Subaru may not be as big a player as the likes of Toyota, but it's more than capable of taking it up to the big boys. With growing sales and a strong lineup led by the Outback, the only thing that's missing from the company stable is a hulking seven-seat four-wheel drive. Launched in Los Angeles, the Viziv-7 gives an idea what that four-wheel drive might look like.
The Viziv-7 is the latest in a line of concept four-wheel drives from Subaru, the most recent of which launched in Tokyo last year. Although it has grown, the latest iteration is clearly linked to those that have gone before, with hawkish headlights and chunky detailing designed to make it look tough and dependable.
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Measuring up at 204.7 in (520 cm) long, 79.9 in (203 cm) wide and 72 in (183 cm) tall, Subaru says the production model will be the biggest car it has ever built, going head-to-head with cars like the new Volkswagen Atlas and Chevrolet Suburban.
"The concept expresses our core brand values, safety, dependability, capability for outdoor activities and a forward looking attitude," says Takeshi Tachimori, Corporate Executive VP at Fuji Heavy Industries. "We know customers in this segment want a full-sized vehicle and the next 3-row from Subaru will be the biggest Subaru vehicle ever."
Beyond the way it looks, and the fact it'll be huge compared to the Outback and Forester, details about the Viziv-7 are thin on the ground. At the moment the entire Subaru lineup is powered by boxer engines, but previous Vizivs have signaled the possibility of a new hybrid-electric setup with a compact electric motor under the trunk floor.
Autonomy also features strongly on previous Subaru concepts, and you can bet that it will play a significant role when the Viziv-7 makes it to production. The brand's current lineup is fitted with the excellent EyeSight system, which uses stereo cameras to provide auto-emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and active cruise control – so expect that level of self-driving capability as a baseline.
The production Viziv-7 will land in showrooms early in 2018, but the concept is currently on show in Los Angeles.