Those who frequent the Subaru website probably know it has an immense selection of vehicles. Later this year, the automaker plans to release a new vehicle. The countdown on its website says so car hire with malta-first.
Most people guess that it will debut the 2022 BRX, its sports car last seen in 2020. Recently captured photos of one of its prototype vehicles make car manufacturer experts lean toward the notion of a prototype of a sub-brand that merges the best of Outback with the best of Forester and throws in what the website teases as “a new level of adventure. The next evolution of Subaru capability is coming, and it’s packed with functional technology and rugged features, inside and out.”
Some sources report that their intel says the new SUV will launch two models later than the March 30 reveal; others say the new model SUV is the March 30 reveal. Whichever is correct, let’s look at what the new sub-brand of Subaru will offer drivers who buy new rather than buying used Subarus.
The Prototype Spotted on the Road
The code name for the new Subaru, the Wilderness, tells you a lot about what features the Japanese automaker focuses on with this new model debut. The Motor1 journalist who covered the prototype spotted on the road for a highway test. What their videographer and photographer captured shows a vehicle that looks a lot like the current Subaru Outback, but with a unique grille, other body modifications, plus a lifted suspension.
This isn’t your mother’s station wagon.
The manufacturer decided to capitalize on its two most popular brands — the Outback and Forester — and as their names imply, off-road capabilities top the list of reasons people purchase them. Family vacations and hauling massive amounts of groceries in the roomy cargo spaces just become a fringe benefit.
Automotive News reports that rather than just being an available package for the Outback or Forester as it currently is, the Wilderness will become its own sub-brand. That means you won’t buy an Outback Wilderness or a Forester Wilderness; you will buy a Wilderness. You will get many options to make your new Wilderness even more capable of off-roading. Subaru has made that its newest focus. These off-road modifications will consist of those you can see, such as the grille that looks like it could take hits from a tank, and hardware you can only see if you peek under the hood or attach the vehicle to a computer system at a certified repair shop. The manufacturer took major notices that its Outback and Forester accounted for more than 50 percent of the manufacturer’s 2020 US auto sales.
At a 2021 automotive dealers meeting, president of Sommer’s Subaru of Mequon talked about the new vehicle line. He discussed what he’s seen of the new SUV and how it fits with the car company’s character and brand personality.
“The Wilderness is going to give additional capabilities in those car lines, additional style and the look of off-roading to a greater degree than we have right now. It does fit the Subaru character perfectly,” Sommer said.
While you can already get the packages for the Wilderness as a part of the Outback or Forester, the new Wilderness should hit auto lots in spring or midsummer 2021. So, what will you find on the new model vehicle that makes it radically different from the existing SUVs from Subaru?
The Wilderness features the following on its base model:
- off-road tires
- higher ground clearance
- body-style changes to toughen its exterior
The Forester and the Outback have a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, but the Wilderness will jack that up. You will more easily off-road in the new SUV without having to worry about catching debris on your undercarriage.
Instead of having to buy car accessories online or brand new auto parts to customize their purchase, Subaru will give them what they want to start. This model vehicle comes ready for all-terrain conditions. The Wilderness caters to those who work in careers that require all-terrain vehicles such as construction and families that enjoy active, outdoorsy lifestyles such as camping and mountain biking.
Its exterior body-style changes add to its go-anywhere capabilities. The tank-style grille brushes off stray limbs, shrubs, and denies bugs, birds, and the stray deer hoof access.
According to the chairman of the manufacturer’s National Retailer Advisory Board Patrick Wergin, Subaru wants the Wilderness edition to “attract consumers that are active lifestyle families and that do like to go out and maybe do a little bit more off-roading.”
Does Subaru Fear Slow Sales at Launch?
Subaru decided to boldly offer this new model vehicle in its ever-expanding lineup in response to consumer demand, so it goes into this with a “no fear” attitude. Its auto dealers requested this because their customers requested this. The big data drawn from its dealerships across the country and its customers through social media and other sources showed that consumers want a ready-for-the-trails, all-terrain Subaru.
The automaker specializes in super safe vehicles that appeal to families. It also caters to the athletic and outdoorsy set. Its wagons and SUVs have long been known as comfortable cargo haulers for road and mountain bikes. Its interior cargo spaces can easily haul a couple of adult bikes in the back, a boon to those who spend thousands on their two-wheel rides and do not want to haul their Cannondale or Giant on the roof of their vehicle. They need roomy vehicles that can also accommodate camping gear.
Sommer confirmed Wergin’s assertions and explained the catalyst for introducing the big-tired beast.
“We’ve had customers asking for, and retailers have identified the demand for, these more capable off-road-type vehicles, he said. “Subaru has responded, and people are going to be very pleased with the product when they see it.”
Features Gleaned from the Prototype Photos
Of course, Subaru has revealed little except at its meeting with its own dealers. They willingly keep things quiet, but we can glean a good bit of information from its photos that Motor1 snapped surreptitiously.
The overall body shape resembles a squared-up Outback although the back hatch still has a sloped door similar to what you would find on a station wagon. It appears to have a thicker body than an Outback or Forester though. The metal actually seems thicker and heartier.
The reinforced metal bra/bash plate that fits over the grille extends down the sides of the vehicle. It runs along the bottom few inches of the doors, above the rear tires and around the rear. That provides toughened protection for the vehicle to ward off scratches and gouges that could otherwise damage the doors or paint.
Although we cannot drop a tape measure from a photo, judging by the angle of the picture and the rest of the vehicle, it appears that the new Wilderness might have a full foot of clearance.
You can easily see the other side of the road and the easement underneath the SUV from a vehicle on the driver’s side. That is a massive clearance.
Forget fancy hubcaps. Subaru off road models come ready for off-road, awful terrain. It is meant to handle anything, not look like you would chauffeur your boss to the airport. Its beefy tires provide the tread needed for bad weather, too. You can see at a glance that they could easily handle the worst downpour you can envision and help you avoid needing tire service or 24 hour towing.
The prototype comes with a roof rack, so presumably so will the base model Wilderness. That means your SUV would come ready for your camping gear.
Peering inside as far as the photo allows, it looks like the base model Wilderness will offer two seat rows. You will be able to comfortably seat about five individuals. The rest of the space goes to the roomy cargo area that Subaru owners expect.
According to Car and Driver, the new vehicle will also have a suspension upgrade from what the Outback and Forester currently offer. The automotive magazine also learned that the Wilderness would feature LED fog lights.
Subaru has nixed anyone’s reason for going after aftermarket auto parts with this model. You won’t find anything on this Subaru that you would on Chevy or Yamaha vehicles. They’re going for that big of a difference. You might find it a valid reason for only using Subaru dealership’s automotive repair, so you can use all OEM parts on any maintenance or repairs, resulting in a better cash for vehicles trade-in value when you get your next Subaru.
We can only guess what’s under the hood, but chances are good that it at least provides what current Subaru SUVs do. So, what would that bring to the auto lot?
Under the Hood Potential
Much like the Outback, you will probably find a wide array of safety features that make driving safely easier. This includes blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. It might include some of the features of the premiums trims such as the Onyx XT’s hill descent control and front-view camera.
We can expect it to have at least the base model Outback’s engine which means it would come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. That engine provides it with 182 horsepower and 176-pound feet of torque. Of course, since they are beefing up all the rest of Wilderness, it could land on the auto lots with the Onyx XT’s turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. That would net off-roaders 260 horsepower and 277-pound feet of torque. The latter would make more sense as it would provide a bit of towing capacity that would make sense to the outdoorsy. They are likely to own canoes, kayaks, and camping gear. They might want to haul a trailer, boat, or pop-up camper. That would require the souped-up engine.
Car and Driver predicts the vehicle will include staples of the Subaru SUV line – continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and standard all-wheel drive. Those options make sense for Subaru off road models.
The photos show a much more fun looking Subaru. The exterior color is an electric blue, and the bash plate/bra comes in a snazzy patterned silver color. This provides a marked juxtaposition to its typical color choices which tend toward forest greens, muted grays, burgundy reds, navy blue, black and white. The jaunty prototype appears younger and hipper than the existing Subaru lines which could make it appeal to the younger set. It is already a bastion amongst the Generation X buyers and the generation older than them. This could attract the married with children Millennials who already prioritize experiences and adventure over material items. A car tends to be a necessity once you have children though and this could make Subaru a snazzy choice for many young parents. It already manufactures some of the safest cars around making it easier to obtain affordable car insurance. Subaru’s new Wilderness simply adds to its coolness.
It’s only weeks until the big reveal. Will Subaru immediately offer the vehicle on its auto lots? Anticipation runs high. The photos of the prototype have already pervaded the Internet. Both auto publications and owner blogs have begun hyping the new vehicle. Some forward-thinking existing customers of Subaru off road models already have ideas for what is next. They offered up their requests as soon as they learned the automaker fulfilled the tougher SUV requests.
Subaru Customers Weigh In
No sooner did the photos of the newest addition to Subaru off road models hit the Internet than Subaru customers began drooling for the new features to reach other models, such as its Impreza and STI.
User GargantulaKon of Motor1 said, “This is awesome! I would love a version like this for the Impreza too and even the STI for use as a rally car with no modifications needed. It looks like it even has a factory skid plate. I wonder if the angle of attack is enough since Subarus are known for a long front overhang for the newer models.”
So, there you go, Subaru. Your next project should be STI modifications that let the customer immediately compete it as a rally car. Why not make all the drivers happier?