New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Subaru shocks with Shrek wagon

2011-04-19 09:46

GREEN MACHINE: Is this the future of Subaru exterior design really this bright? We wonder...

This is the future of Subaru’s design language and, truth be told, it's hard to decipher.

They call it the XV crossover, it's 4.45m long, 1.8m wide and finished in a similar hue to Ford’s Focus RS’s signature colour – Shrek green, although Subaru classes it as "Electro Yellowgreen".

XV is not an unfamiliar badge; the crossover was launched locally in early 2011 but many fear this XV design study could provide input for Subaru’s next-generation Impreza.

Power comes from the now familiar horizontally-opposed two-litre four and drive is sent to all four wheels – as is the case with most Subaru products.


Subaru says XV concept encapsulates the company’s new Protren design concept. Allegedly it is a phrase coined from a combination of "professional tool" and "trendy design" – don’t worry, we can’t fathom it either.

As a company Subaru has never been known for its particularly harmonious or stylish designs. Robust mechanical bits, engaging driving dynamics – these are signature Subaru design features. Pretty cars? No.

With XV the company is trying to redress this issue. It says XV is a crossover. It says the lines are electric and those 19-inch alloy wheels, with their contrasting silver spokes, black rims and blue centre-caps are not ridiculous.

If a radical departure is needed to move Subaru’s design forward, then the XV is it. Although the traditional Subaru hexagon grille is retained, XV’s hawk-eye headlights and taillights are not from the Fuji Heavy industries parts bin. This is an all new car - and new is good, right?


Overall, the proportions are more SUV than crossover, particularly when viewed from the side, where XV’s long nose overhang (almost Legacy-like) is noticeable.

Inside, the XV is a bizarre blend of current and future Subaru cabin architecture and design.

The steering wheel is lifted off Subaru’s current models and it even has a girdle-operated parking brake, which is amazingly backward if one considers the new Legacy (launched in 2010) has a push-pull electrically actuated parking brake.

On the credit side, Subaru’s added a large multifunction display to the centre fascia, illuminating vehicle information, navigation and infotainment functionality in a contemporary manner.

The XV’s technological halo feature is Subaru’s "EyeSight" system – a collection of cameras relaying images captured whilst XV is on the move. If you desire a really (literally) green crossover, the XV concept - set go on display at the Shanghai auto show this week - should fulfill all your requirements.

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