Safety upgrades for Soobies
Subaru has boosted the safety package of its Legacy 3.6RS and Outback Premium models with the addition of blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, auto high beams, and rear cross traffic alert. Also added is an auto dimming rear view mirror while sat nav equipped cars will now receive free map updates for three years. Outback diesel models have been upgraded with Subaru’s Eyesight system too, while all models get integrated halogen daytime running lights. The entry-level Outback 2.5i and 2.0D add electric folding door mirrors, and the 2.0D also gets auto lights and wipers. Subaru has taken the opportunity to retune the dampers on the Legacy for better roll control and improved absorption of sharp bumps.
Prices remain unchanged for the petrol models, though Outback diesel models have increased by a few thousand, the 2.0D at $49,990 and the Premium now $57,990.
On the global front, Subaru is busy developing a new common platform for use on its nextgeneration models. It will be engineered around the company’s horizontally-opposed engine and AWD philosophy and promises to deliver emotionally engaging dynamics while offering excellent ride quality and the highest safest levels. Key points are improved rigidity, a 5mm lower centre of gravity and improved suspension systems. The rear set-up will be mounted directly to the body for improved roll control, more responsive steering and enhanced straight-line stability. Improvements in rigidity will also deliver added comfort via reduced vibration and harshness levels.
The scalable platform will be used for all future models and takes into account petrol engines but also plug-in hybrids and electric propulsion systems. The single platform will help increase production efficiency for Subaru. Expect the first model off the new platform in 2017.
And it could look something like the XV concept car, pictured above, which was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s the embodiment of the Dynamic X Solid design direction with Subaru’s hexagonal grille, hawk-eye headlights, distinctive character lines and matteblack cladding to emphasise its crossover nature. The concept is just over 4.5m long and rides on a 2670mm wheelbase, making it slightly bigger than the current XV model.