If you can fathom a “hardcore” Subaru Outback, this is probably it.
Subaru’s Outback wagon has always sold with something of an outdoorsy flair. Beyond getting a more pedestrian Impreza or Legacy, this is the car active lifestyle types buy to actually go out into the wilderness and do things. To that end, it’s been a solid all-around choice for those who want something practical that can handle pretty much anything — including a bit of off-roading. Clearly enthusiasts and Subaru themselves think there’s room to push on that last front, though, and so the automaker is launching the Outback Wilderness on March 30.
Ostensibly, it’s an even more rugged version of your typical Outback. At this point, though, exactly what that entails remains unclear. Subaru did include a closer shot than past teasers, showing the Wilderness-specific “Outback” badging in bright orange, as well as some heavy-duty cladding and skid plate protection. The upcoming Subaru Outback Wilderness looks to get bespoke wheels, and some meatier Yokohama tires. It looks like these could be Geolandar X-CVs, but the blurred portion showing the rear tire makes the tread pattern hard to judge. What we can see of the front tire doesn’t show one of Yokohama’s full-on all-terrains wrapped around the Subaru’s wheels, though this may be a specific type of Geolandar built specifically for the wilderness. Fortunately, we’ll know more on that in about a week.
What we’ll also know is the powertrain availability for the Subaru Outback Wilderness. Currently, the possible engines amount to two: either the naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter flat-four engine, or the turbocharged 2.4-liter mill from the XT models. Fitting the latter engine would be a bit more aspirational, as Subaru seems to be aiming this Outback, so that’s the direction I suspect they’ll go. Either way, you’ll still get a continuously variable transmission and some version of the brand’s X-Mode system on board.
Stay tuned next Tuesday for more details.