The Levorg S concept that was displayed at the Subaru booth in the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon serves as the message to the fans and Fuji Heavy Industries, that Subaru Tecnica International(STI) wanted to provide in a MT specification model.
At present, the Levorg has no set manual transmission. The aim of the concept model was to get into a cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries by boosting their market popularity through the showing of concept models where the 6-speed manual transmission is mated with the 2.0-liter horizontally opposed direct-injection turbo engine.
Chief Tomoki Nishimura, responsible for development in Subaru Technical International Product Planning Department, said, “Many Subaru vehicles have become automatic transmission. However, there were many demands for manual transmission from the users and we wanted to create it as STI.”
Next, he said regarding the display, “It is not a model that will come out soon, but we will be developing it in the future and it will be a model that will show our intention of us ‘wanting to do it!’.”
As for the problems to commercialization, he said; “Since the present vehicle has a lots of equipment systems such as the EyeSight and VDC, we are not yet at a level where we can display a complete car with manufacturer-level quality if we simply combine the engine and transmission.” As for achieving a complete concept car, he said, “Either way, co-development with Fuji Heavy Industries will be needed since it is considerably challenging to develop with just STI alone. Specifically, Fuji Heavy Industries will make the base vehicle that has the combined direct-injection engine and manual transmission whereas STI will assemble the finished and complete car by tuning the direct-injection engine.”
STI gave the concept model equipment similar to the ones on the other S series developed. However, Nishimura also had this to say regarding its running performance, “I keep talking that, here in STI, we aim for a vehicle that has a fun run in whatever road conditions or whoever were to drive it. As with the other S series, while it has a gentle riding performance, when going around corners you can feel a firm persistence. However, you will not get tired even if you continue going straight in a highway. This is what we would like to achieve in the Levorg.”
The decreasing MT specification and evolving electric devices are the common worries of every tuning company. Nishimura said, “Even we are working hard in various ways. I am hoping that exhibiting it in this kind of show will boost our market popularity .”
(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)