A road map for models and new technologies up to 2015

After its recently revealed "Motion V" program was announced late last year, Subaru bosses arranged a special briefing for potential investors. At that meeting, senior staffers laid out a road map of what models and new technologies would be unveiled up to 2015.

It started with the all-new Impreza of last year, the BRZ and Forester which will go on sale this year, the Exiga minivan in 2013, the all-new WRX (which will diverge from the Impreza platform) and a brand new sport wagon for 2014, and the all-new Legacy in 2015.

Of note on the technology side is a new direct injection turbocharged engine slated for introduction by the end of this year. And that's just part of Subaru's powertrain plans. According to a source close to Subaru, the company is currently working on a three-stage plan:

  • Stage 1 (completed) - Direct injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer incorporating Toyota's DS-4 technology for the BRZ
  • Stage 2 - Direct injection turbocharged variant of the FA20 2.0-liter
  • Stage 3 - High-powered four-cylinder turbo boxer for the next generation WRX. While the final engine capacity has not been decided yet, the consensus inside Subaru is leaning towards downsizing and tweaking the BRZ's FA20 2.0-liter unit into a 1.6-liter turbo featuring new lean-burn technology.

This is where the story gets interesting. We hear the turbo destined for production later this year and the one being developed for the WRX are two different beasts. That is to say that the WRX, which is expected to return in three-door hatchback and sedan forms (check out our CG image to see how one artist visualizes the hatch), is rumored to employ a turbo with some form of electric device. This has been a while coming as Subaru took out a patent on an electrically-operated turbo back in 2007.

While the internals are still secret, our source did mention that the new turbo would use heat energy from exhaust gases to generate the necessary electricity. That means that the new turbo will do away with the complicated piping prevalent in current turbos.

This new system will generate greatly improved energy efficiency which will in turn basically eradicate turbo lag. Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda have all dabbled with electric turbos, but Subaru could be the first to bring the idea to production.

Whether the WRX will stage a comeback to the WRC is undecided, but Subaru did say that we can expect to see the car in competitive events from road racing to rallying.

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