I’ve had it with Subaru.
Subaru Technica International, the hot brand with the pink badge has just released their aptly bewinged take on the Viziv Performance concept car for the Tokyo Auto Salon. It looks naffing sensational.
Concept cars can be misleading, however I can think of no car company that has misled us more than Subaru in the last few years.
Lets think for a moment back to 2013 and the WRX Concept. Which also looked naffing sensational. This one was a proper classic. Subaru could release this concept today and despite the slightly out of fashion greeny-yellow “hey we made a pretend hybrid car, aren’t we environmental” bits, it’d still blow all of the collective motoring world’s mind, as it did back then.
It’s a gorgeous thing. The perfect balance between past and present. As in the flares and presence of its most legendary progenitor, the 22B but with modern sweeping lines and an aggressive stare that would put off Bruce Willis on Christmas Eve.
Then what did we get? 15 feet of meh. With a CVT. The current WRX is about as exciting as a white base model Corolla.
It continues on. The 2014 Viziv 2 Concept eventually morphed into the fairly staid new XV.
The 2015 Impreza Concept sort of looks like a much more interesting version of the 2017 Impreza. If you squint.
The BRZ STI concept came so close to being amazing and then just turned out to be some dealer-fit bolt-ons.
Which is why I didn’t even look sideways at the Viziv Performance concept when they unleashed it on the world at the Tokyo Motorshow last year. “It’s got a lot of styling cues from that 2013 concept I thought.” “So that’s not going to happen.”
Now I feel, that Subaru is almost being a bit deliberately cruel. This new Viziv Performance STI is the car we wanted 4 years ago with the actual WRX STI. Sure the rear wing is more Honda Civic Type-R than Richard Burns Rally, but Subaru needs to get this thing on sale worldwide with a 250kW version of the boxer 4 pronto.
Sales of the Civic Type-R prove that a mad, crazy, over the top car will sell like mad provided it has the performance to back its claims. The buying public loves to be inspired by a car like that. The original WRX is proof of that exact sentiment.
But Subaru is owned by Toyota these days, the most conservative car company in the world. Plus, Subaru have got form. Don’t get your hopes up.