Set to take nothing from current-gen… except the styling, of course.
With Subaru riding on a (relative) high after launching their new-generation Liberty saloon, the inevitable question was posed to them regarding the next-generation Outback jacked-up estate. Since the two cars have always shared underpinnings, it’s within the realm of reason to think that both cars were developed simultaneously, meaning that the Outback pseudo-SUV should be just about ready to go.
Pressing that question was American rag Car & Driver, who cornered spoke to the communications boss at Subaru of America. When posed with the question, Infante confirmed that we can expect to see the new-generation Outback “later this year,” which has led us to believe that it’ll either be as soon as April or as late as November.
Why those two prospective dates? The confirmation came from Subaru of America, meaning it’s more than likely that the Outback will make a US debut. That in mind, it’s then safe to assume that it’ll either make its break at the New York International Auto Show (in April), or the Los Angeles motor show (in November).
Given that the Outback and Liberty have long shared mechanicals with each other, it’s safe to assume that the new-generation Outback will share much with the 2020 Liberty. Expect to see the new turbocharged 2.4-litre flat-four making a feature on top-end models, while lower-rung variants will be motivated by the current 2.5-litre Boxer mill. That power will be sent to all-four wheels via a Lineartronic CVT automatic, and onwards to the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, the latter now featuring active torque vectoring.
For the Liberty in the US, the EyeSight suite of advanced driver assistance systems are available as standard, while a 180º front camera system, driver drowsiness alert, swivelling LED headlights, BLIS, reverse AEB & RCTA are all available as options. You can also add things like Nappa leather, smartphone mirroring, a Harman/Kardon audio system, and WiFi. We should expect to see similar kit & structuring for the Outback.
Subaru Australia (represented by Inchcape) has clarified that the current-generation Liberty has quite a bit of life left in it, which threw the 7th-generation saloon off the table for the time being. However with SUV interest markedly hotter, it could be possible that a new-generation Outback will land sooner. Fingers crossed.