Subaru XV

Subaru's entrants at the Frankfurt Motor Show are two extremes. Known for being the fare of farmers — thank you, bulletproof Legacy — and wannabe rallyists, the automaker is moving on a little.

The BRZ coupe, co-developed with Toyota, has been a long time in gestation and reaffirms Subaru's sporty ambitions, while the XV Crossover should appeal to more traditional customers looking for a dependable all-wheel-drive car with good road manners.

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2012 Subaru XV Crossover

What is it? It's a natural fit with the brand's roots in 4-wheel-drive vehicles and makes you wonder why it took so long to get into the crossover market.

What's hot? Subbies typically blend 4-wheel-drive security with reliability and decent driving dynamics, and if these play out in the XV, it could give the Mazda CX-5 a run for its money.

What's not? It looks a bit odd, like a jacked-up Legacy. More worrying is that it's fitted with a continuously variable transmission.

How much and when? The XV should be on sale next year; pricing has yet to be confirmed. Potentially a breakthrough car for Subaru; a lot is riding on it.

MSN Autos' verdict: A Subaru crossover is such a no-brainer it's a wonder we haven't seen one already.

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Subaru BRZ Prologue Concept

Click to enlarge pictureSubaru BRZ Prologue Concept (© Magic Car Pics/Microsoft)

Subaru BRZ Prologue Concept

Click to enlarge pictureSubaru BRZ Prologue Concept (© Magic Car Pics/Microsoft)

Subaru BRZ Prologue Concept

Click to enlarge pictureSubaru BRZ Prologue Concept (© Magic Car Pics/Microsoft)

Subaru BRZ Prologue Concept

What is it? It's a small, hopefully affordable sports car that boasts rear-wheel drive, which is unusual for a Subaru, and which looks to make a performance-car fan foam at the mouth. Hold the TT; this could be something special.

What's hot? Subaru has developed an all-new 2.0-liter direct-injection boxer engine for the car, so expect more power, more torque and a pretty sweet sound. The burble is back.

What's not? Subaru and Toyota have been teasing us with this for what seems like decades. Get on already with delivering a production version rather than endless concepts.

How much and when? There's still no word on when we can expect to be able to buy it and, naturally, no price yet.

MSN Autos' verdict: Minimal, light and rear-wheel drive — there's promise in the Subaru coupe, but we knew that already.

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