A hopeful preview of the new WRX… maybe

Subaru just revealed its latest ultra-sleek concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Viziv Performance (Viziv is shorthand for “Vision for Innovation”), this Scooby is the latest in a series of concept cars to bear the Viziv name, rocking an aggressive exterior and tons of speedy visual cues. This is also the very first four-door sedan to come from the concept line, which can only mean one thing – this is what Subaru’s designers imagine for the next WRX. The emphasis is on driving fun and attention-grabbing details, both of which the Viziv Performance manages to accomplish, at least on paper. So then, what does it say about the brand’s favorite rally star? Read on for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

Exterior

  • Design is all angles and chiseled geometry
  • Flared fenders and carbon bits
  • Longer, lower, and wider than a WRX
Subaru Viziv Performance Concept Exterior
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It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package.

As is the case with most concept cars, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept’s greatest strength lies in its exterior design. It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package.

Subaru says the aesthetic uses the “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy, with inspiration drawn from the brand’s most “iconic” models. These include the Legacy, Impreza, and WRX, symbolizing “superior Subaru driving performance.”

The look is mean and low and wide, with flared fenders adding a good deal of aggression to the whole package. As is expected of just about every performance model on the market these days, carbon fiber makes a cameo appearance, finding its way to the bumpers, fenders, and roof, which adds a tasty composite weave to offset the brighter silver body panels.

In back, the rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness. A large center stop lamp also enhances the performance cues, while the upper taillights stretch from fender to fender, adding to the car’s natural visual width. The rear diffuser also houses a quartet of rounded exhaust pipes, set at an angle that brings the car even closer to the ground visually.

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept Exterior
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The rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness.

In the nose, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept gets a six-sided, three-dimensional grille that looks similar in shape to the current WRX grille, albeit a bit larger and with a cool-looking lighting element along the surround. Below the central intake are aero elements finished in black, while “hawkeye” headlight housings take up positions on the periphery.

Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood, with the headlights giving a nod to the boxer engine design and the flared fenders added as a nod to the symmetrical AWD system.

Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood.

The requisite hood scoop finishes it, mounted towards the windshield and finished in black.

Interestingly, Subaru gave us a complete breakdown of the Viziv Performance Concept’s exterior dimensions, and naturally, we should compare them to the current WRX to see if we can glean any sizing changes planned for the upcoming WRX. You can check out the specifics below, but long story short, the Viziv is a bit longer, much wider, and a little lower – all to be expected from a showy concept car, but perhaps it’s telling of what’s to come for Suby’s most beloved performance model.

2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept 2017 Subaru WRX
Length (Inches) 182.3 180.9
Width (Inches) 76.8 70.7
Height (Inches) 56.3 inches 58.1
Wheelbase (Inches) 107.5 104.3

Interior

  • Large touchscreen in the dash
  • Seats up to 5 passengers
  • Next-generation driver assist tech
Subaru Viziv Performance Concept High Resolution Interior
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Large touchscreen in the dash
*Interior from 2018 Subaru WRX
Interior from 2018 Subaru WRX shown here.
If we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints as to the upcoming WRX’s cabin.

While Subaru declined to provide tons of details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s interior layout design, the automaker did mention that seating capacity was capped at 5 passengers, much like the current-generation Impreza and WRX. What’s more, we can pick out what appears to be a large digital infotainment screen in the center console.

Sounds about right, but if we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints. Six-sided shapes for the cluster gauge and upper instrumentation readout echo the shape of the grille, while a three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel gets grippy hand bolsters and some nice contrast stitching. Further contrast stitching is added to the dash, while a large touchscreen takes up residence in the center console.

we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features

Not terribly exciting stuff, we know. That said, the Viziv does offer up some tasty tidbits on possible technology features Subaru has in the works. Basically, the automaker foresees ever-greater autonomous driving assist integration in the near future, and in response, the Viziv comes with the next-generation EyeSight system, the brand’s branded tech suite meant to enhance both driving enjoyment and peace of mind.

Incorporating both radar and GPS systems, we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features, all of which should make the next WRX both more efficient and safer. Look for Subaru to introduce this next-gen system into its production lineup sometime around 2020.

Drivetrain

  • Boxer engine configuration
  • Likely the same turbo 2.0-liter as the current WRX
  • Large 20-inch wheels
Subaru Viziv Performance Concept Drivetrain High Resolution
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Boxer engine configuration
*2.5-liter from 2018 Subaru WRX STI shown here
2.5-liter from 2017 Subaru WRX shown here.

Once again, Subaru seems a bit cagey when it comes to revealing details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s engine configuration, but in all honesty, we can pretty much tell exactly what it’s got going under that hood scoop without any official confirmation.

For starters, Subaru admits to using the traditional boxer engine configuration, a platform the Six Star brand has “honed over more than five decades of development.” In the current WRX, this amounts to a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant, hewn from aluminum and able to produce upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Routing the power to the ground is a six-speed manual transmission, as well as the same standard symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for.

Subaru says the Viziv Performance uses its traditional boxer engine configuration, which, in the current WRX, produces upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

All told, expect nearly identical performance numbers as before, with around 5 seconds required in the 0-to-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 144 mph.

Interestingly, Subaru says the concept’s tire size is measured at 245/40R20, a huge upgrade over the standard WRX’s 17-inch rollers. If carried into production, it would be the biggest wheels the WRX has ever got from the factory by a long shot.

Conclusion

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept Exterior
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All told, the Viziv is an exciting look at one of our all-time favorite performance vehicles, the Subaru WRX. While we would have liked it if Subaru dropped us a few more hints on what to expect from the drivetrain and powertrain (odds are it’ll look more or less identical to the current model), we think the exterior styling is a solid step forward for the brand.

Any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use.

That said, any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. Take for example the Impreza 5-Door Concept that dropped in 2015 at the last Tokyo Motor Show. We loved it, as did most other enthusiasts, but in the end, the production version just didn’t have the same flair or snap to it. Or you could take the Impreza Sedan Concept from the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, or the XV Concept from the Geneva Motor Show in 2016… the list goes on and on.

Either way, we like the look. Just maybe put it to good use this time, eh Suby?

  • Leave it
    • * Production version will likely look way different
    • * No interior design details
    • * No specs on the engine and drivetrain likely means carryovers for both

References

Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX High Resolution Exterior
- image 700160

Read our full review of the 2018 Subaru WRX

Subaru

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- image 741040

Read the latest Subaru news

Subaru Corporation today unveiled the Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept* at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017.

The Subaru VIZIV series of concept models embodies the brand’s vision for the future of making cars that deliver Enjoyment and Peace of Mind to its customers. Packaged in the first sedan body of the series, the Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept draws on iconic models symbolizing superior Subaru driving performance and the Symmetrical AWD layout powered by a boxer engine honed over more than five decades of development. In sports sedan form, it conveys the concept of driving enjoyment that Subaru will continue to pursue. In anticipation of widespread future deployment of automated driving technologies, advanced driver assist functions combining the next-generation EyeSight system with other devices have been installed in a sedan body encouraging active enjoyment of driving, to express Subaru’s distinctive worldview of driving with Enjoyment and Peace of Mind.

Main Specifications of Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept
 Body size (overall length × width × height): 4,630 × 1,950 × 1,430 mm
 Wheelbase: 2,730 mm
 Tire size: 245/40 R20
 Seating capacity: 5 persons

Design Features
To express the distinctive enjoyment of driving a Subaru, the VIZIV Performance Concept draws on previous models symbolizing the Subaru driving experience: the Legacy, which defined Subaru as a drivers’ car, the Impreza, which took the World Rally Championship by storm, and the WRX, which still dominates motor racing around the world. Based on Subaru’s shared “Dynamic × Solid” design philosophy, this next-generation sports sedan encapsulates driving enjoyment.

Driving performance is highlighted by a rigid, forward-thrusting body with low center of gravity, the dynamic flare of the fenders, the use of carbon fiber parts in the bumpers, fenders, and roof, and the bold glimpse of the exhaust in the rear bumper.

The three-dimensional form of the front grill flanked by hawkeye headlights hints at the boxer engine they conceal, and muscular fenders on all four corners of the body testify to the reliability of the Symmetrical AWD. Maintaining consistency with previous Subaru concept cars and production models, the VIZIV Performance Concept embodies the Subaru powertrain, which is part of the brand’s identity.

Advanced Driver-Assist Technologies
Subaru has teamed advanced driver-assist technologies scheduled for launch around 2020 with the high performance offered by the boxer engine and Symmetrical AWD to create a sports sedan symbolizing the Enjoyment and Peace of Mind to be expected of its cars. By also incorporating further enhancements to EyeSight driver-assist technology, radar, and highly accurate GPS and navigation systems, Subaru continues to pursue ultimate levels of safety in the aim of eliminating automobile accidents.

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