Making its debut in prototype form ahead of a market launch in Japan later this year, the Levorg STi brings styling tweaks inspired by Subaru’s rallying heritage, alongside technical upgrades aimed at enhancing the driving experience.
The range-topper is set apart from the standard second-generation Levorg with a performance-inspired bodywork package that includes a redesigned front splitter, a prominent rear diffuser and pink STi emblems at the front and rear. A new set of alloy wheels looks to be available as well.
Elsewhere, the model bears a strong resemblance to the standard Levorg, which Subaru describes as a ‘grand touring’ estate. The large bonnet intake is carried over, while the rising windowline, sloping roof and rear spoiler hint at its performance potential.
Underneath, the Levorg STi gains electronically controlled dampers - a first for Subaru - that are said to deliver a ‘sporty feel’. A newly integrated driving mode selector controls the behaviour of the engine, steering, suspension and four-wheel drive system to offer "more engagement and enjoyment".
There’s no word on whether the STi will offer any power increase over the standard Levorg, which is equipped with the latest version of Subaru’s 1.8-litre direct-injection petrol boxer engine. Subaru claims that lean-burn technology featured on the new powertrain ‘balances acceleration and environmental performance’ while promising strong torque.
The Levorg STi is being displayed with blacked-out windows, leaving the interior under wraps. It can be expected to place an emphasis on space and comfort, however, while offering the same advanced driver assistance package and connectivity functions as the standard model.
It's not yet known whether the Levorg STi will come to Europe, but the original Levorg arrived here the year after it was launched in its home market, suggesting we could see some variants on sale in 2021.