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Subaru Introduces All-New Outback in New York

2010 Subaru Outback - US specification (copyright image)

The 2010 Subaru Outback (US specification).
Australian spec models, based on the Japanese
domestic models are expected to arrive locally in Q4.

Home > News > Subaru

16th April, 2009

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru cars, announced the world premiere of the all-new Outback (U.S. specifications) at the New York Motor Show (open to the public until 19th April, 2009). The new Subaru Outback will be introduced in the U.S. market as a 2010 model.

Since its debut in the U.S. in 1994, the Outback has earned a reputation as a unique crossover vehicle that blends the refined comfort, handling and convenience of a passenger car with the rugged off-road capability and versatility of an SUV. Featuring Subaru’s core technology, symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (AWD), along with FHI’s Horizontally- Opposed (BOXER) engine, the Outback is tagged as a Sport Utility Wagon® and is a major contributor to Subaru’s U.S. sales.

Distinguished by new styling, the fourth-generation Outback features a roomier cabin and an expanded luggage/cargo compartment. And with the introduction of an all new chassis and the new Subaru Lineartronic™ CVT (continuously variable transmission), the new Outback delivers enhanced performance, comfort and environmental considerations. From its reputation for reliability and driveability to higher fuel efficiency by Subaru’s advanced technologies, the Outback offers its occupants new levels of on- and off-road peace of mind. (Note: Information provided in this news item is based on U.S. specifications.)


With body size and design features appropriate for the U.S. market, the new Outback has a greater road presence. Subaru engineers now offer occupants the roomiest cabin and cargo area and a more comfortable ride, and enhancements to conveniences that have 'characterised' all Outback generations.

• The new Outback is 50 mm wider and 105 mm higher than the previous model, and with ground clearance increased to 220 mm and a wider track, the vehicle projects a greater road presence. Front and rear overhang dimensions have been shortened by 90 mm and overall length by 20 mm, but wheelbase has been increased by 70 mm, which allows for greater rear seat legroom.
• Access to the rear cargo area is facilitated by a wide aperture rear hatch. Maximum cargo capacity has been increased and now provides easy accommodation of four large suitcases.

Exterior design

Clearly inheriting the dynamic crossover styling of its predecessors, the bolder and more distinctive silhouette of the new Subaru Outback projects a greater road presence.

• The upright grille is placed more prominently and in a higher position on the front end, which imparts to the vehicle a more SUV-like look. The distinct, three-dimensional shape of the headlamps, with square fog lamps positioned at both ends of the bumper, imparts a sharp, stable feel to the 'face'.
• The new Outback also makes its road presence known by its ample bumper and distinctive side mouldings as well as in its expressive wheel arches that embody power running through the AWD system.
• The D-pillars, re-envisioned to project bolder lines for this model, point to the Subaru Outback’s origins in the world of SUV design. The rear end of the vehicle, which seamlessly blends larger combination lights with rear garnishes painted the same colour as the body and bumper, gives an impressive sense of volume.
• Underscoring its SUV-like versatility and accentuating its height, every Outback is outfitted with a newly redesigned roof rack. This innovative system stows its integral crossbars in the roof rails when they’re not needed, which helps to reduce a potential source of wind noise.
• Mouldings around the windows accentuate the sleek design of cabin area with a quality feel.

2010 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited - US specification (copyright image)

2010 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited
(US specification)

Interior designs

A new interior design echoes the dynamic exterior lines and shapes and provides a more spacious cabin with a sense of quality.
• The new instrument panel, accentuated by sharp edges, provides the impression of more laterally-opened space in the front.
• A sense of powerful presence and fine quality is expressed in the centre console shapes and in the decorative hairline finish on the surfaces of the console.
• The incorporation of a new electronic parking brake eliminates the need for a side brake lever and provides more space for the centre console. The centre console features two-cup holders arranged side by side, and the console box and arm rest are enlarged to provide more inside storage space.
• Both front seats provide comfort and support, and their stitched fabric emphasises the Outback’s sporty look. A 10-way driver’s seat, with power lumber support adjustment, and 4-way power front passenger seat are available on premium-grade models.
• A newly-designed 3-spoke steering wheel provides a sporty feeling and comes with audio and cruise control buttons. Steering wheel paddle shifters are featured on models with automatic transmissions and Lineartronic™ CVT.
• The four dials on the instrument panel are outlined with aluminium-steam-plated meter rings, and, for immediate reading, their illuminated backgrounds are always on. A multi-information display with fuel economy indicator is located in the centre of the dashboard.

Engine and transmission

The new Outback is powered by improved Boxer engines that provide outstanding fuel economy. Two engine types are available in the U.S. market.

Outback 2.5i Engine displacement: 2,457 cc
Max. output / max. torque: 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm/170 lb-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual / Lineartronic™ CVT

Outback 3.6R Engine displacement: 3,630 cc
Max. output / max. torque: 256 hp @ 6,000 rpm/ 247 lb-ft.@ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
2.5-litre SOHC engine
• Employing a resin-based intake manifold, the engine is now lighter in weight and improves low speed range torque.
Additionally, better fuel economy is achieved through engine cooling performance improvement in an engine head. Optimising the specifications of its catalyst, the engine offers outstanding exhaust gas control.

3.6-litre DOHC engine
• Featuring the same external dimensions as the earlier 3.0-litre engine, the new 3.6-litre engine is compact and lightweight.
• The Active Valve Control System (AVCS), which incorporates variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves, optimises power delivery across the engine’s speed range while helping to reduce emissions. Not only does the 3.6 engine offer greater performance than the previous 3.0-litre unit, but it does so economically by using regular grade fuel. The 3.0-litre engine required premium grade.

The Subaru Lineartronic™ CVT (continuously variable transmission) offers superb driveability and fuel economy.

Lineartronic™ CVT
• The 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine model is equipped with a chain-type CVT, the world’s first* longitudinally mounted CVT system for AWD production vehicles. (*Claim based on Subaru research.)
• Chain-type CVTs boast higher torque delivery capacity and lower friction, helping provide better fuel efficiency than belt-type CVTs. The Lineartronic™ CVT employs smaller pulley cores, which makes the unit compact. And due to the significant size difference between the smallest and largest pulley core diameters, the CVT provides infinite variability between the highest and lowest available ratios, helping to keep the engine operating in its most efficient range.
• With a perfect balance of torque delivery and engine revolutions, the Lineartronic™ CVT provides smooth acceleration with a linear feeling in response to the accelerator pedal.
• The manual mode of the Lineartronic™ CVT, which a driver can choose to engage, uses six pre-selected steps that allow the driver to “shift” manually using steering wheel paddle controls. The shift response is always quick and smooth, comparable to the conventional sports AT models.

Five-speed AT
• Fuel economy is improved through the reduction of friction and weight in the AT unit.

Six-speed MT
• For the first time in the U.S. market, the six-speed manual transmission is offered with the 2.5-litre Outback model. The new 6MT provides excellent fuel economy and improved driveability, as well as quieter rides in high-speed ranges, thanks to its wider ratio coverage.

A new engine cradle design not only helps reduce noise and provides more refined ride and stability but also improves front impact safety.
• The engine is mounted to the cradle frame, no longer installed on the chassis. The cradle system supports the engine on four mounts that utilise cushioning rubber filled with liquid material. By situating the engine in precise relation to the torque roll axis of the power unit, the cradle system helps reduce vibration.
• The MacPherson-type strut front suspension is mounted to the new engine cradle, further improving steering response and handling and adding to overall rigidity. By changing the layout of the stabilisers with increased diameter, roll rigidity is enhanced. This keeps the stroke in line and improves ride comfort.
• A new double-wishbone rear suspension is mounted to the sub frame. All suspension links and the rear differential are also mounted to the sub frame via bushes, while the link bushes and shock absorber mounts are optimised to suit the new model. Those enhancements have significantly lowered overall noise levels.
• The 2.5-litre models feature standard 16-in. wheels with 215/70R16 tyres. Premium-grade models are fitted with 17inch alloy wheels with 225/60R17 tyres. On the Outback 3.6-litre models, 17 inch alloy wheels with 225/60R17 tyres are standard. • All models are equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), which is augmented by Subaru’s Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Further control is offered by Subaru’s Brake Assist safety system, which is available on all models.
• A new electronic parking brake eliminates the traditional parking brake handle and allows for more storage space in the centre console. An electronic Hill Holder System in the parking brake is automatically activated if the vehicle stops on any hill with a slope of more than 5%.
• Also standard on all models is Subaru’s exclusive Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system, which further enhances stability and traction control capacity by optimising the control time.

Body construction
• Use of high-tensile steel in critical body parts contributes to weight reduction and higher overall rigidity. The engine cradle design enables more efficient impact absorption, while keeping the body dimensions and weight virtually unchanged from the previous model.
• The bonnet is fitted with gas springs for greater ease of operation.

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• In the event of front impact, the engine cradle frame folds inward and causes the power unit to slide downward, thus providing greater zone of protection for the cabin space. In combination with Subaru’s Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame safety structure, which is designed for efficient absorption of impact, front impact safety has been significantly improved.
• Two impact beams have been added in each of the front and rear doors. With an optimised layout of its inner components, the door provides enough crushable space between its panels to afford another level of protection to the vehicle's occupants.
• Despite a shorter overhang, energy produced on rear impact is effectively absorbed through optimised frame construction.
• All models feature front seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags that ensure additional head protection for front and rear occupants. Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to detect both the presence and weight of the front passenger and the driver’s distance from the steering wheel. And for optimal protection of occupants, the system determines deployment strength of front air bags. The side airbags and curtain airbags are enlarged to further enhance passenger protection.
• Newly designed high-strength front seat frames and energy-absorbing head restraints provide enhanced protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision.

Other equipment
• Headlights are governed by an automatic lights-on and -off function that responds to specific driving situations.
• A 60/40 split fold-down rear seat is equipped with a reclining mechanism.
• A cup holder inside the rear seat armrest comes standard.
• Premium grade models offer additional comfort and convenience options, including a Harman-Kardon® audio system and a power moonroof with a tilt-up and slide mechanism.

Major Specifications:
Body Styles 4-door, 5-passenger
Body Size (length/width/height) 4,780 X 1,820 X 1,670 mm
Wheel Base 2,750 mm
Track (front/rear) 1,550/1,550 mm
Specifications are preliminary and subject to change.

Australian Availability

Australia's new Subaru Outback is expected to be based on the Japanese domestic model, rather than the US model (which varies from models manufactured for other markets). Specifications for a local model will be announced closer to the local release date, which is anticipated in Q4 2009.


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