The four-door Impreza saloon concept car was revealed just weeks after a similar concept showcasing the five-door Impreza hatchback was revealed at the Tokyo motor show.
Set to enter production in late 2016 at Subaru's Indiana factory, the new Impreza is described as being the first of a new generation of Subaru models. It is key to the company's Prominence 2020 plan, announced last year, which aims to enhance Subaru's product offering, while also growing the brand.
Central to that plan is the adoption of a new standardised platform, intended to underpin every Subaru model from the Impreza to the Outback. The new platform is expected to bring significant weight savings to the Impreza, while also being stronger.
Subaru is clearly benchmarking the car against key rivals in the family hatchback market. Recent spy shots showed prototype versions of the saloon and five-door running in convoy with a Ford Focus and a Mazda 3.
If the finished production model follows the lead of the concept, then the new Impreza will take on more of a conventional hatchback shape than the current car. Highlights include a new grille with large air intakes at the front, and a prominent lip spoiler at the rear. Subaru also says that the look of the five-door concept hints at the look of the company’s future range as a whole - although judging from the spy pics, the headlight treatment is going to be toned down for production.
In fact, the new Impreza is styled to usher in a new design language from Subaru. Dubbed Dynamic x Solid, it will also be seen on future Subaru models. Subaru design boss Mamoru Ishii said: "This concept was created under a new design theme, representing a design carved from a hard, rigid material while also flowing. We included many design cues within the concept that are symbolic of Subaru engineering.
Subaru's US chief Tom Doll said: "It’s a precursor to what you can expect from the next-generation Subaru Impreza sedan. We know that in the US, sedans will play a vital role in our company’s continued sales growth. We are on target to sell 570,000 cars in 2015."
Power is expected to come from a new generation of engines featuring cylinder deactivation technology. The current car is powered by a 112bhp 1.6-litre flat-four engine and is available with either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT.
Autocar understands the next-generation Impreza will be launched late in 2016. Prices aren't expected to rise too far from the £17,495 of the current car.