It’s not immediately obvious what most of us think of these days when we imagine a Subaru.
Two decades ago it would have doubtless been an Impreza Turbo warbling through a forest rally stage. A few might picture an SUV, others a bygone niche performance special, such as a tuned WRX hatchback or a Forester STI.
But according to Subaru, most people – particularly those in bigger markets for the company than ours, such as Japan and the US – would think of a four-wheel-drive estate: a Legacy.
And it’s the Legacy’s old template on which the firm is hoping to capitalise with the oddly christened Levorg. Previewed as a concept at the 2013 Tokyo show, this car’s identity comes from a collision of the words ‘Legacy’, ‘revolution’ and ‘touring’ (as you probably won’t have surmised).
Mercifully, the design brief is simpler: create a successor to the last-but-one, fourth-generation Legacy in terms of size and price and bring the Subaru ‘AWD’ wagon concept up to date by way of a downsized turbocharged engine, a sophisticated cabin and a ‘grand touring’ blend of dynamic sure-footedness, handling precision and ride finesse. All that backed up by a British touring car racing programme that has already recorded race wins.
Now to find out how effectively that brief has been delivered upon.
It’s easy to talk about squeezing big-car cabin space into a downsized package, after all, but it’s much harder to achieve.