Subaru Cross Sport and Levorg concepts

Subaru shows two sporty estate concepts, the Levorg and the BRZ shooting brake-like Cross Sport

Subaru has used the Tokyo motor show to display two new performance estate models. Both are officially concepts, but they look plausible and close to production ready.

First up is the Subaru Cross Sport Design Concept. While its generic, word-packed name doesn’t promise much, its appearance is far more intriguing. It resembles a BRZ shooting brake, with the rear-drive sports car’s front-end styling bolted to a practical hatchback rear. At 4300mm long, it’s just 60mm longer than a BRZ coupe, though it appears to ride reasonably higher too.

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The company tells us nothing apart from the Sport Design Concept ‘is what Subaru perceives to be the next trend in urban SUVs.’ Therefore if it’s rear- or four-wheel drive and whether it uses a petrol, diesel, turbo or naturally aspirated engine is all up in the air. While Toyota explores the potential of a GT86 convertible, here’s hoping Subaru is taking the BRZ in a quirkier direction.

The stars of the 2013 Tokyo motor show

The other Subaru show car at Tokyo is the clunkily named Levorg. That word’s a combination of Legacy, Revolution and Touring, apparently, which is essentially what this is – a sporty Legacy estate but, to give it some performance credibility, its own unique name.

It’s all-wheel drive, with the option of two turbocharged flat-four petrol engines, a 168bhp 1.6-litre and a 296bhp 2-litre. Both are linked to a CVT gearbox. There’s plenty of new safety technology too, including pedestrian impact-inspired crash structures and a new traction control system, as well as EyeSight, a radar-based lane keeping assist.

The Levorg is officially a concept, but looks like it could wear number plates and a price sticker with little modification. Japanese production is set to start in 2014, with sales elsewhere so far unconfirmed. With the Legacy increasingly prominent in Outback sub-SUV form, it would be an ideal antithesis in the company’s estate line-up. Ideally with a nicer name…

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