Subaru has taken the covers off of an off-road focused version of the Outback in North America it claims is the most capable vehicle it has ever made.
The first model to form part of the Japanese brand’s new Wilderness sub-range, the Outback’s biggest difference from the standard models is the ground clearance which now stands at 241 mm, 21 mm more than the original.
In addition, the Wilderness also receives a reworked rear differential, chunkier front and rear bumpers, a new roof rack capable of transporting items weighing up to 318 kg, black anti-glare strip on the bonnet and matte black 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tyres.
Additional unique touches consist of retuned shock absorbers and springs, a new grille, more cladding around the wheel arches, special Wilderness badges on the front wings and on the tailgate, anodised copper accents and a model specific colour called Geyser Blue said to pay homage to the brand’s exploits in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Inside, the Wilderness retains the standard Outback’s new tablet-like 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system and general design, but unique items in the form of brushed alloy pedals, the StarTex water repellant seat upholstery and anodised copper detailing on the steering wheel and gear lever.
A dark roof liner, Gunmetal Grey inserts and Wilderness badging on the headrests, on the all-weather floor mats and within the instrument cluster rounds the interior off, together with a waterproof parcel shelf, hands-off electrically opening tailgate and a full-size alloy spare wheel.
Up front and unlike the European as well as the South African spec Outback, the Wilderness keeps hold of its sibling’s engine; the 191kW/376Nm 2.4-litre FA24 flat-four boxer turbo whose twist is delivered to all four corners via a recalibrated CVT. Like the Forester, the Wilderness comes with Subaru’s X-Mode system offering two modes; Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud and Active Torque Vectoring.
Along with the five millimetre front and rear track gain plus the 20 mm suspension lift, the Outback Wilderness’ approach, breakover and departure angles have been improved with the former going up by 1.4 degrees to 18.6 degrees, breakover by 1.8 degrees to 21.2 degrees and the latter by 1.9 degrees to 23.6 degrees.
Going on sale later this year, pricing for the Outback Wilderness was not revealed, but don’t expect it to join the local market Outback any time soon as it will be offered exclusively in North America.