Subaru Viziv Concept points to future
Subaru's exhibit at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show has focused on telling the "New Subaru Story;" the next generation of vehicles meant to carry the manufacturer further into the mainstream. While the Impreza 5-Door Concept has garnered a great deal of attention, the most important vehicle at Subaru's exhibit in terms of the "Story" may be the VIZIV Future Concept. Making its world premier at Tokyo, the VIZIV (the name is derived from "vision for innovation") is the latest in a series of concepts previewing technological advances, powertrains, and design elements.
This VIZIV is a crossover SUV concept, powered by a revised version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine currently featured in Subaru's non-U.S. market Levorg model. Subaru claims the engine's "size, light weight, and net thermal efficiency" are all improved, and aim to preserve driving enjoyment while increasing efficiency. Joining that motor in the VIZIV Concept is the next generation of Subaru's hybrid system, which debuted in the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Details are unavailable, but Subaru is claiming advancements "in every aspect of the system," specifically mentioning the retention of smooth acceleration throughout the VIZIV's powerband.
Changes in AWD
There are changes to Subaru's symmetrical motor all-wheel drive system, too: The propeller shaft has been eliminated, and "thanks to the vectoring effect of actively controlling front/rear driving force distribution," Subaru claims better maneuverability. The revisions also allow for a flat floor in the VIZIV, improving comfort in the interior.
The VIZIV Future Concept also shows off the expanded capabilities of Subaru's EyeSight stereo camera technology, the benefits of which are said to be "realized at all speeds on expressways." By merging the existing EyeSight camera technology with all-direction radar, high-accuracy GPS and map systems, advanced telematics and human-machine interfaces (HMI), EyeSight becomes the platform for a new automatic driving experience that can anticipate and react to everything from what's happening immediately around the vehicle to changing traffic and weather conditions. We'll politely wait to drive it before confirming any of that, though.
At this time, there is no information as to whether this VIZIV would enter the lineup as a new model or as a new version of a current Subaru. Regardless, the VIZIV portends a more techno-minded future for Subaru SUVs, while retaining the "go anywhere, have fun" off-road spirit that has defined the its efforts over the years.