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Impreza goes the Outback route

Family resemblance: Subaru's Impreza Outback Sport uses many of the same styling cues as its larger sibling.

Subaru Australia confirms details on the Impreza Outback Sport and Liberty B4

4 Apr 2001

SUBARU Australia has given the green light to another cross-over vehicle based on the Impreza hatch.

The company has announced it will make the new model a permanent part of the Impreza range mid-year after "an overwhelmingly positive reaction" from customer clinics held in Melbourne and Sydney.

"The feedback was fantastic. People loved the look of the car and felt it had a distinctive, fun character," Subaru Australia general manager Nick Senior said.

Tentatively called the Outback Sport, it was also displayed at the recent Melbourne motor show as a concept vehicle to gauge public reaction.

"The main suggestion we had was to give the production car a name related to the rest of the Impreza range. They felt Outback Sport confused it with our larger outback," Mr Senior said.

Subaru is now looking a several options on a name for the new model and will make an announcement later this month.

The cross-over hatch will feature raised suspension, but otherwise will run standard Impreza mechanicals - a 2.0-litre horizontally opposed engine and constant four-wheel-drive system.

Cosmetic add-ons such as 16-inch alloy wheels and a two-tone colour scheme on the bumpers, wheel arches and rubbing strips will distinguish it from the regular models in the range.

The two-tone theme will also be a feature of the interior with a black and grey treatment on the dashboard and door trims, as well as unique seat trim.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but expect the Outback Sport to cost around $30,000.

Subaru has also announced specification details for the twin-turbo Liberty B4, due in August.

The B4's 206kW engine will be complemented by unique design 17-inch BBS alloy wheels, black leather interior with blue inserts in the seats, door trims and steering wheel.

The driver's seat will have six-way electrical adjustment, while a seven-speaker McIntosh audio system will comprise a radio-cassette and CD player as well as having a sub-woofer mounted under the rear parcel shelf.

Subaru management has decided to leave a final decision on pricing for the performance Liberty model until just prior to its release, but don't expect any change out of $65,000.

At this stage only the sedan version with manual transmission will be brought to Australia - that too in limited numbers.

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