Subaru Knows Its Cars Are Ugly, Plans to Fix That
“We’ve made great cars, but not necessarily the most beautiful.”
Subarus may be mechanically great cars, but have never been known for groundbreaking design. Even the WRX and WRX STI, as awesome as they are, pretty much look like very-blue Corollas with spoilers. Jeremy Clarkson once declared the BRZ/GT86 twins as not "looking particularly interesting." Guess what? Subaru knows this, and they plan to change. Talking to WardsAuto, Matt Wherry, a Subaru product planning and design manager said, "For the first time the company is emphasizing design as a competitive advantage. We’ve made great cars, but not necessarily the most beautiful. Now they’re really going to be emotionally appealing, to a level they haven’t been before."
As modern cars reach a state of mechanical homogeneity, styling remains a key way of standing out from the crowd and luring buyers from other manufacturers with products of equal quality. Not that Subaru is wanting for any lost customers, mind you. Wherry assures us that Subaru's new focus on cosmetics was "more about conquering a final frontier and less about fear of losing sales." He goes on to concede that Subaru's infotainment game has been lagging and that a new "human-machine-interface" team has been appointed to get Subaru's center console user experience up to snuff.
According to Subaru, some of this initiative has already made its way into the newly-redesigned Impreza, citing more dramatic curves in the doors and a more sculpted front-end. To call the new Impreza good looking is still a stretch, in my eyes, but it represents a small step in the right direction.
Who knows? Maybe one day The Drive can post about STIs without commenters comparing it visually to a shaved guinea pig. Yes, I can see you.