Skip to main content

Geneva 2013: Subaru Viziv concept brings a diesel hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive to the party

Subaru Viziv concept front three quarterSubaru unveiled its hybrid crossover concept at the Geneva Motor Show, and it should provide a glimpse at the brand’s future styling and a future production hybrid. It’s called Viziv, which sounds like the name of an obscure app but actually stands for “Vision for Innovation.”

On the outside, the Viziv looks like Subaru’s version of the Range Rover Evoque. It’s a two-door, four-seat vehicle with a high driving position, low roofline, and a big spoiler above the tailgate.

It’s definitely something we’d like to see on the road, except for the headlights. The trim pieces that frame the grille make it look like the concept’s makeup is running.

The giant side windows that serve both front and rear passengers would probably be impractical in real life. As much as we hate to admit it, so are the Lamborghini-style scissor doors.

The Viziv’s hybrid powertrain is closer to reality but, since this is Subaru we’re talking about, it’s a bit odd. Called Subaru Boxer Diesel Hybrid, it uses: a 2.0-liter turbodiesel boxer four, continuously variable transmission, a lithium-ion battery pack, and three electric motors.

One electric motor is coupled directly to the transmission and helps drive the front wheels, while the other two drive the rear wheels without any direct connection to the diesel.

Like most hybrids, the electric motors help power the Viziv at low speeds; the diesel takes over for highway cruising. The rear motors can also be used for torque vectoring, which sends power to the outside wheel during cornering, improving handling.

Subaru’s choice of a diesel engine would make a production car an outlier. Most manufacturers have shied away from diesel hybrids because of the added cost of a diesel engine, and difficulties in synchronizing power delivery. Diesels aren’t very effective at high revs, when internal combustion is supposed to take over in a hybrid.

Subaru Viziv concept door openThe interior has a two-tone color scheme and blue nightclub lighting, but it’s still fairly for a concept car. The binnacle gauges are a nice alternative to the amorphous digital gauge screens that are popping up in a lot of production cars.

Since the Viziv lacks a rear prop shaft, it also has a flat floor. Subaru says that, despite the rakish bodywork, four adults can sit comfortably inside.

For now, the Viziv is just a concept, but the world will get a lot more interesting if Subaru decides to put it into production.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Kia EV3: release date, performance, range, and more
White Kia EV3

Kia is on a roll. Hot on the heels of the success of the Kia EV6 and EV9, the company is already announcing what could be its cheapest electric vehicle yet -- the Kia EV3.

The Kia EV line seems to follow the rule of lower numbers indicating a lower price — and if so, the EV3 will end up being the cheapest electric car Kia has released to date. That, however, thankfully doesn’t mean that the EV3 will be a low-end car — it just means that Kia may be pushing the boundaries on electric car pricing.

Read more
Kia EV3 vs Tesla Model Y: Can Kia’s new entry-level car take on Tesla?
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV3 is finally coming, and it could well end up being the best small-size electric SUV to buy when it finally rolls out. It's smaller than the Kia EV9, but it offers many of the same design elements and features. But there's another small-size electric car that's currently one of the most popular vehicles out there -- the Tesla Model Y.

How does the Kia EV3 compare with the Tesla Model Y? And is one vehicle actually better than the other? We put the Kia EV3 and the Tesla Model Y head-to-head to find out.
The design of the Kia EV3 is very different than that of the Model Y, though they're both reasonably good-looking vehicles.

Read more
Entry-level Cadillac Optiq EV promises 300 miles of range for $54,000
2025 Cadillac Optiq front three quarter view.

The 2025 Cadillac Optiq will be the General Motors luxury brand's entry-level EV when it starts production late this fall. But it won't have entry-level specs.

After unveiling the Optiq in November 2023, Cadillac is now filling in some of the blanks on this electric crossover SUV's spec sheet. We now know that the Optiq will feature a standard dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain tuned for 300 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, along with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack providing an estimated range of over 300 miles. Like other GM EVs, the Optiq will be capable of one-pedal driving, with regenerative braking adjustable via a steering wheel paddle.

Read more