New 2021 Subaru Outback poised for European sales

Subaru’s off-road inspired estate has entered its sixth generation, with an all-new platform and a wealth of additional safety equipment

Subaru has confirmed it is preparing to launch the sixth-generation Outback in Europe, which will take aim at other high-riding estates like the Audi A4 Allroad and the Skoda Octavia Scout

The Mk6 Outback is built on the latest version Subaru’s Global Platform (SGP) architecture, and the company says it has targeted substantial improvements in ride, handling and crash safety with the refreshed underpinnings. 

The new car’s key load points are considerably stronger than the old model’s. The front suspension is 70 percent stiffer than the outgoing model’s and the rear subframe is twice as rigid. Subaru says the improvements have reduced body roll by 50 percent and significantly improved straight-line stability.

Subaru also says that the platform upgrade has made the new Outback more capable off-road than its predecessor. Torsional rigidity is up 70 percent and the car now has 213mm of ground clearance, as well as approach and departure angles of 19.7 and 22.6 degrees respectively.

The new platform also introduces Subaru’s revised flat-four petrol engine. It shares its basic design with the unit found in the current Outback, although the company says that 90 percent of its components have been updated or improved, and displacement increases from 2.4-litres to 2.5-litres. 

Performance specs are yet to be confirmed but, as the engine is an updated version of the old car’s unit, we expect it’ll have a similar output of 173bhp and 253Nm of torque. The American market version of this engine produces 180bhp. The upgrades should see an improvement over the old model’s 40.4mpg fuel economy figure, though.

Like the outgoing Outback, the boxer engine is mated to a CVT transmission. However, it features variable ratio control with paddle shifters, meaning the driver can ‘shift’ the ratio of the CVT like an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Four-wheel drive comes as standard, along with an active torque vectoring system and a four-stage drive mode selector which includes specific programmes for tarmac, dirt, snow and mud. Every model also has a two-tonne towing capacity.

Inside, the new Outback has an extra 10.8mm of space between the front and rear seats, as well as an extra 7mm of shoulder room up front. The boot has also grown by 10 litres to 522 litres, and there’s a handful of new cargo hooks, plus a net to tie down any loose luggage. The tailgate can be opened and closed hands-free. 

The new Subaru Outback also gets a significant technology upgrade, with the car’s old seven-inch infotainment system being swapped for a larger 11.6-inch portrait unit. Subaru says it is its ‘most advanced’ infotainment system to date. 

There’s a new facial recognition camera - this can identify the driver and automatically adjust the seat position, door mirrors and air conditioning to their preferences, alongside monitoring the driver for fatigue or distraction. 

Subaru says it has improved the Outback’s camera-based driver assistance technology, almost doubling the system’s field of view and adding new image recognition software. This works with the car’s adaptive cruise control, lane departure prevention and emergency braking assist functions.Reverse automatic braking also comes as standard.

Hungry for more Subaru news? Read all the latest on the next-generation WRX here

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