Subaru is going gangbusters in 2010, and did in 2009 as well, so it's hard to question their methods. But the production model announced today for the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, a crossover based on the Impreza called the XV, makes us wonder if we're the ones taking crazy pills.

The Forester and Outback both offer strong performance at reasonable prices in packages that deliver pretty much all of the functionality of a crossover. For those that want something a little less expensive, there's always the Impreza hatchback, a capacious and capable all-wheel drive vehicle that itself borders on the concept of compact crossover.

But Subaru's Impreza XV is planned as a further iteration of the Impreza five-door model, with a revised grille, new wheel arches, and special roof rails with a roof spoiler. Sound like the Impreza Outback Sport? Yeah, it does to us, too, but that's apparently not sold in many European markets.

It is being shown with a 2.0-liter flat four and a boxer diesel, hinting that it may be for non-U.S. consumption only, as we only get the 2.5-liter four over here. On the other hand, it could be a preview of an update to the U.S.-model Impreza Outback Sport, though we won't see the powertrain options offered in Europe.

That might help to explain the reasoning behind the XV, as well: in Europe, a Forester is the equivalent of a HUMMER. Well, almost. A compact, relatively efficient, inexpensive soft-roader that can be marketed as a crossover while retaining its emissions-friendly car-likeness could be just what the European doctor ordered. It's due to arrive in time for summer.

Subaru's Hybrid Tourer Concept will also be on display.


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