Subaru is bringing turbo power to its strong-selling Outback in 2023, and it’s dusted off one of its most famous badges to celebrate.
The Subaru Outback XT will be in Australia during the first quarter of 2023, with power from a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
“We are very pleased to announce today the Subaru Outback range will gain the 2.4 turbo engine from the 2023 model year, with production set to start in Q4 of this year,” Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read told media.
Mr Read said the new engine will “address the loss of the 3.6 engine from the previous-generation”.
It’s likely the new engine’s arrival will coincide with the arrival of our version of the facelifted Outback revealed for the USA earlier in 2022.
In the North American market, the 2.4-litre turbo engine makes 195kW of power and 376Nm of torque.
The same engine is used in the Ascent seven-seat SUV not offered locally, and forms the base for the 2.4-litre engine in the BRZ sports car.
The Subaru Outback range in Australia is offered with a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre boxer engine with 138kW of power and 245Nm of torque, mated with a continuously-variable transmission and all-wheel drive.
The final range and pricing details for the Outback XT haven’t been confirmed, but Mr Read said it’ll be an “extension of the range”.
Multiple models will feature the engine, with equipment levels loosely mirroring those of the current range. The more powerful engine could also open the door for a version of the Outback Wilderness (above) to make the journey.
“For Wilderness, to have the capability of the 2.4 turbo engine for us makes more sense in a bigger offering,” Mr Read said.
“We’re pleased to get the 2.4 in,” he said. “Work continues on Wilderness, we’ve heard the feedback loud and clear.”
The XT badge has been around since 2003 in Australia, having debuted on a version of the Forester with a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine. It died with the previous-generation Forester in 2018.
The last Forester XT was powered by a 2.0-litre turbo boxer engine with 177kW and 350Nm.
The badge has never been applied to an Outback in Australia.
Subaru has been busily dusting off some of its more famous names for new models in Australia.
The new WRX range features RS and tS variants, and Mr Read signalled more new cars could feature trim levels nicked from the brand’s history.