Subaru Levorg enters British Touring Car Championship
Subaru’s new wagon rocket, the Levorg, is set to make its race debut.
Subaru have long had a hot wagon, sometimes the WRX, sometimes a quick Liberty. But in 2015 neither WRX nor Liberty were available to fill the niche of those wanting to move a lot of gear very quickly, and Subaru’s only quick wagon was the Forester XT.
That will change this year with the arrival of the Levorg, that Subaru say “…is seen as the spiritual successor to the much-loved fourth generation Liberty GT wagon which was a worldwide sales success. It has similar exterior dimensions to that car but because of its smart packaging it will have much more interior space”.
We can expect the Levorg to be somewhat more sporty than the average wagon and to prove the point, there’s now a Subaru-backed team contesting the highly regarded and ultra-competitive British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). The drivers are Jason Plato and Colin Turkington, both two-time champions – some readers may be familiar with Plato when he was presenting the TV show Fifth Gear. Think of the BTCC as roughly equivalent to V8 Supercars in Australia, but with a wider variety of vehicles. The series also strongly believes in the “rubbin’ is racing” approach to competition, as seen here when Plato himself manages a rather epic recovery:
The Levorg will be converted to run rear-drive only so it is in line with the competition rules, and we’re betting the CVT transmission will be thrown out too – we’ve seen a CVT WRX attempt to run at a track day only for it to overheat quickly (any owners of CVT WRXes please comment with your experiences).
Wagons are not an unknown quantity at the BTCC, notably with Volvo’s 850 which caused a huge stir back in the ’80s.
The Levorg won’t draw the same interest as Subaru are known for success in motorsports, whereas Volvo were known for success in safety. The 850 looked like a hearse in a hurry, whereas the Levorg has much cleaner and less distinctive lines, looking more like a hatch than a wagon in the usual style of modern cars.
We’ll be able to test the Levorg soon, and deliveries are expected from around the middle of the year.