How the wildly popular Subaru WRX Concept created a new brand identity
The man who designed the WRX Concept that impressed performance enthusiasts but never made it to production, is also responsible for the Impreza Sedan and 5-Door Concept designs. His name is Mamoru Ishii and he’s Subaru’s chief designer who designed both concepts at Subaru’s studio in Hiroshima, Japan. The bold WRX Concept design is now shaping the brands identity.
Subaru has said that future Subaru models will get similar design language from the new 2017 Impreza sedan and 5-door models. We can see that design themes from the dramatic WRX concept have made their way to the Impreza Concept. Subaru listened to fans back in 2013 and will carry the WRX Concept design over to the new generation Impreza. The design will also likely make it to the next-generation Subaru WRX and WRX STI and future Subaru models.
Ishii told Motoring in Australia that the new Impreza design is a result of the WRX Concept being so popular. “We did research with American customers about the current Impreza. They told us that safety design is OK and trust design is OK. But they told us the design is not sporty enough. And the design is not exciting,” said Ishii. That’s where the WRX Concept comes back to life.
Last year, we reported that Subaru WRX Project General Manager, Masuo Takatsu said that the WRX Concept design that everyone liked so well could still make production. Takatsu said, “It’s quite possible that the main theme of the concept car will be put into a production car design.” Takatsu blamed lack of engineering resources for the design of the new-generation 2015 WRX / STI and the reason it didn’t resemble the WRX Concept car.
Subaru is creating a brand identity that comes from the WRX Concept and will first make its way to the new 2017 Impreza and all other models to follow. “In the design of the new Impreza, I wanted to create a much stronger face and brand identity,” Ishii said.
Subaru WRX and WRX STI enthusiasts were disappointed when the new generation 2015 WRX/STI was revealed in LA. Now it looks like the dramatic WRX concept design will be the new design language for the entire brand and will create a new identity for Subaru. We’ll first see it on the new 2017 Subaru Impreza and then the next-generation WRX/STI performance cars.