Auto Show: 2014 Geneva Auto Show
Subaru VIZIV 2 Concept: Geneva Auto Show
What Is It?
The Subaru VIZIV 2 Concept is a crossover concept car that could preview the future of Subaru's SUVs and crossovers in general. That's because in addition to its cutting-edge styling and modern interior, the VIZIV 2 Concept boasts a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, a feature not yet seen in a production SUV.
On the outside, the VIZIV 2 Concept is certainly a little unusual, especially considering its enormous front door, which opens upward, and a minivan-inspired rear door that slides backward. There are also huge wheel arches, enormous circles in front and back that contain LED lights and a coupelike profile. The inside is slightly more restrained, though the crossover's advanced gear lever and LCD gauge cluster look like they've come from a science-fiction movie.
But the VIZIV 2's most important news is under the hood. That's where the concept car features a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which is mated to three electric motors that drive all four of the crossover's wheels. While Subaru hasn't announced horsepower ratings or charge times, the VIZIV 2 will likely travel a certain distance on electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to extend the crossover's range.
Will They Ever Sell It?
The Subaru VIZIV 2 Concept won't go on sale in its current form, given its gull-wing doors and futuristic interior, but we wouldn't be surprised if the concept car previews an upcoming Subaru crossover that boasts plug-in power.
Why It's Important
Although Mitsubishi says it will soon debut a plug-in crossover, no automaker has yet combined the practicality and popularity of an SUV with the fuel savings of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Should the VIZIV 2 Concept see production, Subaru could be the first, and that means shoppers won't have to give up SUV practicality and a high seating position in order to go green. The VIZIV 2 Concept also demonstrates that Subaru has fuel efficiency on its mind -- an important point considering the brand's first hybrid, based on the XV Crosstrek wagon, has only recently made its debut.