Subaru VIZIV concept

5 Mar, 2013 6:35pm Jon Morgan

Full details of the new plug-in hybrid Subaru VIZIV crossover concept following its Geneva debut

This is the Subaru VISIV - an innovative plug-in hybrid concept that has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. And as you can see from our pictures, it’s a distinctive-looking vehicle.

Subaru has combined flowing lines with a jacked-up coupe bodystyle. The futuristic look is enhanced by angular bracket-shaped headlamps that frame the grille.

20-inch aluminium wheels featuring carbon fins sit right at the far corners of the car, leaving very short overhangs. And the bodywork is finished in Mistral Silver Metallic paint.

Subaru says that the name is inspired by the phrase “vision for innovation” – and innovation is a key word when it comes to the concept’s powertrain. The plug-in hybrid setup sees a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels while a 2.0-litre Boxer diesel engine and another electric motor power the front wheels.

But the oil burner/motor combo at the front can also double-up as a power generator to top up the battery – just like the set-up in the Vauxhall Ampera.

Because the power source driving the front wheels can be deactivated, it means the car can run in both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel-drive modes.

The set-up is extremely flexible, as the VIZIV can constantly switch between its power sources to maximise performance and economy depending on the conditions. The driver can tell the car whether to focus on speed, efficiency or a mixture of the two by selecting one of three modes: Intelligent, Sports and Eco-cruise.

There’s also some practical benefits to the unusual powertrain. Because the rear wheels are only driven by electric motors, Subaru was able to do away with a propeller shaft, creating extra legroom for passengers and allowing the battery to be mounted low in the centre of the car.