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Subaru's next concept hints at what the 2018 Crosstrek will look like

Subaru’s presence at European auto shows has typically been low-key at best. That’s set to change at next month’s Geneva Auto Show when the Japanese car maker lifts the veil off of the XV Concept.

The XV Concept follows in the footsteps of the Impreza 5-Door Concept and the Impreza 4-Door Concept that were shown in Tokyo and in Los Angeles, respectively, last year. In other words, it’s a thinly-veiled design study that gives an accurate preview of what the next generation of the Crosstrek will look like. The lone teaser image does a good job of hiding the hatchback’s design, but we can tell it receives roughly the same C-shaped headlights as its Impreza-badged siblings.

The similarities end there, at least up front. While the Impreza goes for a more sophisticated design than the current model, the XV carries forward with a rugged look characterized by a model-specific grille with a thicker frame, honeycomb inserts on both sides of the front bumper, and a slab of brushed aluminum-look trim that mimics a skid plate. Five-spoke alloy wheels are tucked under fenders protected by plastic extensions.

Technical specifications are being kept under wraps for the time being. However, we know that the 2018 Crosstrek will ride on a brand new modular platform that is being designed in-house to underpin most upcoming members of the Subaru lineup, including the fifth-generation Impreza and the replacement for the current Forester. It will consequently be wider, slightly longer, and marginally lighter than the model that’s currently found on dealer lots.

Mechanically, the next Crosstrek will gain flat-four engines fitted with efficiency-boosting features such as direct fuel-injection and cylinder deactivation, and Subaru is expected to launch a plug-in hybrid model a little later in the hatchback’s production run. All models will come standard with Subaru’s time-tested all-wheel drive system.

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The Subaru XV Concept will be unveiled online a few days before the Geneva show, and it’s not too far-fetched to assume the production model will make its official debut at a major auto show before the end of the year. Stay tuned to DT Cars for full details about the XV Concept as well as additional coverage from this year’s edition of the Geneva show.