There are no immediate plans to bring the Subaru Outback Wilderness to Australia, but the local distributor is “watching developments with interest”.
The new variant is only produced and available in North America, but a local spokesperson told CarExpert “we’re always in discussion with the factory in Japan about future possibilities”.
Visually, the Outback Wilderness is distinguished from lesser models by a fixed ladder-type roof rack setup, and unique front and rear bumpers, which incorporate copper highlights, unique LED fog lights, and a squarer design.
Copper accents are also present on the stitching, steering wheel, gear shifter, and instrument meters. The seats are wrapped in water-repellant StarTex, while the rear cargo tray and rear seatbacks are covered in waterproof material.
The Wilderness also features prominent irregularly-shaped wheel arch protectors.
The Outback Wilderness has a ground clearance of 241mm, up from the standard American Outback’s 221mm.
In concert with redesigned front and rear bumpers, the Wilderness has a 20.0-degree approach angle (up 1.4 degrees), a 21.2-degree breakover angle (up 1.8 degrees), and a 23.6-degree departure angle (up 1.9 degrees).
There’s also new rear differential with a final drive ratio of 4.44:1. The front axle sports the same final drive ratio thanks to changes to the CVT. Together these updates are said to improve the availability low-end torque and allow the car to climb grades up to 40 per cent on gravel tracks.
Other changes to improve off-road ability include a front bash plate, all-season Yokohama Geolandr tyres mated to 17-inch alloy wheels, and revised shocks and springs.
The X-Mode drive selector includes snow/dirt and deep snow/mud modes. In the Wilderness the system can automatically switch from managed low-speed driving to regular driving over 40km/h without pause.
Under the bonnet, US versions of the Wilderness come with a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine as standard.
In the Outback this engine makes 194kW at 5600rpm, and 376Nm at 2000rpm.
That’s a 56kW and 131Nm improvement over the naturally-aspirated 138kW/245Nm 2.5-litre that’s the only engine offered in Australia.