Subaru Teases What is Probably the Concept for the Next-gen WRX

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Hoping to make a big splash at next month’s 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Subaru will showcase two limited editions of its most-sporting models and one that will probably end up being the next-generation WRX or Legacy. Called the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept, the vehicle appears to be an abstract vision of what is arguably the company’s most famous automobile — or its more-dignified brother.

As a modern day concept car, Subaru has dubbed the machine a “semiautonomous performance concept sedan” — which could indicate a bevy of new driving aids. But, since the automaker isn’t too specific as to what those might be, we’re focusing on its shape for now.

First impressions? It’s incredibly wide-looking. So wide that you can actually see the outline of the tires, which appear to have some pretty aggressive negative camber. However, this could be an optical illusion, as a secondary photo highlights some extremely unique wheel arches. Rearward slats seem to be an aesthetic choice while little fins on the top could be indicative of something more functional. Perhaps a sensor to monitor blind spots or something in aid of aerodynamics? Your guess is as good as ours.

As they seem a little too high and petite to be canards, odds are better they have something to do with the impressive autonomous system the automaker promises. The car also has sensors mounted near the roof and tiny cameras where the side mirrors should be. Subaru has said it wants to offer customers Level 2 autonomy by around 2020.

Featuring the hexagonal grille that’s now synonymous with the brand, large inlets near the bottom help reinforce that the Viziv is probably WRX-adjacent. A short trunk seems indicative of a fastback sedan, although there is enough of a decklid to affix an integrated spoiler to. But aggressive aero doesn’t guarantee this concept vehicle isn’t a precursor for the 2019 Subaru Legacy.

The name itself isn’t helpful, however. The company has used the Viziv name, which is a portmanteau of vision and innovation, on numerous concept vehicles. Everything from a hulking SUV to a scissor-doored hatchback has been attached to it and we don’t have much more to go on than its appearance.

Subaru is likely to give us specifics on the Viziv’s powertrain and some confirmation as to its hypothetical place in the automotive lineup after the the Tokyo Motor Show opens on October 25th. It’ll be positioned between a Japan-only limited edition of the WRX STI sports sedan and the Cool Grey Khaki edition of the BRZ STI Sport — which will get a 100-unit run and be sold by lottery.

[Image: Subaru]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 24 comments
  • Redshift Redshift on Sep 27, 2017

    No hatch no care. Not sure we can go another product generation without replacing our current one. So might have to look at something else.

  • Alexramsey92 Alexramsey92 on Sep 30, 2017


  • MaintenanceCosts "But your author does wonder what the maintenance routine is going to be like on an Italian-German supercar that plays host to a high-revving engine, battery pack, and several electric motors."Probably not much different from the maintenance routine of any other Italian-German supercar with a high-revving engine.
  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.