Subaru invited us to Hawaii. Unfortunately, it was too early to shoot something for Subiesport, so instead we filmed a segment for our other show: Driving Sports TV. That review will appear in the next episode.
While in Hawaii we did, however, climb a mountain to get this little interview with Akihide Takeuchi, Product General Manager of the Subaru XV Crosstrek and Impreza. Note, his particular affinity for the SVX.
The 2013 XV Crosstrek is, of course, the newest member of the Subaru family. And, though it replaces the Outback Sport, it isn’t the same as that outgoing car. Subaru says the biggest difference is engineering. Whereas the Outback Sport was, essentially, a sticker and cladding package, the XV Crosstrek goes further with Forester-grade ride-height (8.7-inches), larger diameter brakes and additional body stiffening (even over the current 2013 Impreza). These small changes add up to a car that is a lot more capable. For Forester fans that have been complaining that the new Forester is too big, the XV Crosstrek may be the car you’ve been waiting for.
Hi, I am Akihide Takeuchi, Product General Manager to Subaru XV Crosstrek and Impreza. I entered FHI (Fuji Heavy Industries) in 1982. I was a body construction engineer and I moved to my position in the Product Planning Division almost 10 years ago.
I started with my job as a Product Planner with the Subaru Tribeca, Tribeca first. Then I moved to the Impreza Project. I did this XV Crosstrek project also.
I really enjoy this kind of product because this C-Segment car is very useful and very friendly to our ordinary customer. This is very suitable to everyone. In a global market, uh, customers really want and like this kind of car.
My favorite feature of the XV Crosstrek is, first, the nice styling. It’s very beautiful and nice balance of body style.
The second one is fuel economy. Even though the Crosstrek is a SUV, our competitors don’t have better fuel economy. So we can, we may say that it is top class in fuel economy in a SUV.
The third one is a safety. Basically, visibility is a basic safety item. Crosstrek has a nice visibility. Then, safety features like airbags and body construction strength – top grade of the SUV class.
When I entered FHI engineering divisions I worked on the first generation SVX. It was kind of sport car, so it was a very nice design. Very smooth, and good interior. So I really like that kind of smooth and nice design vehicle. I also did the first generation Legacy, as a construction designer. So we made much improved body construction from the first generation Legacy. It was a dramatic change. As young engineers we just did our job, all day long at the time – very busy. But kind of enjoyable at the time.
This time I feel the same feeling, because Impreza and Crosstrek, the feeling like it’s a dramatic change form the old Subaru products. Quite different from that. Its unique positioning and unique performance make it so we can compete within this segment, by design, fuel efficiency and safety. So we have – I have – confidence in this kind of product.
(Edited for clarity.)
Man, I miss being in Hawai’i. Beautiful place to live.