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Subaru XV confirmed for Oz

Australia-bound: All-new XV will join Subaru’s Forster and Outback on sale here in January.

XV to arrive earlier than expected as Subaru locks in third compact crossover for Oz

27 Sep 2011

SUBARU has announced it will release the all-new XV crossover in Australia sooner than expected in early January.

The stand-alone compact crossover, which effectively replaces the current Impreza XV hatch, will therefore beat the fourth-generation Impreza small-car range to Australian showrooms when it joins the top-selling Forester and Liberty-based Outback in Subaru’s compact SUV range.

Clearly positioning the XV at the crossover end of the booming compact SUV segment, Subaru says its newest soft-roader has a centre of gravity that is 39mm lower than Nissan’s Dualis and 22mm lower than Volkswagen’s Tiguan, thanks to its signature boxer flat-four petrol engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive system.

Despite this, Subaru says the XV still offers a generous 220mm of ground clearance – 32mm more than Dualis and 25mm more than Tiguan.

“The fun-filled Subaru XV will be the first of a number of new Subaru launches in 2012,” said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior.

“Promising outstanding fuel efficiency, the XV will also be a fun-to-drive vehicle – it puts the sports into Sports Utility Vehicle.

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“Excellent stability, highly responsive handling and exceptional driving dynamics are the hallmark of this vehicle.

“That’s been achieved because our signature Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive enables us to have the lowest centre of gravity in its class by the proverbial country mile.

“A lower centre of gravity, but not ground clearance, adds up to a load more fun – fun to drive, fun for adventure, fun for recreation, fun for the Australian way of life. It could well be the ultimate late Christmas present.”

The XV, which made its global production debut two weeks ago at the Frankfurt motor show, will be powered by Subaru’s new third-generation FB-series horizontally opposed four-cylinder petrol engine, available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or Lineartronic continuously variable transmission – the latter with steering wheel shift paddles.

While there will be no diesel option from launch, Subaru previously stated the smoother, cleaner and more fuel-efficient version of the new boxer four that debuted in 2.5-litre guise in the Forester early this year will bring fuel consumption gains of up to 25 per cent.

As with the upcoming Mk4 Impreza, Subaru has confirmed the engine will generate the same 110kW of power and 196Nm of torque as in the current model, but fuel consumption has improved markedly, from 8.9 litres per 100km combined for the current five-speed manual XV to 6.8L/100km for the new six-speed manual model.

Economy also improves from 8.8L/100km on the current four-speed auto to 6.6L/100km for the continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the new generation, while CO2 emissions are similarly slashed – from 201 grams per kilometre to just 160g/km for the manual, and from 208g/km to153g/km for the auto.

Apart from being more compact, Subaru says its newest boxer engine will also boast improved low-speed torque delivery.

Pricing has not been announced, but expect the XV to be more affordable than the Forester, which currently opens at $30,990 plus on-road costs. Standard equipment will comprise seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, plus unique 17-inch alloy wheels.

The high-riding Impreza-based XV wagon will be followed Down Under within months by the all-new Impreza sedan and hatch range, Australian production of which was delayed by Japan’s catastrophic March 11 earthquake.

Subaru Australia will decide by the end of this year whether to launch the ground-breaking rear-drive BRZ boxer coupe here in 2012.

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