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Subaru’s VIZIV concept drives itself on the highway, lets you handle the trail

Subaru has big plans in store for this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Japanese car maker will give show-goers a thinly-veiled preview of the fifth-gen Impreza, and will introduce a concept dubbed VIZIV Future that illustrates its vision of what the SUV of tomorrow looks like.

The VIZIV Future falls in line with Subaru’s latest design language thanks to styling cues such as C-shaped lights on both ends, pronounced wheel arches, and a hexagonal grille. Designed with practicality in mind, it eschews the rakish silhouette that characterizes many SUVs and crossovers today and instead adopts a rather boxy look that clears up generous amount of cargo space.

The futuristic design extends to the cockpit, which is accessed via suicide doors. The entertainment, connectivity, climate control and navigation functions are all grouped into a sizable touchscreen located at the very top of the center stack, and vital information about the off-roader and its surroundings is displayed on a digital instrument cluster made up of four pods.

The rear bench folds down to reveal a bike rack integrated into the trunk floor. A second bike rack is concealed under the trunk floor and accessed by sliding out the bottom part of the rear bumper.

An evolution of Subaru’s EyeSight technology uses sensors, radar, and cameras to constantly monitor the road, allowing the VIZIV Future to drive completely autonomously at freeway speeds. EyeSight can also avoid accidents by detecting obstacles in the road, and it allows the SUV to park itself in even the tightest spots.

The VIZIV Future is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain that consists of a small-displacement turbocharged flat-four engine borrowed from the Levorg station wagon and a compact electric motor that sits on top of the rear axle. The four-banger spins the front wheels via an automatic transmission, and the electric motor drives the rear wheels. There is no mechanical link between the two axles.

The Impreza 5-Door Concept will go straight from the show floor to the showroom floor, but what the future holds for the VIZIV Future is a little bit more vague. At this point, all we know is that its design will undoubtedly influence Subaru’s upcoming seven-seater crossover, and that the self-driving tech will be offered on the brand’s regular-production models before the end of the decade.

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