The Subaru Levorg is initially planned for sale in Japan only from early 2014, though the brand’s local arm says it is already in talks with parent company Fuji Heavy Industries about positioning the model between the Impreza small car and Liberty medium car.
“Obviously [the Levorg] has got huge appeal for us and we've put our hand up for it,” Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior told CarAdvice in Tokyo. “It’s a completely new model. It’s a new genre. The discussions have started about possibility of the if and when.
“Subaru has historically been very good at identifying new opportunities – look at Forester, look at XV – and I think this sports tourer concept, where you have high performance but also versatility [has a market].
“And the versatility of the Levorg… it essentially has the same cargo carrying ability as current Liberty, so it’s space efficient."
At 4690mm long, the Subaru Levorg sits between the Impreza hatch and Liberty wagon in size. Its 2650mm wheelbase is 100mm shorter than the axle-to-axle distance of the Liberty wagon. The Levorg's underpinnings comprise a front section borrowed from the Impreza, though Subaru says the rest is unique to the wagon.
The all-wheel-drive Levorg will be powered by a choice of direct fuel injection ‘boxer’ four-cylinder turbo engines – in 1.6- and 2.0-litre sizes. The smaller engine produces 125kW of power and 250Nm of torque, with the bigger horizontally opposed engine generating 221kW and 400Nm.
The 2.0-litre version, which will produce closer to 200kW based on non-Japanese measurements, is shared with the upcoming Subaru WRX.
Both engines are mated with continuously variable transmissions, with the bigger engine adopting a sportier version of the auto.
Senior said the Subaru Levorg was effectively a spiritual successor to the GT Turbo of the last-generation Liberty.
“One of the most popular and endearing cars [we had] was the previous-generation Liberty GT Turbo… and Subaru very much sees Levorg as a successor because of the size and in terms of the customer."
Senior said he couldn’t put a timeframe on when the Subaru Levorg could make it to Australia. He confirmed Levorg was an international nameplate for the model that would be retained for Australia.