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Thursday, September 23, 2021

2022 Subaru Levorg to morph into WRX wagon

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Subaru is committing to its Levorg wagon even in a SUV-hungry market, and will make it even more of a niche offering.

“The Levorg has proven itself as a niche performance wagon, and will morph into something slightly different in its next generation,” said a spokesperson from Subaru Australia.

CarExpert understands the Levorg will effectively become the wagon counterpart to the WRX in Australia when it arrives in the fourth quarter of 2021.

That means the turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder found in the Japanese-market Levorg won’t be coming here.

Instead, the Levorg is expected to offer the same turbocharged 2.4-litre Boxer four that’ll power the redesigned WRX, producing upwards of 213kW.

Set to be revealed on September 10 and go on sale in the first quarter of 2022, the new WRX will reportedly use a more powerful version of the turbo 2.4-litre from the large Ascent crossover sold in North America.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre in the outgoing WRX and previous Levorg produced 197kW of power and 350Nm of torque, while the Ascent’s 2.4-litre produces 190kW and 376Nm.

The redesigned Japanese-market Levorg’s 1.8-litre puts out 130kW and 300Nm.

It’s unclear whether the 2022 Levorg will also offer a manual as is expected in the new WRX or if it’ll only offer a CVT like the previous Levorg, which sold out earlier this year.

Unlike the previous car, the new Levorg has a dashboard design that’s not shared with the Impreza.

The dash is dominated by a 11.6-inch portrait touchscreen, which comes paired with a 12.3-inch LCD instrumentation display. In Japan, a smaller 7.0-inch touchscreen is available in lower grades.

For the standard EyeSight safety system there’s autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and traffic light monitoring.

The top-shelf EyeSight X package includes a hands-off driving mode for traffic jam assistance, as well as the ability to automatically slow down for toll booths and curves.

In Japan, all models are fitted with steering-linked full LED headlights, a leather-clad steering wheel, and a heated driver’s seat.

The range-topping STI Sport model includes adaptive dampers, aluminium pedals, 10-way electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, an eight-way power front passenger’s seat, heated rear seats, and a hands-free power tailgate.

In terms of length, the redesigned Levorg is only 5mm shorter than the third-generation Liberty wagon but is 115mm shorter than the redesigned, sixth-generation Outback.

That means the new car will be a successor of sorts to high-performance Liberty wagons of yore.

Even in its outgoing guise, the Levorg was a niche product. Last year, Subaru sold just 306 examples against 407 BRZ coupes and 925 examples of its now defunct Liberty sedan.

Launched in 2016, the Levorg slotted in between the Impreza and the now discontinued Liberty.

It helped fill a gap left by the axing of the Liberty wagon in 2014, which left the high-riding Outback as the only Subaru with a traditional wagon silhouette.

For a while the Levorg posted solid numbers, particularly for an unpopular body style in an ailing segment.

Subaru sold 1621 in its first year, followed by 1210 units the year after.

Classified in VFACTS as a mid-sizer, those early numbers saw it outselling the likes of the Hyundai i40 and Kia Optima.

MORE: Everything Subaru Levorg

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