Subaru Sport Mobility concept to preview retro-inspired EV coupe

Tokyo’s 2023 Mobility Show to feature Subaru’s high performance electric concept

The stars are coming out for Japan’s 2023 Tokyo Mobility Show, and now it’s Subaru’s turn to preview what it has in store for the reformed motor show. Centre stage will be the Subaru Sport Mobility concept, a sporty electric coupe that could preview a future design direction, by referencing its past. 

There are no official technical details about the model as yet, but the single dark image does reveal the concept’s unmistakable three-box body, flat bonnet and slim headlights. Like many Japanese manufacturers, Subaru might not appear to have much in the way of design heritage in Europe, but this concept very clearly channels the eccentric XT coupe it sold globally between 1985 and 1991. 

Look closer into some of the concept’s details and you’ll find more corresponding elements with the XT, such as the blacked-out a-pillars and square-shaped indentations on the bonnet’s leading edge, referencing its pop-up headlights.  

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The original XT was actually very progressive mechanically as well, pairing either a naturally aspirated or turbocharged flat-four (or a flat-six) petrol engine with an optional all-wheel drive system. Some models were even sold with a low-range transfer case, height-adjustable pneumatic suspension and a digital instrument cluster. 

It’s this innovation and out-of-the-box thinking that Subaru’s hoping to channel with its new concept, something we might see applied more directly to its future road cars. Subaru’s presence in the UK and Europe isn’t nearly as prominent as it was during the WRC rally era in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, but Subaru’s international success has roared on since, driven largely by the American and Australian markets. 

But as the brand expands its EV range so is it becoming more relevant to the UK and Europe, with Subaru keen to capitalise on additional markets to help drive its switch to battery power. For now, we’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see what this future vision of a sporty Subaru could look like, but we can be sure that it won’t be boring. 

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