Lars Martensson's Subaru Impreza WRX STI concept - click above for a high-res gallery
It's fair to say that Subaru has enjoyed a run of strong product in recent years, as well as an exponential credibility increase in enthusiast's eyes, essentially ever since the automaker began shipping over the Impreza WRX back in 2001. Those considerable achievements aside, it's likewise fair to say that Subaru has yet to well-and-truly crack the aesthetics portion of the modern carbuilding equation, having produced some daring (if ungainly) entries like the origina B9 Tribeca and a series of aggressive yet unpretty Impreza variants. And while we applaud originality, we think the folks at Fuji Heavy Industries could use a consistent design force, a man (or woman) with a mission that's out in the public eye as something of a known quantity. Think: General Motors' Ed Welburn, former Mazda-turned-Tesla wunderkind Franz von Holzhausen, former BMW lightning rod Chris Bangle, etc.
All of this is not to say that the man behind the WRX STI rally car renderings shown here has the answers, but we know one thing: When passing these images around Autoblog's (virtual) offices, we all couldn't help but say something to the effect of: "Oooooh, damn that's hot!" – a phrase we can't remember associating with Subaru, much as we love driving the vehicles themselves. In any case, these images come courtesy of one Lars Martensson (apparently better known on the interwebs by his handle 'GRID)', a man who spends his days crafting 3D renderings for videogames (Rallisport Challenge 2 for xBox, Battlefield 2 for PC). To us, this Swede has a handle on what the STI needs to be: Squat, mean, and purposeful. Okay, so perhaps the cut-down greenhouse wouldn't leave much room for taller folks (much less a helmet), but if one of these were parked in our driveway, well... we'd happily squat a little.
Check out the high-res image gallery below, and click on the jump for the video.