Subaru Viziv 2 Plug-In Hybrid Diesel Crossover (CONCEPT)

Written By: Brittney B.

                                 Subaru Viziv - Geneva motor show

Demand for hybrid crossovers continues to climb, and plenty of automakers are heeding the call to combine power and efficiency in one sporty package. Crossover vehicles offer the power and capacity of SUVs with the agility and compactness of sports cars, while hybrid vehicles add energy-efficient options to traditional engines. Subaru has been balancing these benefits for at least a couple of years, and the latest result is the Viziv 2.

Evolving and improving along the way

True to its name — an abbreviation of "vision for innovation" — the Subaru Viziv has already undergone several transformations, even though it's only conceptual. If and when Subaru masters the technology and design behind this model, future production vehicles may show traces of all three concepts: the Viziv, the Viziv Evolution and the Viziv 2.

The Viziv, a diesel hybrid crossover, was initially revealed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. This original iteration was designed to show off Subaru's improving technologies, and to herald the future direction of their creative choices and environmental priorities. Flashy touches such as butterfly doors and backseat displays were complemented by innovative engineering choices, including individual motors in each rear wheel and lithium-ion batteries.

Later that year at the Tokyo Motor Show, Subaru introduced the model as the Viziv Evolution, unveiling enhancements inspired by the Subaru WRX. This time, the 2.0-liter diesel engine was replaced with a 1.6-liter gas-powered engine, and it also gained an electric motor on the front axle and blacked-out hood and rear units. In 2014, the concept reappeared in Geneva as the Viziv 2. Updates included two rear doors, headlamps and round driving lamps, and a return to the smaller engine.

Subaru Viziv/Viziv II Plug-in Hybrid Crossover (Concept)

Incorporating new and old elements

The Subaru Viziv 2 owes its "muscular" structure and stance to several factors, but one of the most striking (and practical) is the placement and distribution of its three-motor hybrid system. In a deviation from all existing Subaru models, symmetrical all-wheel drive makes corners easier to clear than ever. It also allows for a low center of gravity and a lower floor, because the rear motors render a propeller shaft unnecessary.

Both energy conservation and intelligent technology are mandatory in modern hybrid models, and this crossover's powertrain is a promising indication that Subaru's on the right path. In fully electric mode, the Viziv 2 offers powerful, silent city driving. In hybrid drive mode, the diesel engine combines with the motors to produce significant torque at low engine speeds. Meanwhile, Subaru's exclusive EyeSight driver assistance system recognizes objects in the driver's path, gives warnings to brake, and applies the brakes if necessary.

Subaru is mostly known for its boxer engines and drivetrains, but they're finally embracing the future. The Viziv 2 is one of the Japanese automaker's most adventurous and ambitious designs to date. If future evolutions arrive, they'll give even more clues about the direction that future lineups may take.