Show car makes its debut with plenty of flash, few details
Subaru Corporation, the company formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries, shotgunned a bunch of announcements at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Biggest among these was the world premiere of the VIZIV Performance Concept, which is a preview of what the next-generation WRX could look like.
A lot of high-minded, fancy-sounding jargon but precious few facts and details accompanied the debut. Here are three things we did learn:
VIZIV actually means something, sort of. According to the press kit, “VIZIV is a coined word originating from the phrase ‘Vision for Innovation.’”
Like all Subaru Imprezas and WRXs, the VIZIV is five-passenger sport sedan. Its dimensions (length x width x height) are 182.3 x 76.8 x 56.3 inches, with a wheelbase that is 107.5 inches long. At 180.9 x 70.7 x 58.1, the current WRX isn’t as long, low, and wide as VIZIV, but that is to be expected; concept cars’ dimensions are always exaggerated and then pulled back for the realities of production. What’s interesting is that wheelbase; it’s fully 3.2 inches longer than the current WRX’s 104.3-inch wheelbase. If that does make it to production, rear-seat passengers shall rejoice. If the concept’s wheels wrapped in 245/40R20 tires make it to production, it will mark the first time a Subaru offers dubs from the factory.
Subaru designers are still mining the Impreza WRX’s World Rally Championship heritage, even though the company hasn’t participated in WRC since 2008. As evidence of the concept’s “Dynamic X Solid” design philosophy, Subaru’s press release calls out VIZIV’s “hawkeye” headlights that flank the three-dimensional front grille, the “rigid, forward-thrusting body with low center of gravity, the dynamic flare of the fenders,” and “the bold glimpse of the exhaust in the rear bumper.”
Patently obvious Subaru technologies were confirmed to be in the works for whatever vehicle VIZIV becomes, including a horizontally opposed “boxer” engine, symmetrical all-wheel drive, and self-driving technologies based on the brand’s Eye Sight system. Subaru is particularly proud of the latter; 1.5 million EyeSight equipped vehicles have been sold worldwide.