Subaru has taken the first step toward the introduction of a new Impreza at the Tokyo Motor Show with the debut of a hatchback concept that the company says also shows the future direction of Subaru design.
The Impreza 5-door Concept follows the historically functional Subaru bodystyle theme of a four-door hatchback, while updating exterior design for better aerodynamic performance. The exterior is cloaked in luminous silver adding a gleam to the traditionally low-maintenance exterior colour.
Dimensionally, the new car is about an inch shorter in length and height than the current hatchback, but rides on a wheelbase that is about an inch longer. Add that to a three-inch wider base and you have the potential for a more stable handling platform.
The hexagonal grille is larger and stands more upright on the front of the car, but still features the flying wing Subaru badge insert flowing outward to a new interpretation of the hawk-eye headlamps. The multi-striated front bumper adds elegance and intricacy to the design but may not be so easily moulded for mass production. Similarly, extruded lower diffusers at the lower corners will likely not make it to production although they create a nice housing for foglights and air intakes.
Lowered bodysides provide a hint at the stability for which Subarus are known, while crisp and simple character lines emphasize power in the shoulders and haunches and speed in their rearward swoop. The large side glass, gently sloping roofline and upward swooping beltline provide balance to the compact profile. Small side mirrors and fully-integrated door-handles add to the aerodynamics of the Impreza hatchback, though neither will likely make it to real life.
The tire size on the concept is 235/40R19 which really doesn’t mean much in concepts because designers always fit on the biggest and widest wheel fitted with the lowest profile tire they can in order to balance the design. The current Impreza uses 16-inch wheels, with a potential upgrade to 17-inchers, so it’s unlikely it’ll leapfrog to 19-inch wheels.
At the rear, lamps are simple and well integrated and the high-spoiler over the rear glass is nicely integrated (as have been those on most Subarus over the years).
The fully blacked out glass indicates that interior design is nowhere close to being finalized and we’ll likely see further developments at future auto shows in the 2016 season, as the car accelerates to its probable launch for the 2017 model year.