Bolder Subaru Impreza WRX is coming

Subaru WRX concept
15 Jun, 2014 7:30am Peter Lyon

Subaru could implement styling from 2013's WRX Concept into next Impreza production car

The current Subaru WRX STi is a little disappointing on the styling front, compared with 2013’s WRX Concept (pictured). But company insiders have told Auto Express that the next Impreza – due in 2016 – and the WRX that follows it will get design cues from the concept.

Providing a glimmer of hope that all of the concept's sleek style was not lost, Subaru's WRX Project General Manager, Masuo Takatsu, told us that the main design theme of the WRX Concept could yet be applied to a production car.

Now chief Subaru designer Mamoru Ishii has indicated that definitive design hints from the lauded concept's sporty, aggressive stance will indeed reach the production Impreza due in 2016, and the WRX that will follow.

“Yes, we have taken the next-generation Impreza’s design in a new direction that we are sure will excite the marketplace,” Ishii told us, adding that some of the WRX Concept's key proportions will transfer to the next WRX.

“We are planning to give the lower section below the hip line a wider, more substantial stance and narrow up the roof section,” he said, suggesting a much bolder lower body and a more tapered greenhouse, as seen on the WRX Concept.

Subaru's next new models will be the 2015 Liberty and Outback, both of which are due on sale here early next year.

But the Japanese brand's strong global sales, higher share price and newly appointed CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, who has decades of experience in sales, marketing and strategy, have given the company a whole new attitude towards its product line-up.

Three weeks ago when he presented the company's Prominence 2020 business plan and it record earnings for the last Japanese financial year, Yoshinaga announced that a new modular chassis architecture dubbed Subaru Global Platform will underpin Subaru's entire model starting from 2016. The next Impreza will emerge as one of first of these all-new offerings late that year.

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It would be a shame if they go down that route, one of the Impreza's charms is the less than pristine styling - it looks like a second hand car someone has souped up to get muddy in.

The concept isn't a bad looking car - it looks like a joint venture between Jaguar and Chrysler - but it's not as individual as the current design.

As you say, the Impreza looks like a 17yo chav has fitted some horrible body kit on it. And that's the problem. Only 17yo chavs want to buy it but 17yo chavs can't afford it, so it doesn't sell very well and Subaru lose out. This is why German cars do so well with their understated styling. They appeal to people who can actually afford to buy them and not to teenage boys.

Subaru sell nearly 7,000 Impreza's a year, and is teh third best selling model in the range, and with that they make rather large profits, so it is not a case of not selling well, it sells all it makes, and they are happy with those numbers.

Hardly. When Subaru attempted to tone down the look for the last generation WRX they got criticism from the motoring press about it lacking character. And the WRX concept was not an understated design, it's just got less individuality.

I have to say Paul but that's not true. Plenty of us out there who couldn't have the original one 1, as we were only 17 when it came out, but still have that big kid inside of them, me included, would go for this.
It's also the reason why I personally could never be seen dead driving anything German, boring to look at, boring to sit in and boring to drive. To buy something like an A4, 3 series or Passat says you have given up on ever having fun again.

Just build it, right now, just like that!

It's mad, outlandish and slightly idiotic. I love it!

What a lot of rubbish, I owned an Impreza and was certainly a lot older than 17 years old. And no, I am not a 'chav' either. I'm educated with letters after my name and a decent job. I picked the Impreza because it was bold and agressive looking and offered a great driving experince whatever the weather - I could have had something predictable and German like a dreary Golf Gti or Audi A3 (which are incidently, popular with 17yo chavs!) but went for a proper drivers car instead. I would take one again tomorrow if I was after such a vehicle.