Subaru Set To Spread Its Wings At New York Auto Show

Subaru is flying high. Sales are rising in America, led by the hot selling Forester. Later this month, it will unveil the all new Impreza sedan at the New York Auto Show. The Impreza will be the first car built on the new modular Subaru Global Platform (SGP). The company is keeping the appearance of the redesigned Impreza a closely guarded secret, although it did bring a concept version of the car to the Los Angeles auto show last year.

Subaru Impreza concept

Like many car companies today, Subaru is designing an all new modular chassis architecture that is flexible enough to underpin all of its future vehicles. That way, it can quickly adjust its manufacturing process to build the cars that are in most demand. It will also allow the company to harmonize production among all its factories so it can react quickly to changes in the global market.

The SGP will accommodate virtually any powertrain — conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric — with equal ease. It lowers the center of gravity by 5 millimeters for better handling. The new chassis will focus on increasing stability and comfort while mitigating noise and vibration.  It boasts a 70 to 100 percent increase in rigidity. In conjunction with upgrades to the suspension, new cars will experience less body roll. The SGP will also reduce noise, vibration, and harshness by 15%.

Subaru mid-engine coupe

That is not all the news from Subaru, however. Car and Driver reports that the new chassis may form the basis for an exciting mid-engine hybrid sports car. It reportedly uses a turbocharged 4 cylinder boxer engine placed behind the driver and aided by an electric motor for the rear wheels plus two front electric motors driving the front wheels. Think of its as a less expensive version of the new Acura NSX. A prototype is said to be undergoing tests at the company’s Tochigi development area using a modified BRZ chassis.

The car is not scheduled to be revealed to the public for at least 2 years. No information is available on what the car might look like, other than the artist’s rendition seen above. “Whether the end result will be a two-door sports coupe or some kind of sports crossover/CUV is still in the evaluation stage,” an inside source tells Car and Driver. “A coupe seems more likely, though.”

330 total horsepower seems likely from such a powertrain, which would give the car performance on a par with the Porsche Cayman. That is pretty rarefied air for a Subaru. Here’s hoping it gets the green light for production.

Subaru coupe concept via Car and Driver.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.