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Subaru Liberty lights up with 195kW ‘Rex’ engine

Liberating power: Subaru's imminent new Liberty GT will get the WRX's fire-breathing turbo boxer.

Powertrain puzzle almost complete for Subaru Liberty/Outback launch line-up

19 Jun 2009

SUBARU Australia’s new-generation Liberty GT due for release in September will offer performance to match the Impreza WRX sports sedan, with official specifications obtained by GoAuto showing the mid-sizer’s 2.5-litre DOHC boxer four turbo will be upgraded to 195kW.

The powertrain puzzle for the new Liberty sedan and wagon – not to mention the Outback off-road version – is now almost complete, with GoAuto learning that the baseline non-turbocharged SOHC boxer will decrease to 123kW, down a handful of kilowatts as a result of work to reduce fuel consumption, while the all-new 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine will, as expected, come in at a Tribeca-matching 191kW.

A diesel engine for Outback remains on track for release in November, following the petrol Liberty/Outback launch early in September.

Official ADR fuel consumption figures for the petrol line-up are still to emerge, although Subaru has stated that the powertrains will be more efficient in the new Liberty/Outback generation, despite an increase in overall size and weight for a model range that will comprise the following variants at launch: 2.5i, 2.5i-S (sans Outback), GT-S (sans Outback) and 3.6R (sans Liberty wagon).

To their credit, Subaru engineers have kept weight increases to a minimum, with official tare weight figures for the new Liberty/Outback, which should be a little lighter than the final kerb weight, indicating that the all-new 2.5i sedan will tilt the scales from around 1398kg, with the GT-S turbo at 1487kg and the 3.6R at 1536kg.

The Liberty wagon will be about 100kg heavier than the sedan equivalent.

2 center imageIn comparison, the current Liberty sedan’s kerb weight starts from 1365kg, while the current 2.5GT spec.B sedan is 1545kg and the 3.0R 1490kg.

Tape measurements put the all-new Australian-spec Liberty sedan at 4730mm in overall length (up 165mm), 1780mm in width (up 50mm) and 1505mm (up 80mm) in height. The Liberty wagon measures 4775mm in length (up 110mm) and 1535mm in height (up 100mm), with the same width as the sedan.

Both rest on a 2750mm wheelbase, up 80mm from the current 2670mm.

Dimensions for the off-road-oriented Outback generally mirror the Liberty wagon, although ground clearance increases to 213mm for both variants (well up on the current 200mm), bringing overall height to 1615mm. Reduced front and rear overhangs will further improve its performance on rugged terrain.

As expected, the Liberty sedan/wagon and the Outback will maintain the current high level of specification offered, with six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), ABS brakes, electronic stability control (essential for Subaru to maintain its five-star ANCAP rating), power windows/mirrors and air-conditioning among the standard features.

A sunroof will be fitted to GT-S sedan/wagon and the 3.6R sedan, but optional on 2.5i and 2.5i-S Libertys and the two Outback variants.

As previously reported, equipment highlights will include rain-sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlights, push-button start and a reversing camera with satellite-navigation option. Permanent all-wheel drive across the range – a key Subaru selling point – is a given.

The specifications sheet shows that 2.5i and 2.5i-S variants will use the continuing SOHC naturally aspirated version of Subaru’s 2.5-litre (2457cc) horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, now producing 123kW at 5600rpm – down slightly on the current 127kW at 6000rpm.

The GT-S, meanwhile, will feature the proven DOHC turbocharged engine, uprated to 195kW at 5600rpm – a fair increase from the current 184kW at 6000rpm. The version in the Impreza WRX produces 195kW at 6000rpm and 343Nm at 4000rpm.

The natural-breathing fours will offer a six-speed manual gearbox – up a cog from the current five-speed manual – and the option of Subaru’s new Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), which replaces the current four-speed automatic. The turbo will be paired with a six-slot manual or a conventional five-speed automatic.

Restricted to the Liberty sedan and Outback wagon, the ‘Tribeca’ 3.6-litre DOHC (3630cc) six-cylinder will produce 191kW at 5600rpm – up from 180kW on the current 3.0-litre engine – and pair with a five-speed auto.

Wheel and tyre combinations for Liberty show the 2.5i on 16-inch rims (16x6.5JJ) with 205/60-section rubber, the 2.5-S with 17-inch wheels (17x7.5JJ) on 215/50 tyres, and the GT-S on 18-inch alloys (18x7.5JJ) with low-profile 225/45R18s. The 3.6R will run on 17-inch alloys (17x7.5JJ) with 225/50 tyres.

Both the four- and six-cylinder Outback variants will use 17-inch (17x7.0JJ) wheels and 225/60 tyres.

Front and rear track on the Liberty 2.5i is 1530mm, while all other model variants differ with a 1535mm rear track.

Braking hardware ranges from 277mm/286mm-diameter front/rear discs on the base model to 316mm/290mm on the turbo.

Read more:

First look: Subaru confirms CVT for Liberty

New York show: Subaru heads Outback again

First look: Subaru reveals US version of new Liberty

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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