Amidst all the glitzy sports car and hybrid-vehicle premieres at the LA Auto Show this week, you’d be forgiven for overlooking Subaru’s latest ‘concept’ model which broke cover yesterday. Subaru have experienced more than their fair share of difficulties trying to evolve their most popular model, and from our experience of Subaru’s recent concept vehicles we know there’s a strong likelihood of this Impreza Design Concept becoming the fully-fledged production model.

Subaru describe Impreza Design Concept as representative of their new ‘Confidence in Motion’ design and brand strategy, blending two ideas – ‘dynamic flow’ and ‘confident stance’ in a 4-door body shell while incorporating Subaru’s core engineering values of dynamic performance through permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, safety, enjoyment and quality.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]The Impreza Design Concept represents Subaru’s new ‘Confidence in Motion’ design and brand strategy, blending two ideas – ‘dynamic flow’ and ‘confident stance’ in a 4-door body shell while incorporating Subaru’s core engineering values. [/blockquote]

The Impreza Design Concept is powered by a combination of the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated Boxer engine with a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This combination is significant in itself since it represents Subaru’s next-generation of powertrain. (Lineartronic is currently only available on 2.5-litre models in the UK).

From the front, the Impreza Design Concept is clearly recognizable as a Subaru, with a hexagonal grille and wing-motif located between the hawk-eye-style headlights. Fin-shaped fog lamps, which mirror the wing motif, display a fresh expression of Subaru’s identity. The car’s low-and-wide stance – first seen on the 2011 WRX STI – is meant to convey security and safety, while the prominent wheel arches emphasise the vehicle’s sure-footed stance.

In profile, it has a sleek, continuous line from the A-pillar, along the roof and through the C-pillar. This design allows for both a roomy cabin and an excellent aerodynamic performance. Subaru designers strove for simple and clean lines rather than complicated forms. This produces a contrast with the powerful bumper design and results in a lean side view, accented by silver window frames.

On the inside, the smooth integration of the instrument panel with the door trim and armrests in the Impreza Design Concept suggest a sporty yet comfortable drive. A large touch-screen multimedia display in the centre of the dash combine the control functions for the navigation system with those of the vehicle information and audio.

Subaru’s new active safety EyeSight system is installed along the front edge of the roof. The images taken by the camera are relayed to a monitor in the centre of the tri-gauge instrument binnacle. EyeSight is also connected to the firm’s latest collision-prevention technology, underscoring the carmakers safety credentials.

So what do you think? Does it represent the right direction for Subaru? Are you likely to buy one? We think it’s got potential, perhaps it’s a bit grown-up looking than we’re used to with the Impreza but it certainly exudes confidence and just imagine how it would look in STi guise…