The aggressive styling and muscular stance of the Subaru concept on show in New York is not only set to impress the crowds but should also get the company's hardcore fans sitting on the edge of their seats in hopes that the concept will go into production.
The WRX concept retains some Subaru design hallmarks, most notabily its hood scoop air intake to keep the turbochargers chilled. Photo:AFP
Subaru is quick to stress that the WRX Concept is just that, a concept. The car on show in New York merely ‘hints' at the future design direction of its World Rally Championship-inspired cars. No clues are given as to what is underneath the car's imposing hood other than that it will continue in the same vein as the WRX models that have gone before it -- horsepower, four-wheel drive, turbochargers, independent suspension and incredible handling.
The company has an impressive scorecard when it comes to building high-performing rally cars -- Subaru was a very successful competitor in the World Rally Championship, winning the driver's championship and the constructors' championship three times before deciding to quit the sport in 2008 because of the economic climate. To many, the most recent WRX models have felt as if they're still dining out on this former success. Some of the technology underpinning the company's fastest most powerful cars has kept pace with the competition, but the company's design philosophy has been moving in the opposite direction.
Therefore, the official unveiling could be a pretty big deal for real-world motoring fans and serious drivers alike. The Subaru WRX has a huge cult following around the world. Though the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of this world are beyond the reach of many, even those privileged few that can claim ownership of such iconic marques will be quick to admit that though they have performance on tap their cars are more suited to the track and are too sensitive to be driven every day.
Which is why, historically, those who wanted performance every day no matter what the driving conditions turned to Subaru and its closest direct rival Mitsubishi. Their rally-going Impreza and Evo cars, though based on family hatchbacks packed enough punch to keep up with even the most lively of Italian supercars. In fact they inspire such devotion and competition between owners that the rivalry between the two groups of car owners is the same as that between Ferrari and Porsche, Apple and Microsoft or even the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
However, while the Mitsubishi Evo series has continued to develop and evolve over time, Subaru was beginning to lose its way. But, if this concept is anything to go by, the Japanese carmaker is on the verge of a serious performance and stylistic resurgence.