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Subaru motor show hits the road

Rex appeal: Subaru’s dealer showcase events will mark the first time the WRX concept has been seen since it was unveiled at the New York show in March.

WRX concept and BRZ S to star at Subaru’s traveling motor show next month

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Subaru logo27 May 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

SUBARU fans lamenting the recent cancellation of the Australian International Motor Show have a reason to celebrate, with the company announcing plans to hold a multi-city event all of its own.

And the hot-ticket item will be something those fans are surely clamouring for – the recently revealed WRX concept, fresh from its global debut in New York last month.

Subaru’s local arm will host a series of “mini motor shows” in June with events at dealerships in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide to showcase its current and future sports models.

The headlining Rex concept will be displayed for the first time anywhere in the world since its debut at the New York motor show in March this year.

Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley said that the traveling showcase came about as a result of the cancellation of this year’s local motor show, which had been scheduled to be held in Melbourne next month.

“Fuji Heavy Industries had very kindly offered us the WRX concept for the motor show,” he said.

“And when that was curtailed, we made the decision to go ahead anyway with touring the concept out here so we have done some bespoke events for our own customers.” While the WRX show car is still a concept, it points to the likely design of the production car that is expected to surface later this year, possibly at the LA motor show.

The all-new WRX is likely to be built on the Impreza platform but marks a departure from the traditional Impreza-based vehicles of previous generations to a stand alone model that will be simply called ‘WRX’ and carry an entirely different body.

Subaru is giving its fans a chance to press the metal on a number of production models including a new ‘S’ variant of its critically acclaimed BRZ sports coupe that goes on sale in mid-June.

The sexing up of the BRZ S is purely cosmetic, with no change in performance figures over the regular BRZ, but it adds 17-inch black Subaru Tecnica International (STI) wheels, front, side and boot-lip spoilers and a coil spring set.

New and existing BRZ accessories will be showcased on the show car, including a carbon fibre-type instrument panel insert, carpet mats, rear step panel, reverse camera, front and rear parking assistance, STI exhaust and STI oil cap.

Mr Rowley said that pricing of the BRZ S will be released in the coming weeks, but much like the standard BRZ, it is expected to be available in limited numbers.

Also on display will be a prototype of the current generation WRX that previews the very last special edition version of the pocket-rocket that has been on the market since early 2007.

More information, including the name of the limited variant, will be made available before its expected on sale date this September, with Mr Rowley adding that special edition variants of the WRX “seem to attract a dedicated audience all of their own.”

A Liberty GT wagon featuring STI accessories will also be a part of Subaru’s mini motor show.

Despite the existence of an STI-style S model of the previous generation Forester compact SUV, Mr Rowley said that there are no immediate plans to add a sportier variant to the new Forester range.

“You would never say never. We don’t have any timeline at the moment, but we are always interested in zigging and zagging to maintain interest in these cars and we have a proud tradition in those areas of bringing the audience something that’s a little bit different from the mainstream’” he said.

The free public Subaru events do not require a booking and run from Friday May 31 to Saturday June 8 at Subaru Interactive at Docklands, Melbourne, Friday 14 to Monday June 17 at Jarvis Subaru in Adelaide and Saturday 22 to Sunday June 30 at Denlo Subaru in Parramatta.

Some existing Subaru customers have been invited to attend separate private viewings at the above locations as a part of the road show.

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