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First look: Subaru reveals US version of new Liberty

Familiar: The new Subaru Liberty might look the similar, but it is built on a new platform.

Subaru releases pictures and details of next-generation Liberty due in September

6 Apr 2009

SUBARU has revealed the next-generation Legacy days before it makes its debut at the New York Motor Show.

The car is almost identical to the Liberty that will go on sale in Australia along with its Outback sibling this September, except that the US car will be slightly wider to cater for American tastes and girths.

Photos reveal Subaru is playing it relatively safe from a design perspective with its important mid-sizer, maintaining a similar grille to the current model, but sharpening the look with bold headlights and pumped-out wheel arches.

While it might appear similar to the existing car from some angles, the new Liberty is based on an all-new platform.

It will also be available with a full suite of engines, including naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinders and a muscular 3.6-litre six.

A diesel boxer will be available in Europe, but it won’t be part of the launch plan for the Australian car.

Subaru Australia will introduce a diesel version of the new Outback this December and will gauge its acceptance before deciding whether to offer a diesel Liberty.

2 center imageThe base engine for the new Liberty will be the existing 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer, while a turbocharged version will also be offered.

It is expected that the output of these units will both increase, but Subaru is yet to confirm the extent of the improvements. It has stated that the engines will be more fuel efficient.

Subaru will replace the existing 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol boxer with a 3.6-litre six from the larger and heavier Tribeca crossover wagon.

It promises to be quite a performer given the engine produces a healthy 190kW and 350Nm in that car on regular unleaded.

The engine will be made available with the same five-speed automatic that serves in the Tribeca as well as a six-speed manual or a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

It is not yet clear if all of these transmissions will make it to Australia, but the fuel-efficient CVT is a likely starter. The Liberty is the first AWD boxer Subaru to use a stepless CVT transmission. This technology is increasing in popularity as it improves and car companies seek to find new ways to save fuel.

Subaru is yet to announce the details of the new Liberty, including dimensions, but says the car to be sold in Australia, as well as Japan and Europe, is longer and wider than the existing model even if it is not as wide as the American car to be shown in New York.

Read more:

New Subaru Liberty grows, but won’t get diesel

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