We’ll warn you in advance that the 2013 Subaru WRX Concept displayed at this week’s New York Auto Show may or may not be what the final product looks like. Subaru is hedging its bets, saying only that the show-stopping concept represents its “new design language” for the WRX.

We’re far too jaded to get attached to a concept, as we’ve had our hopes dashed too many times in the past. Still, we’ll come out and make a single plea, anyway: please Subaru, don’t change a thing between concept and production versions.

We’ll give you a pass on the side view mirrors, which are likely far too small to get past the watchful eyes of our own Department of Transportation. Likewise, those 20-inch forged BBS wheels are sexy, but we wouldn’t want to know what they cost (so just make them optional when the new car is launched).

In the past, customers bought WRX models for their performance and handling, not really caring much what the exterior sheet metal or cabin design looked like. The 2013 WRX Concept is the first variant that will draw buyers into Subaru showrooms because of its styling, and that may be just what the brand needs to attract new blood.

No matter what the outcome, Subaru’s WRX Concept is a shot across the bow of conservative automotive design, and the Japanese automaker has our full and undivided attention. We can’t wait to hear what lurks beneath the concept’s shapely hood.

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