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.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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