Subaru’s current line-up is not all that arguably quite sedate. Here in the UK, we’re offered the XV, Outback, Forester and Solterra (no, we don’t get the BRZ or even the WRX) and though none are exactly offensive, they hardly scream excitement. A new stealthily-dropped concept could look to change that - provided you can work out what it’s trying to be.
This is the Subaru Sport Mobility concept, revealed at the Japan Mobility Show, which is said to showcase ‘the enjoyment that Subaru offers in the age of electrification’. Yes, it’s an EV, but one that will allow you to ‘embark on exciting new adventures’.
It’s hard to confirm without official details or seeing that car up close ourselves, but reports suggest it's similar in size to the BRZ. Rather than being a new rear-driven, purist EV though, a note that it's designed for the driver to control ‘all four wheels at will’ would imply a trick all-wheel-drive system.
Maybe then, it’s Subaru’s first glimpse at the car for its rumoured re-entry into WRC. However, it can’t be, unless there’s a dramatic rule change, as current Rally1 regulations as used in the championship require a hybrid car rather than a full EV. More likely, that honour would go to a reworked WRX.
Plus, with all that exposed carbon fibre low down on the car, you’d hardly want to slam it down a gravel stage - despite it supposedly ‘embodying the pleasure of going anywhere, anytime and driving at will in everyday to extraordinary environments’.
If it’s supposed to stir up thoughts of a reborn WRX STI road car as well, it’s not hitting the mark without a gigantic rear wing and gold wheels either.
Ultimately, it makes you wonder if Subaru itself is unsure of what kind of sports car it wants to make in the electric age. Let’s hope they nail it soon.
Still, it’s not the oddest thing the manufacturer has shown at the Japan Mobility Show - that goes to the Air Mobility Concept. Yes, it’s a flying Subaru - and not the Petter Solberg on a rally stage kind.