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2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness revealed for North America

By James Robinson, 03 Apr 2021 Car News

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness revealed for North America

But Aussies miss out on high-riding wagon… for now

Subaru of America has showcased its first model under its adventure-focussed Wilderness brand. 

Called the Subaru Outback Wilderness, the high-riding wagon has been specifically designed for weekend warriors and the young at heart.

Based on the standard Outback wagon, the Wilderness gets a host of bespoke features aimed at improving its off-road credentials.

The most noticeable change is the car’s raised ride height, which now offers an impressive 241mm of ground clearance (28mm more than the standard Aussie Outback).

Subaru has been able to achieve this by fitting the wagon with a completely bespoke suspension set-up, which includes larger springs and dampers and a unique chassis tune. 

Newly designed front and rear bumpers, working in conjunction with the jacked-up ride height, also mean the Wilderness Outback has an improved approach angle of 20 degrees (1.4 degrees more than the regular Outback).

In addition to the new bumpers, the wagon also scores rugged, matt black side sills, and underbody bash plate protection, which should further enhance off-road capabilities.

The exterior gets slightly more flared wheel arches too, and a central matt-black panel on the bonnet that’s been designed to decrease glare for the occupants of the vehicle. 

The Outback will even sit on a set of diminutive 17-inch matt black alloy wheels wrapped with chunky Yokohama Geolandar tyres with an uber-thick 65 profile, which should make for a capable and plush off-roading experience. 

Under the bonnet is Subaru’s regular 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine, which produces 194kW and 374Nm and sends its power to all four wheels via a ‘Lineartronic’ constantly variable transmission (CVT).   

Unlike the normal Outback, however, the Wilderness scores a new final-drive ratio of 4.44:1 for its rear differential, and the CVT has been reworked to offer an eight-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. 

The interior of Subaru’s new off-road champion has also been thoughtfully modified to suit the needs of its adventurous users.

The seats, embossed with the Subaru Wilderness logo on the headrests, are wrapped in a water-repelling material known as StarTex.

Similarly, the floor mats are made of an all-weather material that promises to be hard-wearing and not afraid to get dirty, much like the rest of the car. 

The cargo area’s rear seatback is wrapped in a waterproof material too, and a hardy waterproof rear cargo tray protects the floor of the boot. 

There’s also splashes of copper around the interior, such as contrast stitch weaving and insert on the steering wheel, and the gear selector. 

The wagon comes standard with Subaru’s ‘STARLINK’ 11.6-inch touch screen display, which enables users to interact with the car’s infotainment system, as well as the HVAC, and the vehicle settings.  

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity also come as standard. 

The new Outback Wilderness is being made exclusively in left-hand drive at Subaru’s Indiana production facility for the North American market. 

Sadly, a representative for Subaru Australia has confirmed to WhichCar there are no plans at present to bring the tough wagon to the local market.

However, the representative also said the Aussie arm of the brand was in constant discussion with Subaru’s head office in Japan, and that both parties would be monitoring the reception of the Outback Wilderness in the US. 

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