Last week, Subaru sketched some teasers of its next-gen Impreza Concept, but we’ve captured a prototype of the compact hatch on the road.
Do you know how many Legacy sedans Subaru sold in the Unites States last year? The answer is 42,291 cars. The reason why we mention it is that, during the same period, the Japanese firm sold almost three times as many units of the crossover-flavored version of the Legacy Estate, the Outback, with 118,049 deliveries.
If you check Subaru's public website or one of your local dealers, you can still order a Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback in the States – in fact, you can even choose between a 2013MY and 2014MY, possibly negotiating a lower price in the process.
While Subaru doesn't want you, the reader or consumer to know what gives with the new 2015 WRX yet, the Japanese carmaker made sure its journalist pals over at Car&Driver magazine received all the information well before so they can have it in time for their next issue. It all so happens that when you share something, that something can leak…
We don't know for how long the PDF file from the magazine will stay online (see and/or download it to your computer via this link), so we'll give you all the details, just in case it disappears. For one, the photos of the WRX that we showed you earlier this week are indeed the real thing with the saloon being an Impreza in everything but the name and the performance upgrades.
Not too long after Subaru told the world that it would slash the wraps off a new generation WRX at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, two photos purportedly showing the U.S. version of the performance sedan in its final form appeared on a number of forums before hitting websites like Jalopnik, Road&Track and even our own comments section.
Admittedly, when Carscoops' reader and tipster i-Ryuji from Japan first told and showed us two screenshots of what he believed to be a prototype for the next generation Subaru WRX / STI model, we were very doubtful.
When looking over the most recent batch of spy-photos showcasing the next generation Subaru Legacy, my first response was to head-butt the keyboard - repeatedly.
See, while the current version appears nice, it doesn't really grab one's attention and encompasses odd styling elements with its over-sized wheel arches and bulbous headlamps. Subaru had the chance to hit a home run with the upcoming 6th generation mid-sizer, however on first appearances it seems they've taken the conservative route as illustrated here.
This is our first view at the next generation Subaru Legacy, and in particular, one of the three available derivatives, the Outback, which is essentially a Legacy Wagon (not offered in the States) with a jacked up suspension and rugged, SUV-style body cladding. The other model is of course, the Legacy sedan.
If Subaru keeps its five-year product cycle, then we should see all three body styles of the 6th generation Legacy introduced in 2014 and go on sale as 2015MYs (in North America) by the middle of the year.
One of the many regular car- and motorcycle-spotters at the infamous Mulholland Drive, just outside of Los Angeles, was on hand to film several passes of what he described as a "Mystery Car".
"Some Mulholland passes from an un-named car," wrote YouTube author 31200MulhollandHwy, adding that, "CHP [California Highway Patrol] closed the road intermittently - Japanese crew wouldn't give any info on car."
We know what your first question will be about the spy video and these latest shots of the 2015 Subaru WRX prototype, but unfortunately, we can't give you an answer yet if this is the wishy-washy (read complete letdown), production version of the dramatic WRX Concept, a WRX iteration of the current Impreza to be offered before or alongside the aforementioned WRX, or an early test mule.
One of the worst things about impressive concept cars such as the new Subaru WRX that was by far, the most talked about (in a very positive way) world premiere at the recent 2013 New York Auto Show, is when carmakers water down the design on their production iterations.
Could this be the case with the upcoming Subaru WRX? Well, if the camouflaged Subaru prototype that our scoop photographers just captured in Germany is indeed the WRX, then the answer is yes, as there's no denying that it follows in the footsteps of its predecessors simply wearing a sportier kit over the regular Impreza sedan's body.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see here could potentially be the all new Subaru WRX, but before I elaborate, allow me to take you for a short trip back to the past: Cast your minds back to the early Nineties, when Will Smith's stardom flourished from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and the Ford Taurus was actually America's bestselling car (…and what a distant achievement that was).
It was 1992 when Subaru revealed its newest compact car - the Impreza; a vehicle that I initially described as being a soulless rolling bar of soap. Its dull lines and horrid half-grill (Japanese market) conjured up thoughts that the designers had fallen asleep at a Vanilla Ice Cream conference.
For the most part, the next Subaru Forester is a secret no more after the crossover model's details leaked through a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) brochure and the car itself was photographed at what we assume to be the brand's factory parking lot in Japan.
But it's not over just yet, as the new Forester, which will likely be sold as a 2014 model in North America, has been spotted again in its home market on three different occasions, providing us a fresh look on the car.
Now, you may have noticed that these three Foresters (two examples in white and the other in silver), look slightly different from the one featured in the opening image of our previous article posted earlier this month.
While Subaru was uploading a shadowy teaser of the next iteration of the Forester on its Japanese website, and not too long after we shared scans from the car's Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) brochure, the first real-life images of the compact crossover hit the net.
It’s not hard to see that Subaru didn't want to alienate buyers of one of its most popular global models when it came to design, as the new Forester looks like a more modern, or evolutionary, if you prefer, interpretation of the current model.
Besides the more forceful face incorporating Subaru's latest grille design, the high-riding, station wagon gains some new styling cues, the most notable of which concern the more prominent wheel arches and heavily sculpted door sills, the addition of a small quarter window up front and new door mounted mirrors.
It may have escaped from our scoop photographers' radar, but we finally caught up with the next iteration of Subaru's Forester compact SUV, which in its three previous generations, has built a name for itself as a robust and no-nonsense model that rides well both on and off the road.
These pictures are sourced from the new Forester's Japanese market brochure, but most of what you see here sans the engine range can be applied to the global model.
The new Forester, which will go on sale in Japan in mid-November before it reaches both North American (as a 2014 model) and European shores as a 2013 model) next year, is likely based on a revised version of the latest Impreza's platform.
Compared to the current Forester, Subaru's best-seller has grown all around and now measures 4,595mm or 180.9 inches long (+35mm), 1,795mm or 70.7 inches tall (+15mm) and 1,695mm or 66.7 inches wide (+20mm). The wheelbase is also longer at 2,640mm or 103.9 inches (+25mm) to improve space for passengers.
The first pictures and details of the Japanese domestic market [JDM] 2012 Subaru Impreza have emerged online thanks to a set of brochure shots that were leaked before the official presentation on November 30.
As most of you probably expected, the JDM model is a carbon copy of the North American version of the new Impreza, which goes on sale in the States next month. In Japan, the hatchback model will carry the Sport designation while the sedan will be called G4.
Upon viewing these pictures of the Subaru BRZ prototype we can hear some of you shouting, "just come out with it already", and we couldn't agree more. The same can be said about for the BRZ's twin sisters, the much-teased global Toyota FT-86 and the North American Scion FR-S.
Anyway, if the current buzz is to be believed, then we should catch our first glimpse of the BRZ in concept form at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November with the final production model to make its world premiere alongside the FT-86 at the Tokyo Motor Show in December.
If you're having a hard time figuring out the differences between the swirly covered BRZ test car and the FT-86 prototypes, that's because the two models will be almost identical minus some extremely subtle cosmetic differences.
The new 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI sedan was officially revealed at the New York Auto Show earlier this month, but our spy photographers have captured the Japanese maker's big-winged saloon testing at the Nurburgring.
At a first glance, it appears that the car is nothing more than the European specification version of the high-performance sedan.
These include the blacked out alloy wheels, gold colored brake calipers (quite possibly "brembo"), fog lamp covers and the front lip spoiler, all of which were not shown on the New York Show car but are standout features on the JDM Impreza STI Spec C hatchback (see here).
However, let us remind you that when Toyota and Subaru first announced that they jumped into bed together to give birth to an affordable pair of compact sports cars, the two Japanese automakers were pretty clear about both models featuring a rear-wheel drive setup.
Here's what the two companies said in a joint statement about the coupes in April 2008:
"Toyota Motor Company (TMC) and Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) - Subaru's parent company - are to jointly develop a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car that will be marketed by both TMC and FHI."
"The compact rear-wheel sports car to be jointly developed by TMC and FHI is envisioned to offer a new "fun to drive" experience based on an all-new vehicle platform powered by an FHI core-technology horizontally-opposed engine. Market introduction is targeted for the end of 2011. Production is to take place at a new plant to be built at FHI's Gunma Manufacturing Division in Japan's Gunma Prefecture. TMC will consign production to FHI."
We're not saying that AWD or even more plausibly, a turbocharged version, are out of the question, but we won't take anything for granted until we see an official statement or better yet, a concept version from Subaru that will give us an idea of the company's intentions.
The only thing that we can be sure about now is that Subaru will market its own version of the coupe. If it will be available in all markets or if Subaru will offer the option of AWD and/or a turbocharged engine is something that remains to be seen.
Photos: Best Car