- SUBARU Australia Keen On Levorg Wagon
- Petrol & Diesel The Path For Now, No Hurry On Hybrids
Subaru Australia has flagged its interest in the company’s new Levorg model, which first appeared last year as a wagon companion to the Impreza hatch and sedan.
Initially set for a Japan market debut this month, the Levorg has yet to be confirmed for Western markets.
Speaking with TMR, Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior said that the company’s local arm is keen on the Levorg.
However, with demand high in Japan and supply limited, it could be sometime before an Australian launch occurs.
“We’re up there [Japan] in a couple of months time to have some discussions, but there’s nothing decided, Mr Senior said. “Hopefully we’re getting it, but if it does happen, it’s not short term.”
“I think there’s a market for it. But there is a whole lot of other issues. For instance they don’t sell WRX in Japan anymore, so Levorg is very important to the Japanese market. They’ve already got something like 8000 orders,” he said.
Mr Senior added that, with its WRX-like looks and smaller footprint, the Levorg would be marketed as its own unique model rather than as a replacement fo the Liberty wagon.
In Japan, the Levorg will be offered with two turbocharged boxer engines: a 125/250NmkW 1.6 litre unit, and the more powerful 220kW/400Nm 2.0 litre.
Both will be mated to CVT Lineartronic transmissions, with the more powerful model - essentially the WRX’s replacement in Japan - getting the Sports Lineartronic system.
Mr Senior noted that, with confirmation still a long way off, it is too early to speculate on powertrains for Australia.
Petrol & Diesel The Path For Now, No Hurry On Hybrids
Quizzed on the recent Viziv hybrid SUV concept and its role as a preview of things to come, Mr Senior was tight-lipped on its production potential.
“Viziv is looking way off into the future. I’m not going to get into speculation on what it is or what it isn’t,” he said.
“I think it is a fantastic peek into what will be the Subaru showroom of the future, in terms of what has been seen and displayed and has yet to be displayed.”
As for its diesel-electric hybrid all-wheel-drive system, Mr Senior hosed down speculation of any hybrid options in Australia.
“Petrol and diesel are going to be the future for us, for the next five years at least," Mr Senior said.
"There will be in time obviously other powerplants, but our immediate future is all about petrol engines and diesel engines."
The company is known to be working on bringing the overseas XV Hybrid model to Australia for local testing, but a market launch is not yet planned.
Already available in the US, the XV Hybrid partners the regular model’s 110kW/196Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer with a 10kW/65Nm electric motor in the car’s automatic CVT transmission, with energy drawn from a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack.
The company claims a fuel consumption improvement of around 12 to 15 percent over the regular XV, making for around 6.0 l/100km under Australian standards.