Subaru of America has revealed the latest addition in its rugged series of Wilderness vehicles at this week’s New York International Auto Show.

    The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is based on the regular small SUV but has a range of tweaks that makes it “trail-capable”.

    US deliveries are set to start in the northern autumn, which is between September and November.

    It will be produced alongside the Ascent, Legacy, Outback, as well as regular Crosstrek variants with the 2.5-litre flat-four engine at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

    A spokesperson for Subaru Australia said the Crosstrek Wilderness, like the Outback and Forester Wilderness models, remains on its wish list but there’s no information about an Australian launch at this stage.

    In the US the Crosstrek Wilderness is priced from US$31,995 (~A$47,500) before on-road costs, which is US$1100 (~A$1600) more expensive than the once top-spec Limited.

    The Crosstrek Wilderness is powered be a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated flat-four engine producing 134kW of power and 239Nm of torque. This engine isn’t currently available on Australian versions of the Crosstrek.

    It’s mated to a retuned continuously variable transmission (CVT) that optimises traction at low speeds or on slippery surfaces. There’s also a revised differential gear ratio that’s claimed to improve its “climbing ability”, as well as a transmission oil cooler.

    A main highlight of the Crosstrek Wilderness is the upgraded suspension, with exclusive components adding over 13mm of ground clearance compared to the regular model, bringing the total to 236mm.

    This added ground clearance also increases the approach angle from 18.0 degrees to 20.0 degrees, departure angle from 30.1 degrees to 33.0 degrees, and the ramp breakover angle from 19.7 to 21.1 degrees.

    Subaru has increased the maximum towing capacity of the Crosstrek Wilderness to 1588kg (3500lb), which is claimed to be more than double what the regular US model can tow. For context, Australian non-hybrid versions of the Crosstrek have an braked towing capacity of 1400kg.

    On the outside the Crosstrek Wilderness is equipped to look tough. There are 17-inch matte black alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tyres, as well as exclusive front and rear bumpers, a hexagonal front grille, larger wheel arch cladding, metal front skid plate, hex-design LED fog lights, and an anti-glare bonnet decal.

    It also features a ladder-type roof rack system with an 80kg dynamic load capacity and a 318kg static load capacity. This means it’s safe to use larger roof-top tents.

    The Crosstrek Wilderness is available with a number of different exterior paint colours as well as Geyser Blue, which is exclusive to the Wilderness series of vehicles.

    The interior features water-resistant StarTex upholstery with copper contrast stitching, a black headliner, Gunmetal Grey door and dash trims, and anodised copper highlights.

    There’s also a removable water-resistant cargo tray, as well as an LED inside the tailgate.

    Subaru offers the Crosstrek Wilderness with an option package that adds a panoramic sunroof, 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a 10-way power driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support.

    All Wilderness models are for North America for the moment, but Subaru Australia hasn’t ruled out offering them Down Under.

    “No secrets, we are in discussions with the factory on it,” said Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read earlier this year, referring to the Forester Wilderness and Outback Wilderness.

    “And those are fairly advanced. And we look forward to be able to sharing more one when everything’s confirmed, but it’s definitely in progress.”

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    MORE: Everything Subaru Crosstrek

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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