Toyobaru (Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 086a) test mule in testing at Nurburgring
Across various media and product forms there are occasionally cases of an unlikely oddball gaining a cult following and then reaching major commercial success. The film that cost 300 grand to make and then grossed 150 million at the box office or those rubber shoes that look ridiculous but are sold by the truckload. If this notion were translated into the car world the most title for the most unlikely success story would belong to Subaru. Once a fringe player, Subaru is now an automaker making serious sales in many markets including our own. Its Outback model has played a major role in this transformation and has now reached its fourth generation. Car and SUV had a private viewing with the new diesel powered Outback to see if it’s strictly for Subaru fans or if it has a much broader appeal.
While the Outback doesn’t depart from Subaru’s trademark symmetrical all-wheel-drive and boxer engine combination a main change comes with the inclusion of a diesel engine option for the first time. It’s not just any diesel engine either, the 2-litre unit is the first time a horizontally opposed diesel engine has been used in a passenger vehicle. It’s by no means a rough first effort and took more than a decade to fully develop. The end result is 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque that’s delivered smoothly and quietly. It’s an advanced motor that is surprisingly petrol-like and revs freely, pushing past 4500 rpm. But it does have a tendency to lag slightly lower in the rev range before the turbo kicks in and can’t match the low-rpm gusto of some competitors. That said, the Outback will hit 100kph in under 10 seconds and is brawny through the mid-range enabling worry-free open road overtaking.
The big premiere for Subaru at next month’s Geneva Motor Show will be its new Impreza VX. The all-wheel-drive specialist hasn’t released any images of the car yet, but it’s touted to be similar to the North American Outback Sport model (pictured).
A unique grille, wheel arches and roof rails will visually set the VX apart from standard Imprezas. Motivation will likely come from a 2.0-liter boxer-four, fueled by either gasoline or diesel. The Impreza VX will go on sale in Europe mid-year.
Joining the Impreza VX on the stand will be the Hybrid Tourer Concept that was first revealed at last year’s Tokyo show, as well as the plug-in Stella.
A couple decides to buy the newly-redesigned Forester and make room for it in their lives, and garage. But rather than sell their old Forester, they decide to sell their boat and keep both Foresters
The all wheel drive car – Subaru Forester
Subaru Legacy with Robert De Niro
Subaru Forester: Japanese SUVs got a little sexier
Dakar Argentina will see this Subaru Elaion (based loosely on the Forester) compete against the Pajeros with its 300hp JDM-spec 2-litre boxer engine