Subaru Levorg Prototype Offers Glimpse of Future WRX

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
subaru levorg prototype offers glimpse of future wrx

The unappetizingly named Subaru Levorg (a portmanteau of Legacy Revolution Touring) has always been a model we wanted to grace our shores. With used WRX wagons getting harder to find than the Lost City of Atlantis, we could certainly use it in North America. Yet we’ll have to continue going without, as Japan still doesn’t seem interested in exporting the model here.

While unfortunate, Levorg can still serve a purpose. Subaru debuted the prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show this week, proving the automaker wasn’t joking about the styling it previewed via its latest concepts — especially the Viziv Tourer Wagon. Levorg is also giving us a taste of the next-generation WRX, as the two are closely related.

The second-gen Levorg moves to the brand’s new global architecture, and it’s just a matter of time until the WRX does the same. We can also safely assume the prototype’s heavily creased bodywork will be shared to a large extent. The hexagonal grille is a given (brand identity) and we’d expect nearly identical headlamps, front fascia, and hood scoop, as well. Bulging body panels should also be be retained, with the possibility of the WRX looking even more puffed up.

Unfortunately, the Levorg’s current status as a prototype means we won’t get much help when it comes to guessing hardware. The manufacturer stipulated that the prototype is equipped with a new direct-injection 1.8-liter turbo. It’s a horizontally opposed flat-four, in true Subaru tradition, and should stick around for the production model. Previous examples came equipped with a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission — which appears to be the case for the new model, too.

While Subaru indicated the powertrain would offer genuine performance and plenty of torque, it also emphasized new fuel saving technologies that help balance fun with economy. The rest of the company’s efforts were spent promoting Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance technologies. Those include camera-based automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping with assist, and even pre-collision throttle management. While not new, it’s something the company promotes heavily and wants to see as standard in more models. It also mentioned new “connected services” we’ll likely criticize at a later date, once we find out more.

The Levorg will drop on the Japanese market in the second half of 2020, with a production model debuting between now and then. Subaru hasn’t issued a definitive timeline for the next WRX but most expect the car to be fresh going into 2021.

[Images: Subaru]

Comments
Join the conversation
3 of 18 comments
  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
  • Dukeisduke I subscribed to both Road & Track and Car and Driver for over 25 years, but it's been close to 20 years since I dropped both. I tried their digital versions with their reader software (can't remember the name now), but it wasn't the same. I let it lapse after a year.From what I've seen of R&T's print version, it's turned into more of a lifestyle thing like The Robb Report. I haven't seen an issue of C/D in a while.I enjoyed both magazines a lot when I was subscribing. R&T for the road tests (especially the April Fools road tests), used car reviews, historical articles, and columns like Peter Egan's Side Glances and Dennis Simanitis's Technical Correspondence. And C/D for the road tests and pithy commentary, and columns like Gordon Baxter's, and Jean Shepherd's (that goes way back to the early '70s).
Next