Big in Japan: Highlights from the Tokyo Motor Show

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Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept
Image via Subaru5/10

Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept

At auto shows you look for “tells” rather than facts. Carmakers will repeatedly tell you that their concepts are just that—they do not commit to anything as a preview of a product unless they explicitly say that’s what you’re looking at. Still, because Subaru has said that this “concept” features Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system as well as a boxer engine that’s in the current WRX, and tellingly the concept also features a hood scoop for a presumed intercooler located there for the presumed turbocharger, the VIZIV Performance Concept at least appears to be a preview of the next WRX/WRX STi. As such we mostly think the study is cool, because it features bulging fenders and a very broad stance—tips of the hat toward what the WRX has looked like throughout its history, and Subaru says the study uses carbon fiber extensively in the body to lower weight. Subaru would do well to follow through on that promise (even if not by using carbon fiber), as the current WRX drives “heavy,” and has lost a lot of the playfulness of the original.

Presuming our guess is right that this is at least partly indicative of where Subaru will go, that’s good news, since the WRX is waning in influence over younger buyers, leaving a yawning gap between younger and older Subaru customers, who now tend to skew older than 50.

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