Where Would This Sports Mobility Concept Fit in Subaru’s Lineup?

japan mobility show 2023
Does This Subaru Concept Preview a Next-Gen SVX?Jun Sato - Getty Images
  • Subaru reveals electric coupe concept at the Japan Mobility Show, named simply Sports Mobility.

  • Featuring boxy wheel arches and a blunt front fascia, the electric coupe nevertheless reminded some of the Subaru SVX.

  • Subaru has focused largely on family cars for the past two decades, with the automaker's current size not favoring niche, smaller-volume entries.

Subaru may have become a brand of SUVs and crossovers over the past decade, but it hasn't completely forgotten its sports car past.

The automaker used the Tokyo Mobility Show to unveil a curious electric car concept in a nod to its sporty coupes of yesteryear, amid a bumper crop of EV sports car concepts from other brands.

Dubbed simply the Sports Mobility Concept, the electric coupe reminded some observers of the Subaru SVX, even though the resemblance is perhaps distant. Less apparent is a stylistic connection to its current internal-combustion BRZ coupe.

japan mobility show
The concept features boxy fenders and a blacked out cockpit, but overall its resemblance to anything from the company’s recent past is distant at best.Anadolu Agency - Getty Images

Featuring boxy flares but rounded wheel arches, the concept coupe's doors appear squeezed from the sides. The front fascia, meanwhile, features a dramatic blue-colored air dam along with two pockets seemingly imitating rally lights, flanked by thin LEDs that have seemingly become mandatory on concept and production cars these days.

But the front fascia itself is quite blunt, and this is perhaps where the comparison to the SVX loses some momentum, even with the contrasting black cockpit bubble.

Look long enough and you'll see some elements of the current Solterra EV here and there, including the boxy fenders.

Now, does this concept actually preview something imminent?

This does not appear to be the case. Subaru has been a brand for family cars and wagons for so long—with a limited model lineup in the US—that it's difficult to picture it going after an almost non-existent electric coupe audience. We aren't implying that such an audience does not exist or should not be catered to at some point, but it's doubtful an automaker of Subaru's size and priorities would pursue such a narrow band of consumers.

Of course, one of the promises of the EV era has been a multitude of bodies on shared platforms, at least in a future where most if not all cars are electric. Perhaps closer to the end of this decade Subaru can offer something for enthusiasts after decades of cultivating family car buyers.

But we probably wouldn't bet on seeing something resembling the SVX or the XT, no matter how memorable those two cars were to a certain generation of enthusiasts. And it's also worth noting that we won't get a true EV coupe from any automaker for quite some time, especially one with Subaru's price range.

Two-door coupes, it appears, have yet to go through their own process of first being offered to deep-pocketed early adopters, with sticker prices to match.

Should Subaru offer an electric coupe in this decade, or would weak demand for something like that make it commercially risky? Let us know in the comments below.