If you have the sense you’ve seen the new Subaru Impreza Concept before, well, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. It’s been only a few weeks since the Japanese maker unveiled another Impreza Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.
That one, however, was a hatchback take on the popular model line. For the 2015 L.A. Auto Show, Subaru is back with the Impreza Sedan Concept, a yet-closer version of what we’ll soon see rolling into U.S. showrooms.
At the Tokyo Show, Subaru officials promised that the concept hinted at “the design direction not only of the new Impreza but of Subaru’s future models as a whole.” Now, they add, the next-generation Impreza will be the first in a series of products to emerge from the company’s Prominence 2020 strategic plan.
A key element of that plan is to develop what might be called “class-above” products. The Impreza might be Subaru of America’s entry model, but the new version won’t come across as a basic econobox, the company promises.
From the front, you’ll notice a lower and wider stance, with a more sporty and three-dimensional face. There’s a new version of the Subaru hexagonal grille, framed with distinctive “hawk-eye” headlights.
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A character line stretches from nose to tail, a second crease rising from front to back. The fenders are flared to accentuate Subaru’s familiar all-wheel-drive system.
The low and wide design theme is repeated in the rear, with the combination lamp assembly echoing the hawk-eye lighting cues.
Recent spy photos suggest the L.A. Sedan Concept is quite close to the production model coming next year. What you don’t see is that it will ride on a new modular architecture, Subaru taking its cue from competitors as diverse as Toyota and Volkswagen. The goal is to lower production costs by sharing a flexible platform among a variety of different models.
(Click Here for details about Subaru’s concepts from the Tokyo Motor Show.)
Various reports have suggested the new platform will accommodate a range of different powertrains. Expect them to stick with the classic Subaru boxer layout, with a push for increased fuel-economy, along with improved power and performance.
Subaru has also been working on a plug-in hybrid and it’s quite likely to offer a version in the new Imprezza at some point – but it’s far from certain that model will come to the U.S.
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With a conventional gas engine, expect the new Subaru Impreza to stay close to the current price range, starting around $19,000.