Public reaction to shape new WRX
PUBLIC REACTION WILL determine whether the Viziv Performance concept reaches production as the next Subaru WRX, according to the firm’s design chief Mamoru Ishii.
The next-generation WRX is due to go into production around 2020, but Ishii claimed that the final design has yet to be signed off and that reaction to the concept would first have to be considered.
“Such a car brings lots of expectation, from within the company and from our customers,” said Ishii. “What we know is that our customers’ lifestyles are changing and we have to respond to that. The question is whether we have done that in a correct way with this concept.
“For instance, we know that autonomous and connective technology are coming, and for many customers that is great, but we don’t think that is what all of our customers want. For some, driving pleasure is still very important and that is what we are exploring.”
Ishii confirmed initial reaction had been positive, and said he was eager to see design themes such as the taut body shape offset by flourishes like the wheel arches and bonnet scoop, which he considered part of Subaru’s DNA. “We have built up this tradition with the Legacy, Impreza and WRX,” he said. “We want it to look fast even when it is parked.”
Although the concept features Subaru’s boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive, Ishii hinted that only the latter was critical to customers.
The car sits on the new Subaru Global Platform, which will underpin the majority of its future vehicles and can, said Ishii, incorporate other powertrains and include a plugin hybrid set-up: “Four-wheel drive is critical to the power and performance levels our customers expect, but on the engine we have more freedom.”
Viziv concept could preview next WRX, due around 2020