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]

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