Nothing can escape electrification these days, and that includes the Subaru WRX. Autocar reports that the next-generation WRX, which is due in 2020, will have electric boost and much of the Viziv Performance Concept’s looks. It will also be a “driver’s car”.

Subaru design chief Mamoru Ishii told the UK car mag that the Viziv Performance Concept from the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show has received good feedback, suggesting he has confidence in leaving much of the showcar’s aggressive looks unchanged for the production next-gen WRX.

“Such a car brings lots of expectation, from within the company and from our customers. What we know is that our customers’ lifestyles are changing and we have to respond to that. The question was whether we have done that in a correct way with this concept,” Ishii said.

“For instance, we know that autonomous and connective technology are coming, and for many customers that is great, but we don’t think that is what all of our customers want. For some, driving pleasure is still very important and that is what we are exploring,” he added.

Ishii explained that he would like to see Viziv Performance design themes such as the taut body shape offset by cues such as the (angular) wheel arches and bonnet scoop – elements that he considers part of Subaru’s DNA – make it to production. “We have built up this tradition with the Legacy, Impreza and WRX. We want it to look fast even when it is parked,” he said.

Subaru’s boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive are twin trademarks, but only AWD is non-negotiable. “Four-wheel drive is critical to the power and performance levels our customers expect, but on the engine we have more freedom,” he said. The Subaru Global Platform that underpins the current Impreza and XV was designed to accommodate hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains as well as regular petrol boxers.

GALLERY: Subaru Viziv Performance Concept