Subaru has pulled the covers off the angriest version yet of their 2nd-generation Levorg at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon. Annoyingly, the STI Sport is still labelled a ‘prototype’ despite it looking exactly like what we’d expect the finished production version to be.
That aside, it should be earmarked for a Japanese market launch later this year before being made more widely available internationally. But have Subaru added a significant amount of performance-focused enhancements to the Levorg to make it worth the wait? We hope so!
While you could argue that styling is subjective and has little impact on actual driver enjoyment, the Levorg STI Sport wears its added aggression with a refreshing dose of restraint. We’re plenty used to seeing Subaru Tecnica International take things a step farther than others in this department, so it’s refreshing to see something so grown up. In this bright white exterior finish, we dare say that the car is downright understated.
There is the new front splitter and rear diffuser combination, of course, and we have to believe that they’ve been added for some functional reason. New, too, are a set of alloy wheels of an unspecified size - looks like 18-inchers - and wearing nondescript tyres. Not exactly breaking news.
And if that isn’t too much for you to take in, Subaru’s signature bonnet scoop is still present and seems to be an unaltered carry-over from the standard Levorg.
A new and exciting engine was meant to be a headlining new feature to be revealed about the Levorg STI Sport, but Subaru decided to omit any information of the powertrain from its debut appearance at the Tokyo Auto Salon, unfortunately.
Many, including us, were expecting to see a turbocharged version of Subaru’s 1.8-litre direct-injection horizontally opposed Boxer four-cylinder, balancing big boosted power with the automaker’s much touted ‘lean burn’ technology for both performance and fuel efficiency.
It’s a foregone conclusion, however, that the car will feature Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system and the EyeSight active safety suite, but new to the brand are the electronically-controlled dampers that are said to be premiering in the eventual hot Levorg, controllable via a Drive Mode Select system that alters parameters around the power unit, steering, suspension, and the AWD system depending on driver preference and mood.
At the event in the Japanese capital, the Levorg STI Sport prototype was presented to the audience with heavily darkened windows to obscure the finer details of the interior, and the same goes for these images shown here. However, we reckon there won’t be all that much different from what we’ve already seen in other variants of the second-generation Levorg.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.