Subaru Showcases Muscular Viziv Concept and Likely the Next-gen WRX

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
subaru showcases muscular viziv concept and likely the next gen wrx

After some light teasing, Subaru unveiled the Viziv Performance Concept in its entirety at the Tokyo Motor Show — showing what is very likely to the next incarnation of the WRX. While that’s not a guarantee, the Viziv’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive, boxer engine, squared taillights, hood scoop, and overall shape appears to be an obvious evolution of the brand’s beloved performance model.

Enthusiasts are likely to be pleased, too. While it was never gorgeous, the WRX has enjoyed ho-hum styling since 2008. Things took a turn for the better after a mid-cycle facelift in late 2009, but even the current generation lacks some of the character of those earlier examples. On the upside, Subaru continued to refine what was essentially a budget automobile with highly desirable driving dynamics.

But if the next WRX can maintain the Viziv’s more extravagant styling cues while also holding onto improved interior quality and performance, well, then this is all very exciting.

Let’s not put the cart before the horse, though. Subaru hasn’t officially announced anything yet. In fact, we wouldn’t have much to go on had CarScoops and a handful of other outlets hadn’t broke the news slightly ahead of the vehicle’s official reveal in Japan. Those details have made it all the more obvious that the automaker is laying the groundwork for its next-generation performance sedan.

The Viziv Concept measures 182.2 inches in length, 76.7 inches in width, and 56.3 inches in height. Taking into account the fact that concept cars are typically designed with more girth and a shorter roofline than their real-world counterparts, that isn’t far from the current WRX’s dimensions. Subaru also said the Viziv comes with a very WRXish “high-performance” flat-four.

It does have new tricks up its sleeve, however. The manufacturer has bestowed the concept with perforated air outlets behind the wheel arches. Subaru said the design smooths out turbulent air, helping high-speed performance and fuel economy. There are also tiny wings at the top of each wheel arch. As difficult as it is to believe, these minuscule fins are supposed to further assist with aerodynamics and even improve handling. According to Automotive News, Subaru’s global design chief Mamoru Ishii said the company fully intends to use them on future production vehicles.

Like every concept vehicle, the Viziv is heavy on autonomous technology. It’s outfitted with an advanced version of the brand’s EyeSight safety system and takes things a step further by replacing mirrors with camera mounts and adding radar. Subaru has previously stated it wants to target Level 2 autonomy by 2020, so the proposed tech could be more fact than fiction — which is refreshing to see on a concept car.

Still, we’re more excited about the styling choices Subaru is making here. It previously announced that it wanted to stop making ugly cars and, while having a sensibly styled fleet was always part of its unique charm, nobody is going to mind seeing it strive for more beautiful bodywork. “From this car forward, we don’t want our cars to look good just parked in a show room but to look good running down the road,” Ishii said after the concept’s official debut.

[Images: Subaru]

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  • Duncanator Duncanator on Oct 26, 2017

    I have learned over the decades to simply ignore concept vehicles. They must serve some purpose, perhaps for the Chinese to copy (Land Rover), but I don't know why they even bother with them. Show me a production vehicle and then I'll pay attention.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 26, 2017

    The reappearance of flat, sharp creases is promising, but the no-rear-headroom, no-rear-vision roofline is still there. The roofline will probably recede to the rear bumper before the formal upright limo rear window returns. The jellybean profile that started with the Taurus has been around so long, a three-box design would look new and exciting. That won't happen until the CAFE rules are dialed back, or eliminated entirely.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.