Facelifted Subaru WRX wagon spied as high-riding Crosstrek XV-style soft-roader
Weeks after unconfirmed reports emerged from Japan of a WRX/Crosstrek mash-up, the first images of a vehicle being tested have been published online.
Spy photos out of Japan show Subaru is following the Outback recipe with the WRX Sportswagon (sold as the Levorg in Japan) testing a model with off-road parts inspired by the Crosstrek small SUV – formerly known in Australia as the XV – along with a new front-end look.
These images, posted on Twitter by ‘inujin32′ and ‘osyamaru120’, appear to show revised headlights, grille, and front and rear bumper bars – all under a camouflage wrap – but with a more pared-back design than those found on the current WRX and Crosstrek.
While details are difficult to make out, the front bumper does appear to be more reminiscent of the regular WRX Sportswagon, rather than being adorned with the black plastic normally found on the Crosstrek.
The spy pics come just weeks after Japanese publication Best Car first reported on Subaru’s plans to make a soft-roader version of the WRX Sportswagon – sold as the Levorg in Japan – giving raised suspension and black body cladding, in the same way the Outback was developed from the (now-discontinued) Liberty wagon.
However, Best Car reported the model is being developed with the 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Japanese-market Levorg, rather than the 2.4-litre turbo engine sold here in the WRX wagon.
It’s not clear at this stage whether the model will be marketed as the WRX Wilderness – the name given to rugged off-road variants of Subaru’s latest cars – or if it will adopt its own unique name, as the Outback and Crosstrek/XV did when they were spun-off from the Liberty and Impreza respectively.
Above: Best Car’s impression of the high-riding WRX.
Subaru could also resurrect the Gravel Express name – a little-known version of the original WRX launched in 1995 for the Japanese market, with less than 1350 believed to have been made.
A spokesperson for Subaru Australia declined to comment on whether the as-yet-unnamed model was being considered for Australia.
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