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After being teased and leaked, the Subaru Levorg Prototype has finally made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. While it may have “Prototype” in its name, this is very much close to being production ready, with a market launch set to take place in Japan in the second half of 2020.
The all-new Levorg was first previewed by the Viziv Tourer Concept during last year’s Geneva Motor Show, and just like recent models in the carmaker’s stable (XV, Ascent, Impreza and Forester). now rides on the Subaru Global Platform that offers significantly higher body rigidity than the outgoing, first-generation model.
Not that you’ll identify the second-generation Levorg at first glance, as it has a close resemblance to its predecessor. Subaru says that while its “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy was fundamental when it came to styling the new Levorg, it also applied the design concept “Bolder” that “highlights the value and character of each Subaru model.”
Bolder is indeed the proper term in this context, as it won’t take long for you to spot the more aggressive look that the wagon carries, starting with the pointier front end here that is emphasised by a larger, hexagonal-shaped grille, which features a chrome strip that spans its width.
Said strip flows seamlessly into creases that cut into the reshaped (and kinked) headlamps, which are joined by prominent scalloped sections that accommodate the fog lamps and decorative “inlets.” It also seems like every feature on the Levorg’s face is highlighted, as the lower intake also gets its dedicated crease and subtle lip. Like the previous Levorg, there’s a bonnet scoop to feed air to the turbocharged engine lurking underneath, which we’ll get to in a second.
From the three-quarter view, you’ll spot squared-off wheel arches instead of rounded ones found on the current model, while the doors also have a more prominent crease at their base as well as a character line that flows through the door handles. As teased previously, the Levorg Prototype sports strong haunches that end just above the C-shaped taillights, which are now slimmer.
As for the rear, the revisions aren’t as drastic as the front, with triangular, blacked-out reflector housings in the corners of the bumper, which also gets a tidier lower apron. The tailgate spoiler also gets additional trimming on its edges to help smoothen out the vehicle’s lines further. There are no interior photos as the heavily tinted windows suggest, and we’ll only know more about life inside when the production version is revealed in full.
However, the Japanese carmaker is more than happy to disclose some technical and equipment details, starting with a new 1.8 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder boxer engine that features what the company refers to lean-burn technology. No output figures have been revealed as of yet, but as per Subaru DNA, expect it to be mated to a Lineartronic CVT and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.
In its previous generation, the Levorg was available with a FA20F 2.0 litre engine, which also came with turbocharging and direct fuel injection to make 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque. A second engine was the FB16 DIT, which was a 1.6 litre turbocharged mill making 170 PS and 250 Nm – this is the unit we got in our market.
Another new piece of tech here is Subaru’s next-generation EyeSight system, which features a renewed stereo camera setup with a wider viewing angle. Additionally, the system is now supported by four radar sensors on the front and rear bumpers, which allows it to have a 360-degree sense around the vehicle. The EyeSight’s pre-collision braking function has also been expanded to cover crossing and turning at an intersection with low visibility.
That’s not all, as the car also comes equipped with a locator that precisely detects the vehicle’s position by utilising information from GPS and Michibiki (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System). Working in combination with high-definition map data, the Levorg can recognise the shape of road ahead, automatically reducing its speed before going into a curve, and assists drivers with hands-free driving in traffic.
Lastly, Advanced Automatic Collision Notification is a new first for Subaru in Japan, and it is essentially an SOS service that automatically sends an alert to an operator and emergency services when a big impact from a collision is detected.