The new Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback will go on sale in NZ in 2017, 12 months after the go-fast Levorg station wagon (above) arrives to revive the spirit of a Kiwi favourite, the Legacy GT.
Both Impreza models will be the first built on a new common platform underpinning every Subaru, part of the carmaker’s so-called ‘Prominence 2020’ plan, its strategy to further improve quality and grow annual production beyond one million units to meet continuing demand.
Prominence 2020 also includes a new generation of turbocharged engines using improved direct-injection technology. One of the first of these is a 1.6-litre boxer engine that will be available in the Impreza line-up.
But it might also appear in New Zealand under the bonnet of the Levorg station wagon, sometime after its launch here in the middle of next year.
Subaru NZ managing director Wallis Dumper said he sees potential for such an engine in the sleek Levorg, which is similar in size to the early generation Legacy GT wagon. The Levorg he saw at the Tokyo show came with the choice of a 1.6- and 2.0-litre engines.
“While we are launching Levorg solely with a 2.0-litre engine, we see the 1.6-litre turbocharged model as being suitable down the track for those new to the Subaru brand, or for those looking for a company car with a difference,” he said.
Subaru is keeping to itself power and torque figures for the 1.6-litre unit but claims town-and-around fuel economy of 5.7 litres/100km (50mpg) and a range of 1000km. Levorg’s 2.0-litre engine comes from the WRX and delivers 221kW/400Nm and a claimed 7.5 litres/100km (38mpg).
Dumper, who is enjoying a year-on-year Subaru NZ sales hike of around 30 per cent, says Levorg is ideal for Kiwis “who want space for their adventures but want to head away on them in a true driver’s car.”
“Despite the global trend towards SUVs, which Subaru has in Outback, Forester and XV, we recognise that not everyone wants one,” he said.
“Passionate drivers enjoy the handling of a performance vehicle. Sales of the new Legacy sedan and ongoing success of WRX prove that there is still a strong market for driver’s cars.”
Meanwhile, Subaru is using a teasing profile to hype the appearance at the Los Angles show this month of its new Impreza sedan concept – but the real thing is pictured above wearing typical camouflage.
It and the Impreza five-door hatchback were spied testing in Germany in company with a Ford Focus and Mazda3, proof enough that Subaru is benchmarking the fifth-generation Impreza against key family rivals.
A clue to the production sedan looking pretty much like the concept comes from last month’s Tokyo motor show, where Subaru unveiled the Impreza hatchback concept.
The carmaker’s design manager Mamoru Ishii told reporters that what they saw in the five-door show hatch would be pretty much what they would see in the production version. On that admission, expect both the finished hatchback and sedan will closely resemble the Tokyo and Los Angeles concepts.
The concept hatchback is 4400mm long (a teeny bit shorter than the current five-door), 1440mm high, 1880mm wide, and has a 2670mm wheelbase.
The profile of the sedan for Los Angeles shows up much of the Tokyo hatchback’s styling cues – the white headlight accents, flush-handled doors and scalloped flanks. But the sedan’s boot with its duck-tail spoiler might make it slightly longer again than hatchback’s 4400mm.