Future Models - Subaru 2018 Ascent
New York show: Subaru Ascent not for Oz
Pew pew: Subaru’s Ascent concept features a three-row seat layout, but instead of the traditional 2-3-2 layout, the new SUV sports a 2-2-3 configuration.
Subaru’s new Ascent concept revealed, but LHD production keeps it confined to US
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13 April 2017
FANS of Subaru’s Tribeca seven-seater will have to wait longer for a new
three-row model as the Ascent concept revealed overnight at the New York motor
show will likely remain an exclusively North American model.
Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley told GoAuto
the Ascent is currently off the table for the local market due to a lack of
“It’s being made in the Subaru of America factory in Indiana and its left-hand
drive only so, at this stage, we’re not aware of any plans for it to be made in
right-hand drive at all,” he said.
“But, as per usual, if that were to change at some indeterminate time in the
future, we’re always interested in evaluating new product from Subaru
Corporation, but it’s just not currently an option.”
The third model to be built on the Subaru Global Platform after the Impreza
small car and incoming XV crossover, the Ascent will be built in Indiana – a
facility which, until recently, shared production capabilities with Toyota.
Mr Rowley explained that production at the facility was ramped up to meet
increased demand in the North American market – where the facility also builds
the Legacy (Liberty), Outback and Impreza – and is now a wholly Subaru site.
“In the States, much like here, they sell every car that they get – pretty much
instantly,” he said. “So, if this car follows this trend for them in North
America, they’re probably not going to have that much wiggle room for
production for other markets.
“I guess it would be up to Japan to evaluate whether they need to expand that
manufacturing capacity in some way.”
Sharing familial styling cues with Subaru’s new Impreza and forthcoming XV
crossover, the Ascent concept wears a prominent front hexagonal grille, sleek
C-shaped headlights and bulging underbody cladding.
Small side mirrors allude to its concept status, as do the 21-inch wheels shod
in 275/50 rubber and door handles that sit flush with the sculpted bodywork.
The interior of the Ascent is swathed in white leather with brown stitching
highlights and door trims for added visual flare, while the concept rocks a
unique seat layout with two captain’s chairs in the second row and a three-seat
bench in the third row.
Measuring in at 5050mm long, 1990mm wide and 1840mm high, with a 2970mm
wheelbase, the Ascent is set to compete directly against the likes of the Mazda
CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Kluger, or Highlander as it is known in the
Subaru says “it will be powered by a newly-developed Boxer direct injection
turbo engine”, but the Japanese car-maker has not revealed the displacement
size, cylinder count, or power and torque figures.
As with all Subaru vehicles – except the Toyota co-developed BRZ – the Ascent
will likely arrive to market with a symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
Although the Australian and UK markets took deliveries of the right-hand-drive
Tribeca back in the mid-2000s, the model was discontinued in 2013 after finding
11,368 homes Down Under.