in November 2015 – to introduce a pair of Impreza-based concepts that hinted at the future of the brand’s most recognizable model. For reasons that we didn’t know at that time, the Japanese automaker skipped on making another follow up in Detroit and Chicago. But as it turns out, Subaru saved the third model under the Impreza umbrella for the2016 Geneva Motor Show. So here it is, folks, the Subaru XV Concept.

The high-riding XV Concept is headed to Geneva with an all-new look that follows in the footsteps of its Impreza counterparts. That look is defined by the company’s new Dynamic X Solid design language, which Subaru plans to adopt to its new generation of vehicles.

Actual details are scarce, at least outside of the exterior, but with the concept as close to a production version as you can get out of Subaru, there is some belief that the production version will look close to what the automaker is bringing to Geneva. There’s no timetable yet on when the actual next-gen XV Crosstrek will be released, but with the current model on the receiving end of a recent mid-life facelift, 2018 would be the earliest possible date to see the next-generation version. For now, let’s take a long, hard look at the XV Concept.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

Exterior

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Since the Subaru XV Crosstrek is, for all intents and purposes, a high-riding version of the Impreza, it was only a matter of time before Subaru released a next-generation preview of the Crosstrek as a follow-up on the debuts of the Impreza Five-Door Concept and the Impreza Sedan Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show and Los Angeles Auto Show, respectively. The fact that it’s doing it at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show adds to the buzz of the automaker’s new Dynamic X Solid design language.

One particular difference in the XV Concept is the thick bar that cuts across the grille and where the Subaru badge is located

In truth, the XV Concept does have a lot of similarities with its two Impreza counterparts. The hawk-eye headlights are there, as is the large hexagonal grille. One particular difference in the XV Concept is the thick bar that cuts across the grille and where the Subaru badge is located. The two Impreza concepts had thinner versions of this bar. The two fog lamps are also new in design. They’re now vertical bars that are integrated into the matte black cladding that extends all the way to the wheel arches. The front section also has an underbody protection with some orange trim to complement the concept’s "Glacier Khaki Silica" body finish. The side profile of the XV Concept isn’t too different from what we have now with the production model, although it does feature a set of saucy 19-inch wheels with an updated version of the Crosstrek’s star-shaped spokes.

The rear also comes with the same C-shaped taillights and the aluminum skid guard with the orange highlights. Matte black cladding on either side of the concept also make an appearance on the back end, albeit with honeycomb-looking brake lights firmly integrated into them. The concept also comes with roof rails, which has become a vital part of the XV Crosstrek’s overall package. Overall, the XV Concept measures 178 inches long, 75.6 inches wide, and 61.8 inches high. Wheelbase measurements sit at 105.1 inches. By those accounts, the concept version is 2.75 inches longer, 5.5 inches wider, and 1.7 inches lower than the current production model. Given Subaru’s intention to make the next-generation XV Crosstrek look sportier and more muscular.

Interior

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That dash could serve as the foundation of the interior, especially if the Japanese automaker opts to go completely digital

Just like the Impreza Sedan and Five-Door Concepts that came before it, the XV Concept’s interior is a complete mystery. Subaru intends to keep it this way, presumably because it’s working on designs and technologies that it isn’t ready to share with the public. That’s understandable now because we’ve been through this before with the two Impreza concepts.

Having said that, I’m beginning to believe Subaru has a fancy dashboard it’s still trying to develop. That dash could serve as the foundation of the interior, especially if the Japanese automaker opts to go completely digital with an all-new instrument cluster and a massive infotainment display occupying large amounts of real estate. New seats could also be in the development stage and let’s not forget the latest in infotainment, safety, and connectivity technologies. All of these things could be in play when the production version of the XV Concept arrives, presumably in late 2017.

Drivetrain

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No mention was made on the powertrain so we can all assume that it’s going to carry the same 2.0-liter boxer engine that all current XV Crosstrek’s have. That engine is good for 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Base versions of the Crosstrek come with a five-speed manual transmission, but there is that option to convert the gearbox to a CVT version. Either way, the engine’s power is coursed through to all four wheels courtesy of Subaru’s noted AWD system.

Conclusion

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I probably would’ve had a more boisterous reaction if I hadn’t seen the two Impreza concepts first. I have to admit that the excitement has worn off a little bit. But that’s not to say that the XV Concept isn’t nice to look at. It is. I especially like the adoption of the C-shaped headlights that I’ve been waiting a long time for Subaru to send to production.

Granted, the Japanese automaker has been known to skid an entirely different direction when it comes to building the production models. But I’m hoping that it’s going to be different this time and I’m banking on the positive reactions from these recent concepts to convince Subaru that it’s new design language has all the makings of a winner.

  • Leave it
    • * What does the interior look like?
    • * New powertrain options?
    • * How much of the concept will we see in the production model?

Press Release

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, today unveiled the Subaru XV Concept at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show.

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The Subaru XV Concept is a design concept car that embodies Subaru’s next-generation DYNAMIC X SOLID design philosophy in a compact crossover model. Its compact body features Subaru’s DYNAMIC X SOLID design elements, the powerful form of a crossover, and a quality feel beyond its class – previewing the design direction of the next-generation Subaru XV*.

Main Features of Subaru XV Concept

The front, sides, and rear are seamlessly joined in the DYNAMIC X SOLID surface structure, creating a three-dimensional and solid body that is a feature of Subaru styling. The dynamism is enhanced by well-placed character lines on the compact body shape. The design expression of "Enjoyment and Peace of Mind", the value that Subaru provides to its customers, is fully pursued within the limits of the compact crossover model body size. In the area of functionality essential to a Subaru car, excellent aerodynamic performance is teamed with the ample road clearance and luggage space required of a crossover vehicle, achieving blend of function and style.

Quality feel is raised by the "Glacier Khaki Silica" exterior color, a blue-gray new color exclusive to this concept model that evokes the glacier ice. Matte-black cladding running from the front bumper over the wheel arches and side sills to the rear bumper, together with orange highlights on the front grille, front and rear bumpers, aluminum wheels, and roof rails, accent the exterior color to emphasize the diverse character of the Subaru XV crossover.

2016 Subaru XV Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Front

The Subaru look is seen in the Wide & Low stance with its sporty impression, and in the unified three-dimensional structure extending from the hexagonal grille that symbolizes the Subaru identity to the hawk-eye headlights echoing a Boxer engine motif. The front face plays the role of starting point from which the front flows via the sides to the rear, with each part uniting into a solid form. A pleasing balance of classy silver, matte black, and active orange on the strong shapes of the hexagonal grille and the bumper expresses the diverse character of this crossover vehicle.

Sides

The rich inflection of the character line extending from the front fender to the door panels and rear shoulder, and the line rising energetically toward the rear from the lower door panel, give dynamism to the solid body surface. The powerfully extended fender flares express the reliability of Subaru All-Wheel Drive. The matte-black cladding running from the front bumper over the wheel arches and side sills to the rear bumper creates a dynamic form expressing all the enjoyment to be expected from a crossover vehicle.

Rear

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The rear combination lights sharing the same motif as the headlights, as well as the powerful shoulders over the rear fenders thrusting all the way toward the rear combination lights, express a Wide & Low stance similar to the front. The tightened cabin silhouette enhances the sporty impression of the nimble crossover style. Like the front bumper, the rear bumper features a pleasing balance of classy silver, matte-black, and active orange to express the diverse character of this crossover vehicle.

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