This is the first look at the next-generation Impreza performance model, and it shows that Subaru’s designers have taken the company back five years with the latest styling of the iconic WRX.

Perhaps former designer Andreas Zapatinas knew his days at Subaru were coming to an end and as a parting gift left off with a design taken out of the trash heap. Regardless, we cannot imagine how anybody could sign off on this. At a time when the rest of the Japanese automakers are improving the design and interiors of their cars, this kind of update from Subaru is not even comical. It's shocking.

The images were leaked by MotorTrend in its May issue, but there are rumors about whether or not the images are real or simply a way to build hype for the magazine.

Subaru has always tried to be a Japanese brand that reflected quality, but its designs haven’t hit the mark. The Impreza has been marred ever since the "bug-eye" model turned up and this latest model is likely to make the situation worse. With competition from cars such as the upcoming Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru has a very tough road ahead.

Very few details about the car’s mechanical package have emerged, only that the engine and drivetrain are expected to carry over from the current model.