The Subaru Impreza has long been an evo staple, with turbocharged, all-wheel drive saloons and hatchbacks redefining our expectations of cross-country pace – particularly when the weather turns.
More recently however, the Impreza – and dedicated WRX STi spin-offs no longer carrying the Impreza badge – have seemed less relevant. Regular hot hatchbacks have become more powerful and more desirable, while the Impreza and its ilk have failed to advance the performance car game.
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There’s no guarantee the latest Impreza five-door hatchback will change that series of events. In concept form at least, there’s little indication an exciting turbocharged model is due, for a start.
But for the first time in a long while, the Impreza’s styling could be considered genuinely appealing, trading awkward lines, bizarre headlights and bland proportions for something a little more rakish.
There’s even a hint towards performance Imprezas of old, with the concept’s distinctive flared wheel arches and stocky proportions. Current Subaru design signatures are retained, including the hexagonal grille design and the latest iteration of the firm’s ‘hawk-eye’ headlights.
While the car’s look should point strongly towards the styling of the next-gen Impreza, Subaru says the concept also hints at the brand’s design direction as a whole.
That look was further previewed by the Viziv Future concept also on Subaru’s Tokyo stand. Further from production than the Impreza, it’s a hint at the look of the next Forester – but was largely present to demonstrate Subaru’s vision for future autonomous driving and active safety features.
Head over to our Tokyo motor show hub page for more news, images and concepts from the Tokyo show.