Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) provided a glimpse of how it will sail into the future with today's unveiling of the Sagres concept sport wagon at the North American International Auto Show. A blurring of traditional differences between sport sedans and sport wagons, the California-fashioned — at Subaru Research and Design — Sagres features a cab-forward, flush-glass superstructure enveloping a 203-horsepower, all-wheel-drive (of course!) platform.
And as the leading station wagon importer, SOA President George Muller thinks Sagres depicts a natural Subaru development.
"Subaru and its parent — Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. — intends to be the world's station wagon leader, and the Sagres represents a look at where we think this product could head," he explained. "We will continue to take the 'basic' station wagon theme and develop and refine it to address the individualized needs of our customers better."
Sagres features a long (relative to body length) wheelbase and visually striking cab-forward design. This, coupled with a wide-tread, low profile; large diameter tires, results in a sleek, stable presence, more sports car than station wagon like. Since it is a station wagon, the utility must be provided without compromising style or aerodynamics. The built-in roof rails meet these criteria, remaining flush with the roof until needed when electric motors send them into the proper position. Electrics also power the reclining and sliding individually split rear seats to accommodate passenger and cargo needs.
The ergonomically designed cabin features "digi-ana" meters combining instantaneously readable digital functions with analog ones, which allow advanced monitoring of the car's various systems. Driver comfort and convenience, which make for a safer driver, are further enhanced through active noise control, which cancels out intruding sounds by generating corresponding ones at the same level (but phase inverted).
Dynamically, the Sagres is all Subaru — independent suspension, AWD, horizontally opposed engine, and continuously variable transmission — but to a new degree. The 2-liter, 16-valve, the double-overhead-camshaft-equipped motor features variable-valve operation and puts its 203hp through a new, high-torque CVT which utilizes a torque converter.
The new multi-link rear suspension facilitates both improved utility — all links are below the cargo floor for increased space — and better performance — the multiple links better control tire camber changes, thus ensuring stable and predictable handling. And helping the driver sail along is a global positioning system, the obvious accessory for a car named after the oldest nautical academy in the world.
Had Columbus (or other graduates of this Portuguese institution) had the GPS in the Sagres, he could have entered his destination into the system, and the best route to India would have been displayed on the seven-inch CRT (which also provides standard video and audio functions).
Source: DETROIT, Jan. 3, 1994,/PRNewswire/
Images: www.Subaru-Impreza.de; Automobile February 1994 via wildtoys.com