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Tokyo show: Subaru previews new-gen WRX

Cool Runnings: Examples of the BRZ STI Sport finished in Cool Grey Khaki paint will be limited to 100 units in Japan, with a lottery conducted to determine who can purchase the new model.

Viziv Performance Concept sports sedan paves way for next Subaru WRX pair


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26 Sep 2017

SUBARU will roll out three concepts and three limited-edition variants at the Tokyo motor show next month, with the line-up to be headlined by the Viziv Performance Concept that likely previews the next-generation WRX and WRX STI.

The other debutants will be the Japanese domestic market-only BRZ STI Sport, WRX STI S208 and Outback Limited Smart Edition, as well as the XV Fun Adventure and Impreza Future Sport concepts.

Described by Subaru as a sports sedan that embodies “enjoyment and peace of mind”, the Viziv Performance Concept will feature the car-maker’s EyeSight suite of safety and driver assistance technologies, which pave the way for “the future popularisation of self-driving vehicles”.

Therefore, autonomous features will be central to the concept and the future WRX production model, which is expected to break cover as early as the end of next year.

Two shadowed images of the Viziv Performance Concept tease its front-end and rear three-quarter angles, confirming the show car’s purposeful but familiar look in line with Subaru’s Dynamic x Solid design language.

C-shaped LED daytime running lights (DRLs) feature up front, while the concept’s sporting intent is highlighted by its bonnet scoop, three-section air inlet and heavy creases.

Traditional side mirrors are eschewed in favour of door-mounted side-view cameras, while door handles make way for aerodynamically-friendly buttons.

An integrated rear spoiler shapes the bootlid, while the Viziv Performance Concept’s rear haunches pay homage to the current-gen WRX. Air inlets behind the wheelarches also help optimise airflow.

Limited in Japan to an undisclosed number of units, the BRZ STI Sport is characterised by several cosmetic, ride and handling upgrades.

However, Subaru Australia has confirmed elements of this model will appear on a local variant that goes on sale at the end of this year.

Specifically, the BRZ STI Sport features improved body rigidity, exclusive suspension tuning, a Brembo braking package with red-coloured callipers, black 15-spoke alloy wheels, mesh front bumper inserts, red STI-branded sports seats and STI badging. There are no changes to the BRZ’s 2.0-litre boxer four-cylinder engine.

Examples finished in Cool Grey Khaki exterior paint – which first appeared on the new-gen XV – will be limited to 100 units in Japan, but Australia’s unnamed BRZ special will also have an allocation of this colour as part of a ‘launch edition’.

Based on the current WRX STI, the S208 will be limited to 450 examples and includes a retuned engine, a redeveloped suspension, a front splitter, black side mirrors, a black bootlid-mounted wing spoiler and a carbon-fibre roof.

Given the S207 launched in 2015 featured improved outputs of 241kW/431Nm, the S208 is likely to match or improve on these power and torque figures, while acceleration will be quicker than before.

Both the BRZ STI Sport in Cool Grey Khaki and S208 will be sold in Japan via a lottery, with interested customers required to sign up with their local dealers for the chance to win.

The XV Fun Adventure Concept endeavours to accentuate the compact SUV’s rugged design with black five-spoke alloy wheels, off-road tyres, black body cladding, roof racks and yellow metallic paint.

Meanwhile, the Impreza Future Sport Concept is performance-orientated take on the small hatch, including new-look front and rear bumpers, central twin exhaust pipes, black roof, yellow pearl paint and contrasting interior trim.

Lastly, the JDM-only Outback Limited Smart Edition adds an extra dose of luxury to the mid-size SUV, with Ultrasuede seats, dark embossed silver-accented panels, an 8.0-inch infotainment system, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support and a Harman/Kardon sound system added to the features list.

More details on Subaru’s Tokyo motor show line-up will be revealed when the event kicks off on October 25.

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