The more rugged Subaru Forester Wilderness has been revealed, with a higher ride height and a tougher look.
It’s for North America only at the moment, but Subaru Australia hasn’t ruled out doing something similar Down Under. A facelifted Forester is due to land in Australian showrooms from October 2021.
“Whilst there are no immediate plans for Wilderness models in Australia, we are following the progress of the Wilderness editions very closely,” a spokesperson said.
Based on the mid-range Premium, the Wilderness has a unique suspension tune and features longer coil springs and shock absorbers.
It boasts 233mm of ground clearance, up 12.7mm on the rest of the range.
Its approach angle is up from 20.0 degrees to 23.5 degrees, its departure angle is up from 24.6 to 25.4 degrees, and its rampover angle is up from 19.6 to 21.0 degrees.
The Forester Wilderness rides on exclusive black-finish 17-inch alloy wheels in Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tyres with raised white lettering. A full-size spare is located under the cargo area.
There’s a new front fascia with a hexagonal front grille and LED fog lights, a front skid plate, and a matte-black bonnet decal.
There’s also larger wheel arch cladding plus Anodized Copper accents and Wilderness badges.
Subaru has also included a ladder-type roof rack that can support 99kg on the go or 362kg when parked, allowing for larger roof tents when you’re out in the wilderness, in the Wilderness.
Inside, the seats are finished in water-resistant StarTex upholstery with copper stitching that matches the stuff found on the dashboard.
The rear seatbacks are finished in a protective material to spare them from wear, tear and stains.
It’s powered by the same naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre flat-four engine, with 136kW of power and 239Nm of torque, mated to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive.
The X-Mode has been upgraded and retuned, with the settings for snow, deep snow, dirt and mud allowing for additional wheel slip.
It’ll also put the CVT in its lowest ratio when it detects a steep incline, and the CVT’s number of artificial ratios has been increased from seven to eight.
Subaru has also added an oil cooler plus a temperature sensor on the rear differential and changed the final-drive ratio from 3.70:1 to 4.11:1.
The company has taken a similar tack with the Outback Wilderness, which boasts a unique rear differential, superior ground clearance, and a raft of visual tweaks.
That model isn’t locked in for Australia, either.
It’s unclear if Subaru of America will develop Wilderness versions of its other crossovers: the Crosstrek (XV) and the three-row Ascent.
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