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Geneva show: Subaru XV uncovered

Crossing over: The Subaru XV is a concept at this stage, but the production version is not expected to differ greatly when it rolls out as a production version.

Subaru's XV concept revealed ahead of mid-2017 Australian launch


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2 Mar 2016

SUBARU'S next-generation XV crossover has been previewed by the XV Concept at the Geneva motor show overnight, ahead of an expected 2017 Australian launch for the jacked-up hatch.

The Japanese car-maker is calling it a design concept, so expect the styling to be toned down by the time the production model is revealed, but it will carry the same basic look of the Geneva show car.

Subaru says the XV concept was designed using the next-generation Dynamic X Solid design language and follows the lines of the Impreza hatch concept, that was uncovered at last year's Tokyo motor show.

The XV concept mimics the same basic look of the Impreza road car but adds crossover touches including the matte black plastic cladding on the lower part of the body and the pronounced wheel arches, roof rails, under-body protection and rugged detailing at the front and rear.

Subaru has used silver, matte black and orange highlights for the sporty looking wheels, lower front bumper and roof rails “to express the diverse character of this crossover vehicle”.

Like the current XV, the new model will be based on the same new platform as the Impreza sedan and hatch, according to the corporate executive vice-president of Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, Takeshi Tachimori.

“This will show you the design direction of the next generation Subaru XV. The new design placesgreater emphasis on the go-anywhere stance of Subaru XV,” he told the crowd at the Swiss auto show.

“We will adopt a new platform starting with the forthcoming Impreza and XV. The Subaru Global Platform will mark yet another important step in the driving confidence of our Symmetrical AWD vehicles.”

Dimensions are close to that of the Impreza concept, matching its 2670mm wheelbase, but adding 120mm to the length, 40mm to the width and 130mm to the height.

As previously reported, the production-ready fifth-generation Impreza will make its debut at the New York motor show later this month, before arriving in Australia in hatch and sedan guise in late 2016 or early 2017, with the new XV landing about the middle of next year.

Mr Tachimori highlighted the success of the XV in the European market since launch during his speech at the Geneva show.

“The Subaru XV first went on sale in 2011 as an AWD crossover model with an ideal size for the market here in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe,” he said.

“XV has won particular praise for its sporty and casual styling, and has become an important model for us. It’s now making up 30 per cent of sales in Switzerland and across Europe.”

Given the popularity of the Outback, Liberty and Forester in Australia, the XV makes up a smaller proportion of overall Subaru sales – about 17 per cent in 2015.

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