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Future models - Subaru - Levorg

Tokyo show: Subaru’s fast, furious ‘WRX’ wagon

Levorg fills the void: In the absence of a new WRX wagon, Australia will gladly take the performance focused Levorg.

With no WRX hatch in new generation, Subaru fills sports tourer gap with Levorg

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Subaru logo20 Nov 2013

By TERRY MARTIN

SUBARU is preparing to fill the gap in its performance-car stable created by the axing of a WRX hatchback with the fast and furious Levorg ‘tourer’ unveiled at the Tokyo motor show today.

The vehicle shown here is a prototype but the awkwardly named new sports model line is confirmed for production early next year, with pre-orders starting in Japan in January and sales commencing soon after.

At this stage, Subaru says there are no plans for export versions of Levorg, but the potential for a high-performance wagon in lieu of a WRX hatch is obvious.

The WRX sedan version will be unveiled overnight at the Los Angeles motor show ahead of an Australian launch around March 2014.

Subaru has confirmed there is no hatchback in the new-generation WRX series, which is further removed than ever from its donor Impreza underpinnings.

Developed to merge Subaru’s “unique approach to sport and touring performance cars”, the all-wheel-drive Levorg will be offered with the choice of either a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine.

The 2.0-litre version offers an impressive 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque at 2000rpm, driving through a newly developed ‘Sport Lineartronic’ CVT transmission (allowing eight-speed shifting), while the smaller engine musters 125kW/250Nm and combines with a regular Lineartronic CVT.

Japanese domestic market fuel economy figures point to combined-cycle consumption of 7.6 litres per 100km for the 2.0-litre DIT boxer turbo variant (which tips the scales at 1570kg), or 5.75L/100km for the 1540kg 1.6-litre version.

Subaru says it has enhanced rigidity on various parts of the chassis and body, for improved dynamics.

An electric power steering system is used (promising “sporty steering with great responsiveness” through the small-diameter D-shaped tiller), while the front strut/rear double-wishbone suspension has been optimised in line with its “sports tourer credentials”.

The car-maker claims the cabin offers generous space and is packed with the company’s latest technology, including the next-generation EyeSight driver-assist system.

Preliminary specifications show the sleek, low-slung Levorg is built on a 2650mm wheelbase and measures 4690mm in overall length, 1780mm in width and 1485mm in height.

The current WRX hatch, by comparison, is slightly smaller all-round, but the new-generation WRX sedan is expected to be a touch bigger.

As well as Subaru’s trademark symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, safety features onboard the Levorg include an advanced Vehicle Dynamics Control system, emergency braking alert and seven airbags (including a driver’s knee airbag).

The EyeSight system has new stereo cameras with a wider angle, improved visibility and colour recognition, and can also now produce steering input.

Other new and improved features include ‘pre-collision braking control’ and adaptive cruise control (now with ‘brake light recognition’), plus active lane keeping, ‘pre-collision reverse throttle management’ and ‘hazard avoidance assist’.

Base GT and higher-equipped GT-S model grades will be offered on both engine choices, with the cabin imparting a quality, sporting feel with piano-black trim, metallic-toned accents and various plated parts.

The main gauges have a twin-lens horizontal layout with 3.5-inch full-colour LCD display, while satin-plated rings with ice-blue lighting are meant to give off a sharp, hi-tech look.

The exterior palette will include a metallic blue-grey and pearl crystal white that are both said to be new to the brand.

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