The idea driving Beestudio’s Subaru Impreza Berlinetta Rear Engine Concept was a refresh of the Subaru brand using one of its core products. Given Subaru’s recent success, the brand doesn’t really need a refresher, but the concept is certainly interesting, as it shows the possible range of products on one platform.
Beestudio chose to use Subaru’s most iconic product, the Impreza WRX, for its concept of a true halo car for the Subaru brand. The Impreza WRX is typically a front-engine, all-wheel-drive performance car, but as the concept car’s name indicates, the engine has been moved to the back of the car for this exercise. Rather than re-engineering the whole Impreza platform for a rear-mounted engine, Beestudio simply rotated the chassis 180 degrees.
By rotating the chassis, the engineers left the engine mounts and AWD intact, and the turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four from the standard WRX carries over. The majority of the remaining work was to design a body and interior to match the new layout, and make the new front wheels steer the car. Although the WRX’s dimensions were retained, Beestudio penned the Berlinetta Concept as a two-seat coupe. Without the need for rear doors or seats, Beestudio was able to design a striking body for the car. Outrageously flared fenders with taut body lines give the impression that the car is something you’d run into at Pikes Peak Rally, rather than a street corner.
Part of the reason for rotating the chassis to create a rear-engine car, rather than re-engineering the car completely, was to retain Subaru’s famous boxer four-cylinder. If the concept were to be built, Beestudio says the engine’s power output would increase to keep it in line with the idea of a Subaru halo car.
Unfortunately, Beestudio has not built any sort of prototype of the car and the concept is purely a design concept. Former Formula 1 engineer Mauro Forghieri has, however, conducted a feasibility study on the concept but there are no plans to build the car.