No longer shrouded in darkness, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept has made its debut at the biennial Tokyo Auto Show. The design study sheds valuable insight into the next-generation WRX STI.
While the WRX STI no longer wears an Impreza emblem, the concept is based on the latest Impreza, which rides on Subaru’s new modular platform. It sports a model-specific design characterized by angular headlights flanked by C-shaped LED daytime running lights, a wider grille also surrounded by LEDs, and more pronounced wheel arches. Subaru’s production models typically end up looking considerably less muscular than the brand’s concept cars, but we hope that won’t be the case this time around.
Subaru hasn’t published technical specifications, so what lies under the shapely sheet metal is anyone’s guess. It will undoubtedly carry on with a turbocharged flat-four engine, because changing the most fundamental part of the powertrain would send enthusiasts into a rabid rage. The modular platform the next WRX STI will share with the Impreza was developed with electrification in mind, so a plug-in hybrid WRX STI isn’t entirely out of the question. Nothing is official at this point, though.
You buy a sports sedan to drive it, not to have it drive you, but Subaru nonetheless stuffed some autonomous driving tech into the Viziv Performance concept to reduce the risk of an accident. “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,” the company explained in a statement.
The Viziv Performance Concept isn’t the only news from Subaru at this year’s Tokyo Auto Show. Another hotly anticipated debut is the WRX STI S208, which is a more hardcore evolution of the current WRX STI. It’s lighter thanks to a carbon fiber roof, and Subaru promises there are a few notable upgrades under the hood. Only 450 examples will be produced, and all of them will be sold on the Japanese market.
The final three concepts are based on the Impreza, the Outback, and the XV, respectively. The upgrades are largely aesthetic, like sporty-looking body kits and rugged-looking plastic cladding on the sides. The Impreza looks sportier, the Outback looks more outdoorsy, and the XV looks like it can keep up with a Jeep Wrangler on the Rubicon Trail. All three concepts will likely spawn production models — or, at the very least, limited-edition models — in the coming years.