The near-production model will arrive in Japan in the second half of 2020

Subaru has pulled the covers off the all-new Levorg wagon, ushering in the second-generation version of what has become one of the most popular wagons in Japan. The Subaru Levorg Prototype isn’t the final production model. It is, as Subaru deftly calls it, a near-production “prototype” of the second-generation wagon that will arrive in the Japanese market in the second half of 2020. The Levorg isn’t going to the U.S. market, but some of the new and updated technologies that are being showcased by the prototype in Tokyo will find their way to America in some form or fashion. In the absence of the actual wagon heading Stateside, we’ll take our victories where we can get them.

Subaru Levorg Prototype Exterior

  • Fresh design cues throughout the body
  • Embraces Subaru’s BOLDER design philosphy
  • Sits on Subaru’s new Global Platform
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If you’re waiting for your minds to be blown when it comes to the Subaru Levorg Prototype, you might have to wait a while longer.

The truth is, there’s nothing mind-blowing about the Levorg Prototype’s design. It’s not even a complete departure from the current model.

That said, the new Levorg Prototype is a near-production version of the second-generation Levorg, and, in that sense, it does come with a smattering of aesthetic newness that helps differentiate its design from its predecessor. The Levorg Prototype’s overall profile is wider than the first-generation model. It also sits lower to the ground, enhancing its sportiness and aggressive-leaning design. More aggressive character lines are also on the menu and there are enough new creases in the body that satisfies its billing as a sports-oriented wagon.

2019 Subaru Levorg Prototype
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A lot of new details show up in the Levorg Prototype’s front profile.

The shape of the headlamps is different, thanks to new character lines that help reshape their angularity.

The shape of the front grille has also been tweaked to accommodate a single horizontal chrome bar that cuts across Subaru’s logo. Granted, the first-gen Levorg had its share of cuts, angles, and creases, but Subaru has done a good job recreating and replacing a handful of these design bits. The result is a front section that looks like a sports car. Certainly, the large hood scoop helps establish that identity, too.

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The rear section is also heavy on small and new design details. The rear fenders are wider and more angular, creating aggressive-looking shapes that contour into the wagon’s rear bumper and extending to the other end of the wagon. The Levorg Prototype also comes with new tail lamps. Gone are the boxy — and dorky — looking ones that served as one of the aesthetic handicaps of the previous Levorg. The new ones look nice and aggressive, fit for a second-generation model that embraces Subaru’s “BOLDER” design philosophy.

Subaru Levorg Prototype Interior

  • Blacked-out windows mean Subaru’s hiding something
  • New dashboard and layout should be expected
  • Updated EyeSight safety system
2019 Subaru Levorg Prototype
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The Subaru Levorg Prototype was showcased with blacked-out windows. That only means one thing, dear friends. Subaru doesn’t want to show the interior of the second-generation Levorg, at least not yet. So, where does that leave us?

We do know that the interior will host a suite of new and/or updated tech features, including, but not limited to, a new-generation version of the Subaru’s EyeSight safety system. We know that the EyeSight system comes with four radars in the front and rear bumpers of the wagon, creating a 360-degree view of the vehicle to go along with a 360-degree sensing ability.

More to that, the next-gen system will also feature new stereo cameras that should come in handy when it comes to scanning wider viewing angles for the driver.

These new features open the EyeSight system to new capabilities, one of which includes front cross-traffic autonomous emergency braking, which, by the way, will become mandatory for all vehicles that want to receive five-star safety ratings from ANCAP and Euro NCAP beginning in 2020.

2019 Subaru Levorg Prototype
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The rest of the interior bits are sadly left out of our view. We can surmise, however, that there could be significant changes given that Subaru went to great lengths to hide the interior details of the new wagon. If that’s the case, it would be welcome news for prospective owners of the next-generation Levorg.

As much as I liked the earlier-generation model, its interior had become completely outdated. Sure, some positives remain, but for the most part, the interior of the first-gen Levorg, specifically the layout of the dashboard and the center console, left a lot to be desired if you’re after fresh looks and a bit of modernity.

Even the flat dashboard doesn’t excite the senses as much as it used to.

Same thing with the overwhelming amount of buttons, knobs, dials, and switches that occupied significant real estate space in the center console and stack of the previous Levorg. Hopefully, there’s a good reason behind the blacked-out windows.

Subaru Levorg Prototype Drivetrain

  • Newly developed, horizontally opposed 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine
  • Possible output of 260 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque
  • Expected four-wheel drive because it’s a Subaru
2019 Subaru Levorg Prototype
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It goes without saying that Subaru has big plans for the next-generation Levorg. Why else would it go to these measures of not revealing the full scope of details about the wagon, presumably until it’s close to hitting the market? In that vein, Subaru did say that the new Levorg will be powered by a newly developed, horizontally opposed 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine.

No mention was made on how much power the engine will have at its disposal, but Subie, in its quest to drown us with hints and teases, indicated that the new Levorg will “deliver balanced acceleration [...] at a high level.”

For what it’s worth, the previous-generation Subaru Levorg was powered by a choice of two engines, including a slightly smaller 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit that produced 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced 290 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Both engines were coupled to a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission that sent power to all four wheels of the wagon.

Taking these numbers into consideration, don’t be surprised if this new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine will carry output that’s closer to the vicinity of the old 2.0-liter mill. Perhaps around 260 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque?

Final Thoughts

2019 Subaru Levorg Prototype
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The Subaru Levorg is probably one of the most underrated wagons in the business. Back when it was still new, the first-generation Levorg was one of the most attractive wagons you could find. It also helped that it came with two impressive engines and Subaru’s famed four-wheel-drive system. It’s a shame that the Levorg never made it to the U.S. market, and it’s an even bigger shame that the second-generation model is unlikely to make it to America too.

But that shouldn’t stop us from appreciating what Subaru has with the Levorg Prototype and, soon enough, the second-generation Levorg. The production-ready prototype looks great and it should have a fresh and modern interior to go along with a few more engine options to complement the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that Subaru already identified. All signs point to a new and much-improved Levorg wagon, and we’re hoping that when all is revealed, it will live up to our expectations.

  • Leave it
    • It’s not available in the U.S.
    • Details are still murky
    • Hard to buy

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