Subaru has a history of presenting exciting concepts that turn into drab production cars, so it should be interesting to see how the new 2017 Impreza sedan and five-door hatchback models fare against their conceptualized partners.
A common misconception is that studies are always designed before their production counterparts. While that may hold true in some cases, especially when automakers are testing the waters, more often than not, concepts are dramatized versions of production cars that have already been signed off. The purpose here is to create buzz around upcoming models at high-profile motor shows.
Subaru, knows how to play this game all too well, only to frustrate enthusiasts when push comes to shove and production reality meets the needs and wants of mainstream buyers, who don’t always share our fervor for dynamically designed automobiles.
We’ve seen this happen with the previous (Impreza) WRX and Legacy sedan studies, and irritatingly, we’re witnessing it again with the fifth generation Impreza presented at this week’s New York Auto Show in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles.
If you place all four cars side by side zooming into their details, you’ll find plenty of common styling cues, ranging from the fancy scallop running under the shoulder before kicking over both wheel arches, to the shapes of the window line (saloon), taillights and front bumper.
Yet once you step back and observe the whole setup, the production cars look disappointingly pedestrian in comparison. It’s as if Subaru designers took the concepts and asked a couple of pensioners from Arkansas for their creative input.
Even if you eliminate the excessively large wheels from the equation, both the Impreza sedan and hatchback concepts look better proportioned with sexier rooflines that are heavier slanted at the back, and more aggressive and less anonymous snouts, while the same details that appear off and forced on the 2017 Impreza, look pretty striking on the two studies. Speaking of details, whoever signed off those tail lamps on the production car should have their eyes checked for strabismus…