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[NEWS] Subaru channels rallying heritage with electric off-road sports car

Subaru channels rallying heritage with electric off-road sports car

Subaru Sport Mobility Concept on show in Tokyo   front three quarters
New Sport Mobility Concept celebrates Subaru's off-road performance reputation

Jacked-up sports car has a central driver's seat and allows control of all four wheels independently

The new Subaru Sport Mobility concept has been revealed at the Tokyo motor show as a celebration of the Japanese marque's affinity for off-road performance. 

Unwrapped as a static show car and presented with minimal details, the chunky, jacked-up sports coupé is a vision of an off-road sports car inspired by Subaru's most successful rally racers.

It doesn't take obvious styling influence from any Subaru model past or present, but in its conception as a compact, sporting 4x4 with driver enjoyment as its overarching priority, it seems a natural spiritual successor to the likes of the WRC-winning 1990s Impreza.

Preview images released ahead of the concept's unveiling suggested it would take some inspiration from the rakish SVX of 1991, but clearly it's a more overtly off-road-inspired proposition than that rakish, low-slung coupé.

The concept's short overhangs, chunky body cladding and raised ride height hint at an ability to tackle challenging terrain, while its swooping, rounded glasshouse and sculpted bodywork suggest an emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency in the name of maximising range. 

It isn't clear if the concept's unfamiliar styling cues herald a rethink of Subaru's design language, but clearly the ultra-slim LED light clusters, protruding arch cladding and one-piece wheel designs mark a departure from the features that define the marque's current line-up.

Like most concepts at the Tokyo show, the Sport Mobility Concept has an electric powertrain.

Subaru said: "This concept model expresses the enjoyment that Subaru offers in the age of electrification, embodying the pleasure of going anywhere anytime and driving at will in everyday to extraordinary environments."

No images of the interior have been released, but Subaru suggested the driver would have control of "all four wheels at will", hinting at a quad-motor EV powertrain with advanced torque-vectoring technology for optimum agility. 

The driver sits low in a centrally mounted seat that gives "excellent visibility and perceptibility", allowing for "enjoyable driving with peace of mind".

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