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Subaru’s Levorg expected to fill Liberty wagon gap

Get a load: Subaru’s Levorg is set to do double duty as a replacement for the WRX/STI hatch and Subaru Liberty wagon.

Demise of Liberty wagon opens up door for Subaru Levorg ‘tourer’ to carry the load

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Subaru logo6 Feb 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

SUBARU’S Levorg might plug two looming gaps in the Subaru range in Australia, provided the Japanese company’s Australian importer can get the tick of approval from head office to sell the Impreza-based sports wagon here.

The five-door, four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive ‘tourer’ that was revealed in concept form at the 2013 Tokyo motor show in November is expected to not only fill in for the now-defunct Impreza WRX/STI hatchbacks but also the Liberty wagon, which also appears to be headed for the scrapheap along with the Tribeca large SUV.

So far, there has been no mention of a wagon version of the Liberty in the new generation that is set to be revealed in its American Legacy form at the Chicago motor show this week.

GoAuto understands that the United States – now the biggest market for Subaru after unprecedented sales growth for the brand there over the past few years – is not taking a wagon, meaning Subaru is likely to end global sales of that version when the current Liberty ends in early 2015.

Instead, Subaru of America will put all its eggs into the related Outback crossover vehicle, the new generation of which is expected to appear at the New York motor show in April.

In Australia, the current Liberty wagon is $4000 cheaper than the Outback which starts at $38,990 for the Outback 2.5i.

Happily for Subaru Australia, the oddly named Levorg might help to fill the void. A key to the Subaru ‘tourer’ is its name, which stands for “Legacy revolution touring”, clearly indicating that Subaru sees at least part of Levorg’s role as a Legacy substitute.

Although it is built on the Impreza platform, the Japanese-built five-door vehicle is 110mm longer than the Impreza sedan and only 100mm shorter than the current Liberty wagon.

The Levorg is expected to be sold with a choice of four-cylinder turbo-charged boxer powerplants – a 125kW/250Nm 1.6 litre and a 221kW/400Nm 2.0 litre.

In its tamer guise, the Levorg might appeal to current Liberty wagon owners, while the powerful version will attract WRX buyers who prefer a five-door layout over the WRX sedan or hotter STI sedan that are due to go on sale in late March and April respectively.

The Levorg’s 221kW engine is likely to split the difference between the 199kW WRX and 227kW STI powerplants, which are also 2.0 litres.

So far, the Levorg has only been confirmed for the Japanese market, but Subaru Australia says it has put up its hand for the Levorg, hoping to get it into showrooms here by the end of the year.

If that happens, it will beat the new Liberty sedan on to the local market by a month or two, with the mid-sizer due in early 2015.

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