Subaru's radical new SVX in the pipeline

words - Peter Lyon
Flat six power making a return in new age hybrid coupe
Remember the Subaru SVX?  Yes, that stylish Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned 3.3 litre coupe from the early 90s ?  

"It's making a comeback, and with a six-cylinder boxer hybrid setup," says a source close to Subaru. If you look at the fact that the company is registering record profits, has two new Viziv crossover concepts on the motor show circuit that hint at a future design, and wants to build a large, high-powered sports coupe for the US market, then a reinterpreted SVX makes perfect sense. And don't be surprised if the name changes.

The image you see here is based on an advanced sketch shown to us by our source and reveals a shooting brake-style coupe that promises the very best handing Subaru has to offer. 

Boasting a low-slung side profile, flared fenders and an angled shooting brake styled C-pillar, the new SVX will redefine Subaru's corporate look.  The new coupe's headlights are heavily influenced by the Viziv 2 Concept shown at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, as is the grille and high waistline. As reported in a recent story, Subaru's chief designer Mamoru Ishii, says that the company will focus more resources on creating better looking designs in the future so we can expect an even more refined exterior than you see here.

From what we are hearing from our source, the new SVX is a large, high-powered coupe that is being strongly requested by American dealers who want a high performance, grand tourer style of coupe to lift brand image and draw a wider clientele to their showrooms.

The now out-of-production SVX employed a 176kW 3.3 litre flat-six that was married to Subaru's signature 4WD system. In line with the next-generation Tribeca due out in 2016, the new SVX will slot into the lineup above that model and will be the flagship of the range, says our source. Obviously its main market will be the US, but countries such as Australia and the UK are on the list as well.

The reinterpreted SVX will employ a Subaru Global Platform (SGP) that will go online from the all-new Tribeca in 2016. The point of this new construction, according to our source, is to permit an "axle-forward layout" and electrification (ie: hybridisation). 

Given that the boxer engine and 4WD layout have never been a very frugal combination at the pump, Subaru are pulling all stops to create a powerful, great handling coupe that meets the new stringent CO2 emissions regulations and delivers acceptable mileage.  To achieve that result, Subaru engineers are developing a new 3.3 litre flat six with direct injection and a longer stroke that will be married to a powerful Lexus plug-in hybrid unit and Subaru's signature 4WD system. 

"In contrast to the XV Crosstrek's hybrid unit that was developed in-house by Subaru, the SVX's hybrid system needs to cater to a much more powerful engine, so needs the assistance of Lexus' plug-in hybrid system," explains our source. 

By using the Lexus unit, Subaru would save a lot in R&D costs as well. Power is expected to clear 280kW which places it in the same ballpark as the Tesla Model S, which we are told is considered by Subaru to be one of its rivals.

Expected to land in showrooms in 2017, the reinterpreted SVX will be built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the central USA, our source tells us.

Picture courtesy of Holiday Auto magazine

Published : Tuesday, 10 June 2014
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