It’s called the XV Concept, but it looks a lot like where Subaru are likely to be heading with a Forester replacement. Launched this morning at the Shanghai Auto Show, Subaru describes the XV Concept as “..defining a new generation of crossover vehicle, blending traditional SUV practicality within a fashionable form.”
The XV Concept is fitted with a 2.0-litre four cylinder Horizontally-Opposed DOHC engine mated to a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). It’s a medium sized vehicle 11 cm (4″) shorter than the current Forester, 2 cm wider and 8 cm lower. Fitted with low profile 245/45 ZR19 tyres, Subaru are clearly pitching the XV Concept at the enthusiast end of the SUV/crossover market.
This new generation design concept combines Subaru’s crossover-like driving dynamic with what the designers describe as a “playful nature”. The key concept is the integration of authentic functionality but with urban, stylish design. The vehicle was engineered to blend the commanding silhouette seen around the lower half of the body with a fashionable image in a single, modern package. The XV’s body exhibits the solid, dynamic and independent styling so characteristic of all Subaru’s.
The front of the vehicle features design elements that are common to the Subaru stable, including the hexagon grille, winged motif and hawk-eye headlights. The centre of the grille is the same colour as the body itself, which contributes to a solid and powerful look while the combination of the black lower bumper protectors and metallic highlights reinforces the cross-over design and are said to give the XV real presence.
The rear of the vehicle features the same hexagonal design as the front. Metallic decorations give the hexagonal shape greater definition, while more hexagons engraved into the clear blue base under the license plate complement the consistent design theme. The layered structure of the tail lights gives them a deeper look, which are further highlighted with the distinct line flowing from the top of the rear combination lights across the rear gate. The elevated height of the line serves to interconnect both rear combination lights, giving the rear of the vehicle a wider appearance.
The XV features a panorama type roof of continuous glass which extends from the front windscreen all the way to the rear, resulting in a smooth and sleek profile. The combination of clear and metallic materials used for the roof rails enhance the modern, premium look. New alloy wheels with silver spokes and black rims have been designed to combine a solid, stylish appearance befitting of fashionable urban chic while the exterior paintwork is a special Electro Yellowgreen colour to embody exciting performance, and rounds off the exterior design.
Subaru’s designers have been equally ambitious with the XV Concept’s interior. The dynamic contours running from the front instrument panel, across the door panels and to the centre console have an engineered look but while appearing sumptuous at the same time. A special white leather has been used as the base material for the seats, which creates a stark contrast with the darker tones used elsewhere. The combined use of sporty mesh with yellowgreen piping in selected areas of the interior, is intended to create a high quality, sporty finish.
A large touch-panel multi-information display has been installed in the centre panel, giving the driver easy control over navigation and audio systems as well as directly displaying vehicle information. Subaru’s advanced driver support system EyeSight features, with an LCD monitor positioned between the two well-balanced and highly visible combination meters to allow the driver to check the images captured with the EyeSight’s stereo cameras.