Cars > Vision

The Subaru Viziv Performance STI is a real stunner

Still very much a concept car, but looking closer to production

Still too aggressive-looking for the assembly line, but it's getting there. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

Following a few teaser images to get everyone excited, Subaru has just completely pulled the covers off the Viziv Performance STI Concept at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, and it’s a beauty. Based on the Viziv Performance Concept we saw at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, this version might also be our best glimpse yet as to what the next generation of Subaru STI models may look like.

Imagine being face-to-face with this on the road. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

The design language of the Viziv STI is considerably more dynamic, if not more aggressive, compared to last year’s concept car. A redesigned front bumper catches the eye with its large center opening and prominent spoiler lip, while the air intakes on the corners have been closed off and adorned with STI logos in what seems like a clear homage to old Impreza STI models.

The absence of traditional door handles results in a clean profile. Nice wheels, too. PHOTOS FROM SUBARU

New side skirts and a changed rear diffuser are both minor changes compared to the massive rear wing that now takes pride of place at the back of the car. It is, however, evident that there’s still a lot of the ‘old’ concept car under all the new parts, with the hood scoop, the exhaust and the lights all still pretty much the same. This makes sense when you think about the Viziv and the Viziv STI as representing possible future WRX and WRX STI models, where the changes to the outside would also be focused on front and rear spoilers as well as some new wheels.

All you really need are those three letters on the rear wing to know this is a special car. PHOTOS FROM SUBARU

The big differences between the normal WRX and the wilder STI version are usually under the hood, but unfortunately Subaru is rather tight-lipped when it comes to the exact specs of this hunkered-down concept vehicle. All that seems to be known is that there will likely be a turbocharged petrol boxer engine at the front of the car, sending power to its four corners via the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. No word on expected power output and suspension setup, or the possibility of a hybrid version making an appearance.

Okay, that bizarre-looking rear wing is a little over the top even for a concept car. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

Until Subaru comes out with more information, we will simply have to wait and look at these pictures while trying to imagine what the final version of the next-generation STI will really be like. By and large, it seems the company is trying to keep old STI vibes alive, with pink accents and STI badging creating a feeling of continuity, but if the famous three letters are to strike fear into opponents in the future, then some technological advances under the skin will also be needed.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.