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Subaru prepares to reboot the Crosstrek with less weight and a sharper design

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Subaru is investing in new models and improved infotainment tech to appeal to the next generation of car buyers.

Subaru has released a dark teaser image that previews the next-generation Crosstrek. The model is scheduled to make its global debut in March during the Geneva Auto Show.

The next Crosstrek — which is known as the XV in Europe — will follow in the current model’s footsteps. It will be based on the brand-new Impreza that Subaru released last year, but it will receive a more rugged look with specific bumpers on both ends and black plastic cladding over the wheel arches and the rocker panels. A taller ride height and a standard roof rack will complete the Impreza’s transformation into a geared-up adventure rig.

Subaru is upping its tech game, so the Crosstrek will be offered with the latest generation of Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system and the carmaker’s EyeSight suite of electronic driving aids. Offered at an extra cost, EyeSight includes features such as pre-collision assist and a lane departure warning system.

Mechanically, the Crosstrek will be identical to the Impreza. At launch, the only engine available will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission might be offered on select trim levels, but most Crosstreks will roll off the assembly line equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Subaru’s time-tested symmetrical all-wheel drive system will let motorists take advantage of the extra ground clearance.

The new modular platform found under Subaru’s compact soft-roader was designed with electrification in mind, so a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain might be added to the lineup a little later in the production run. Unlike the discontinued XV Crosstrek Hybrid, the new model is expected to offer a plug-in setup capable of zero-emissions driving.

Subaru will show the European-spec version of the Crosstrek in Switzerland. The U.S.-spec model will likely be launched in April at the New York Auto Show, and it’s expected to reach showrooms as a 2018 model.