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Subaru Impreza Design Concept – Click above to enlarge

We've often found ourselves in the apologist camp when it came to the latest design of the current Subaru Impreza. The company has a long and storied history of producing vehicles with faces only a mother could love, so we just assumed that the squinty visage of the latest model was just an homage to homely rides of the past. Well, you can go ahead and forget all that. Subaru just dropped details on its new Impreza Design Concept, and the car is the kind of beautiful worth writing home about.

The design retains the mammoth wheel arches of the current Impreza, but blends in more subdued Legacy styling for a much more mature, handsome face. The fascia is dominated by two aggressive air intakes that are large enough to swallow small livestock. Those holes are framed by the new trapezoidal grille and furrowed headlamps. Interestingly enough, the fins that spread across the air inlets are actually functional fog lights.

Under the hood, the design study makes use of the company's new 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine bolted to a CVT gearbox. Subaru, if you're listening, build this sucker. Hit the jump to check out the full press release, and stay tuned for more as the details unfold live at the LA Auto Show.

[Source: Subaru, AutoWeek]
Show full PR text
SUBARU DEBUTS IMPREZA DESIGN CONCEPT AT LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
* Design concept hints at future model.
* Interior integrates latest in infotainment and safety technology.
* New-generation Subaru Boxer engine and CVT.

LOS ANGELES, November xx, 2010 – Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the Impreza Design Concept, which previews the carmaker's new "Confidence in Motion" design and brand strategy. The Impreza Design Concept will remain on display throughout the show, which runs November 19-28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Impreza has been Subaru's global compact car since 1992.

Built to express possible future Subaru design elements, the Impreza Design Concept conveys a sporty and lively "four-door coupe" style. The Impreza Concept combines environmental compatibility and comfortable ride of the Impreza with the trusted performance that Subaru's Symmetrical All Wheel Drive provides. The designers blended two ideas – "dynamic flow and confident stance" – to showcase Subaru's engineering core values of dynamic performance, safety, driving enjoyment and quality. The Impreza Design Concept features a roomy four-passenger interior.

From the front, the Impreza Design Concept is clearly recognizable as a Subaru, with a hexagonal grille with spread wings in the center and hawk eye-style headlights. At the same time, the front view previews a new direction for the brand's design, with the hood, grille and headlights designed to project three-dimensional character.

Fin-shaped fog lamps, which follow the wing motif, emphasize a fresh expression of Subaru identity. The car's low-and-wide stance is meant to convey reliability, security, and safety. The design of the prominent wheel arches echo that message while also emphasizing the vehicle's All-Wheel Drive technology. The new-generation Legacy debuted this design feature.

In profile, the Impreza Design Concept shows a sleek, continuous line from the A-pillar, along the roof and through the C-pillar. The design yields both a roomy cabin and excellent aerodynamic performance. Subaru designers applied simple and clean lines and surfaces rather than complicated forms. This produces a contrast with the powerful fender design and results in a lean side view, accented by satin silver window frames. The wedge-shaped side rear-view cameras sit along the sharp line of the A-pillar.

At the rear, the hexagonal theme repeats with a garnish that radiates outward from the center. The rear lights also follow a sharp-edged theme, and are stretched into the body sides to join the character line along the car's flanks. The taillamp design features a unique layering and gradation to create the impression of depth.

The front and rear bumper corners, shaped in the wind tunnel, contribute to the car's overall aerodynamic efficiency. Diffusers on the underside of the rear bumper and the rear deck emphasize sportiness and also do their part for aerodynamics, contributing to vehicle fuel efficiency. The Sky Silver exterior color underscores the Impreza Design Concept's stylish and dynamic silhouette, and suggests a silver tone to be used on the next generation of Subaru vehicles. The high-luster silver aluminum wheels, with their five-twin-spoke design, convey vehicle lightness and agility. Carbon fins garnish the spokes, aiding brake cooling.

"Dynamic, Enticing, Secure" Interior
For the Impreza Design Concept's interior, the designers followed a theme of "Dynamic, Enticing, Secure." The smooth integration of the instrument panel with the door trim and armrests suggests sporty yet comfortable driving. The roomy platinum-leather four-seat layout envelops occupants. Dark blue piping and double stitching accent the leather. A "layered" approach to color, with the upper part light platinum and the lower part a shade darker, gives the interior a feeling of spaciousness and sophistication.

A large display in the center dash combines functions for navigation, vehicle information and audio. The touch panel technology provides ease of use, seamlessly melding information and entertainment features.
The platinum leather-wrapped steering wheel features D-shaped spokes set off by piano-black center sections. The wheel innovatively incorporates its own touch panels, giving the driver easy access to various vehicle functions.

New Safety and Performance
Subaru's own advanced driving-assist EyeSight system is installed along the front edge of the roof. The images the camera takes can be viewed on a monitor in the center of the gauge cluster, positioned for easy visibility. EyeSight is also networked with the latest in collision-prevention technology, underscoring the safety that customers expect from Subaru.

The combination of the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine with a Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) represents Subaru's next-generation powertrain. A 2.5-liter version of this engine powers the 2011 Forester.


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  • 97 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Show me the hatchback.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where is the hatch concept? This makes me like the sedan soo much more, but I love the hatches best.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So they stuck a Volvo front end on. What's all the hullabaloo about?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The grille definitely reminds me of the Sonata Hybrid.
      The headlights remind me of a combination of the New Kia Optima, and BMW 6-Series Coupe Concept.
      The shoulder SCREAMS Volvo.

      Overall, its nice looking.
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL I'm with you guys. I am downright offended by the current model now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Audi has 4 huge rings in their grille. Benz has a giant star in theirs. VW logo is giant. GMC is huge letters

        Why shouldn't Subie put a giant badge on their car?

        The point is to see logo of the car that's overtaking you with the first glance in the rear view mirror!
        • 4 Years Ago
        looks great....now if they would just make it..
        • 4 Years Ago
        I love this design but fear that something is always lost in
        translation from paper to reality, especially with Subarus. The
        designs for the current Impreza looked pretty cool too, back in the day. It's like
        Subaru has an internal "ugly squad" that makes sure no Subaru ever turns out truly beautiful. And I'm a guy who loves Subarus mechanically.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'll be honest, whenever I see an Impreza (no matter the make or year) I laugh, because it's usually a high school kid (or a 20 something who thinks he's a high school kid) and it just looks so riced out, and gross.

        But THIS? Oh WOW. Way to go Subaru!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it looks pretty good. Does anyone see a little Sonata Hybrid in the grille?

        The press release makes mention of the EyeSight system as a crash avoidance device. Does it also do double duty as a side mirror replacement (I didn't see any)?
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is a tremendous step forward for Subaru. It's visually distinct, and clearly-branded - you won't miss that face for anything else on the road.

        I think the badge should be larger, because Subaru should be more assertive about who they are. Also, that the hood should inset more deeply to denote the boxer engine underneath.

        Aside from those very minor quibbles, the surfacing and proportions are beautifully handled. If this is Subaru's way forward, the looks will finally match the guts.

        Bravo!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Enough with the talk of a larger badge, not everyone wants to be seen by the badge on their car, I do not want to advertise for car manufacturers.
        One of the things I love about the Hyundai Genesis sedan is the lack of a badge on the front.

        Back on topic, I really love this design and I too was/am disappointed with the current design.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I bet its going to be a hybrid. Any one care to cover that bet?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @making11s - i'm mostly with you, except the inclusion of cvt here, one of the more unfortunate results of being toyota's biatch.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is why I still haven't bought an 2011 STI. Subaru redesigns their cars constantly and I knew something better was ahead. Ugh, I'll have to wait another 2 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No need for larger badges! Subaru already has large enough ones. people want to actually take them off if anything. why in the world would you want a larger one! Who cares what other people think, you buy the car you know what it is that's all that maters.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hmmm...

        When I saw it I was immediately reminded of those new sporty Volvo's...

        But cooler than the current generation, nonetheless...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow Subaru you really need to jump right on this and build it ASAP.

      It definitely seems like the redesign of the Hyundai Elantra and the new Ford Focus has really sparked something in the marketplace. I love it. Finally there will be a great selection of handsome compact cars.

      Once Subaru builds this, granted that they stick with the concept, cars such as the Corolla, Cobalt, and Civic will be completely left in the dust.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't like the small camera on the side of the car :S
      • 4 Years Ago
      thought it was a volvo at first
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought it was a Volvo too until I saw the ugly chrome bar in the grille. Subaru has never quite gotten that right.

        The rest of the car looks 100% better than the current blob
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it just me or does this look very much like the 2011 Scion TC. Not that I'm complaining, Sweet looking machine
        • 4 Years Ago
        You think the new tC looks this good?

        Have you SEEN the new tC? It is hideous and chunky.

        This car has some visual mass to it, but it is generally much sleeker and better proportioned, at least in the rendering.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just as the Title says. Looks great.
      • 4 Years Ago
      the back looks like the lexus IS
      • 4 Years Ago
      Subaru... get off your asses and build this car now!!! Just kidding. But I am very interested. My wife's 12 year old Sienna is about to die and she says that driving a minivan has cut her sex drive in half. I think a direct injected, turboed, AWD Impreze would get her back in the saddle again. I've already owned two Subaru's (latest is the 2010 Outback) and my wife really wants something with all wheel drive since she didn't like the fact that our mini-van left her stuck in the snow a couple years ago.
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