2009 OUTBACK revealed
OFFICIAL photos of the Subaru Liberty and Outback have surfaced with the model’s launch in Japan this week.
The Japanese versions will go on sale there mid-year, while the Liberty will be launched on the Australian market in September.
The fifth-generation of the popular Liberty, known as the Subaru Legacy in overseas markets, is built on a new platform and will arrive with a raft of technical improvements, including the choices of a 3.6-litre sixcylinder horizontally opposed boxer engine and a six-speed manual or continuouslyvariable transmissions.
The two other engines are both 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxers, one of which gets a boost from turbocharging.
Australia will get a sixspeed manual diesel Outback in November, with the engine that has already gone on sale in the current model Outback in Europe developing 108kW at 3600rpm and 350Nm from 1800rpm. Fuel economy is said to come in under 7 litres/100km.
Both 2.5-litre four cylinder and 3.0-litre six cylinder boxer engines are expected to carry over and diesel buyers will be pleased with the arrival of Subaru’s first 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.
The Liberty is wider and longer than the current model and should offer a large increase in both passenger and cargo area.
Safety gets a big kick-up in the new models, with equipment on offer including an engine cradle that folds to isolate the block from the cabin in a crash, knee airbags and a reversing camera with factory-fitted sat-nav. There are also rainsensing wipers, automatic headlights and push-button start options.
Of course, both nameplates get Subaru’s all-wheel drive system and the dynamic chassis concept from the new Impreza and Forester.
Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said the new Liberty had all the right ingredients to make a strong play in the market.
“Safety, performance and style are all key ingredients in the new generation Liberty mix. Combined with the high quality engineering for which Subaru is renowned, it represents a formidable package,” he said.
“Liberty and Outback will build strongly on the respected records of the current cars, at the same time maintaining the fun driving that’s at the heart of every Subaru.”
Pricing will be revealed at the Liberty’s Australian launch in September.
Official: Subaru has released the first image of the 2009 Outback wagon.