New Subaru Levorg debuts in Tokyo, here's what it means for the US
While the Levorg itself won't be sold Stateside, expect to see parts of it on future Subaru products.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
No, friends, we won't be getting the new Subaru Levorg in the US. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few things we can learn from Subaru's new sporty wagon, which officially debuted Wednesday at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
First, a bit of background. The current Levorg -- the name, by the way, isn't French for "The Vorg," but instead, a portmanteau of the words "Legacy," "evolution" and "touring" -- has been on sale since 2014, and is currently available in Japan and Europe. The current model shares its platform with the last-generation Legacy, and uses several different engines, including the one found in the
Like all new Subarus, the next-generation Levorg rides on the company's global platform, which underpins everything from the smallest
to the largest
. Its design gives it the appearance of a sharper Impreza, and that's intentional. Everything you see from the B pillar forward will be seen on the next-generation WRX. Check out that hood scoop, yo. But don't hold your breath for a new wagon variant in the US.
As for what's under the hood, Subaru says the Levorg uses a brand-new, turbocharged, 1.8-liter boxer four, although horsepower and torque numbers haven't been specified as of this writing. It's unclear if this engine will power the next WRX, or if it'll be offered in other US-bound products.
The Levorg also brings with it an update to Subaru's EyeSight driver-assistance tech. Subaru says a new, 360-degree camera suite gives the Levorg an "expanded range of precollision braking operation to cover crossing and turning at an intersection of low visibility," according to an official statement.
What's more, high-definition map data can be used to recognize the shape of the road ahead, meaning the car can automatically reduce speed before going into a curve, which Subaru says will allow for hands-free driving in certain conditions. This could be a bit of tech similar to
updated ProPilot 2.0 software, which we recently tested in a Japanese-spec Skyline sedan. Of course, that also means the tech isn't ready for primetime in the US, but it could also head our way soon.
Subaru is calling the new Levorg a prototype, since the model doesn't officially go on sale in Japan until the second half of 2020. The new WRX is expected to arrive after that, but we'll be keeping an eye out for the new turbo engine and updated EyeSight tech to make its way Stateside as well.
Watch this: Subaru Levorg Prototype: We won't get the wagon, but we may get the tech
Subaru Levorg shows the face of the brand's next WRX