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Outback’s 50,000 Australian Sales

11th October, 2006


2007 Subaru Outback 3.0R

Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive Outback passed the 50,000 Australian sales milestone this month.

Launched in Australia in 1996, Outback quickly established its own niche, aided by the local flavour of its name.

Offering more ground clearance and body protection than the Liberty it was based on, Outback had impressive recreational ability on unsealed roads and tracks.

It was introduced in two versions, the Outback and Outback Limited, both with a 2.5 litre horizontally opposed boxer engine, with a four speed automatic transmission.

All-road fans praised Outback’s quietness, smooth engine, transmission and comfort, compared to the more rustic four-wheel drives they were used to.

Dual range manual transmission options were launched in 1997 before second generation Outback arrived in 1998.

Outback got six-cylinder power in 2000, with the introduction of the H6 version (the H standing for horizontal, as in horizontally opposed boxer engine). At the time it was the most advanced engine in Subaru’s stable.

Third generation Outback launched in 2003 and, along with Liberty, achieved a benchmark five star crashworthiness rating for occupant safety from the Australian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP). This made Outback a leader in its class.

Subaru engineers had cleverly added strength to this model, yet achieved a 60 kilogramme weight saving over the preceding version.

The third generation car was the first Subaru to achieve a 1.8 tonne braked towing capacity, making it a popular choice for hauling small caravans and boats.

Outback is now firmly established in the Subaru range, with a variety of four and six-cylinder models.

It is available as the 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 3.0R and 3.0R Premium.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “Some people thought Subaru was fairly brave when original Outback was launched."

“But there was a quick realisation that many customers were looking for a lifestyle vehicle that doubled as their commute car during the week and a country escape vehicle at the weekend."

“It offered a level of sophistication that was previously unavailable in a wagon with its capabilities."

“The fact that Outback has passed 50,000 Australian sales is proof that the concept works. It’s grown in comfort, specification and dimensions with the passing of each generation and it’s still a cornerstone of our range."

“Outback’s success gave Subaru the confidence to pursue a similar but more compact path with Forester. The fact that the pair of them dominate the Compact Sports Utility Vehicle sales segment is a clear demonstration of their success."

“There have been two significant phases in the Outback history. The launch of the H6 variant in 2000 gave us added impetus, particularly in rural and provincial areas."

“The bush market had been telling us that they liked wagons, particularly six-cylinder variants."

“And given the propensity of dirt roads in Australia – around 66% of them are unsealed – we believed that combining the Outback’s wagon versatility, with a six-cylinder engine and the safety and road-holding of our Subaru All-Wheel Drive advantage, gave us a winner."

“And that has been the case with strong Outback sales in rural and provincial areas."

“A second, very important change was the backlash against the gas-guzzling heavyweight four wheels drives used around town."

“The Outback was the perfect foil – a five-star safety rating, excellent all-round visibility, particularly at the rear; thrifty as well as being versatile, fun to drive and having the ability to become the ideal weekend away or holiday car.”

Subaru will soon add another model to its recreational range in the form of Tribeca, which goes on sale in late November with the status of Subaru’s largest-ever vehicle.

Other Subaru content: here.

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