Exactly three years ago, DTW introduced its monthly theme called ‘Evolution’. So why not come back to it and extend it with a nice example?
This sight of two Subaru XVs in our house’s parking garage is very striking indeed, as it gave me the rare opportunity of seeing two generations of a car next to each other. The colour was perfect too, both cars in white which makes it easy to read the design. This coincidence made me think once more about different approaches to developing a car line over time, as we have discussed in June 2015.
Now Subaru has never leant towards disruptive design changes, despite introducing a new theme from time to time, for example with the first generation Impreza in 1992 or the third one in 2007. However it seems to me that the change from the 2011 XV to its successor in 2017 is a particularly small one, as we can see here. Although apparently a new platform was used for the 2017 generation, Subaru decided to copy the older car quite literally on the outside.
Seen from the back, one notices the enlarged light cluster that gains a second part in the hatch. Many of the other features are copied: the shape of the bumper edge with its oblique shutline, the black lower bumper part with an integrated light, the shape of the windshield, etc. Even the ridged underride guard is there, but loses its fog light.
We can also see a small difference in how the folds around the rear wing are treated. The older XV has an uninterrupted line running down the whole side and a wheelarch crease below. In the newer car the bodyside fold fades above the doorhandle and is continued by the remnants of the wheelarch fold. I guess this yields a more dynamic and muscular impression. This is also helped by the upward sweep of the lower window line that starts in the rear door rather than behind it.
At the front, it’s the same story: most design elements are still there, only slightly shifted, and there are a few new touches. The A-pillar and windscreen area are treated much in the same way as before, it’s all just a bit sharper and pointier.
The new bonnet has a bit more depth, at least optically, as the lateral shutline is more distant from the fold running from the A-pillar to the headlights than before. The biggest differences are the black areas inside the light unit and in the lower part of the bumper. Again things like the shape of the wheelarch extension are copied almost slavishly.
This example raised in me the question why one would stay so close to a predecessor whitout carrying over a single piece of bodywork. And I’m still slightly hesitant: Is it an act of an overcautious management not wanting to frighten and drive off customers? Or is it rather a bold statement: the car is so good, we didn’t have to change it?