OIL-BURN­ERS ON OUTER

South Burnett Times - - FIND YOUR CAR ON FIND A -

Diesel’s days are done in next-gen­er­a­tion Subaru prod­ucts. That’s the view of Subaru Aus­tralia’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Colin Christie at the global launch of the fifth-gen­er­a­tion Forester, which un­like the mid-size model now in run-out mode here doesn’t have a diesel op­tion.

Christie cites the small lo­cal up­take, lack of in­ter­est in North Amer­ica and tight­en­ing pol­lu­tion laws in Europe as rea­sons for petrol and hy­brid mod­els’ pre­dicted as­cen­sion at Subaru.

“If you look at diesel sales for the cur­rent Forester and what’s hap­pen­ing overseas in terms of emis­sion stan­dards, it is pretty ob­vi­ous diesel’s day is done in any real vol­ume in pas­sen­ger cars and SUVs,” Christie says.

“We’ll con­tinue to sell diesel Out­backs through­out this model cy­cle but I don’t see it as the fu­ture for us.”

“As for sales of the cur­rent Forester, the (2.0-litre tur­bocharged) XT also wasn’t a big seller: the two en­gines ac­counted for about 15 per cent of sales … so we’re go­ing af­ter our core au­di­ence with the new car.”

That car will ar­rive in Aus­tralian deal­er­ships in Septem­ber pow­ered — for now — by a di­rect-in­jec­tion 2.5-litre en­gine across the range.

Christie says Subaru Aus­tralia will have two hy­brids on sale by early 2020.

Given the XV is the only other ve­hi­cle to share the com­pany’s hy­brid-ready global plat­form, it is likely to be the first dual-pow­ered car with a likely launch of late 2019. The Forester will fol­low.

Christie also laments the fact the eight-seat As­cent isn’t avail­able in right-hand drive.

“The deal­ers would love a three-row SUV but we can’t get the As­cent. The plant isn’t con­fig­ured for right-hand drive.”

“We’d be the only (RHD) mar­ket to want that ve­hi­cle and can’t jus­tify re­tool­ing for our vol­umes.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

FU­TURE PLAN: Mild hy­brid ver­sions of the Subaru XV and new Subaru Forester (pic­tured) are ex­pected in lo­cal deal­er­ships in late 2019 and early 2020 re­spec­tively.

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