Subaru has confirmed that its Indiana plant will build a new 3-row crossover utility vehicle to replace the outgoing Tribeca, and which will be exclusive to North America.
The new, as-yet-unnamed vehicle will be larger than the current Tribeca. Subaru says it will carry a name synonymous with adventure, consistent with its current lineup – Outback, Forester and Crosstrek – in which the Tribeca (named after the trendy Manhattan neighbourhood) seemed out of place.
With only a couple years to go before production, it can be speculated that the new crossover will likely take after one of the recent Subaru concepts, the latest of which was the Viziv Future Concept introduced about a month ago at the Tokyo Motor Show, and the Crossover 7 Concept shown at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The former is regarded as pointing to the new Forester; the latter is an update of the Japanese market Exiga, which is similarly sized to Tribeca.
It will likely be a combination of the two – the size of Exiga displaying the look of Viziv, which heralds the future look of Subarus with the new crossover and then spread to Forester. The Crossover 7 got power from the 170-hp 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder engine that’s the current standard Forester engine. It would be a more logical choice for the new 7-seater than the Viziv’s hybrid powertrain that uses an electric motor on the rear to provide a modern take on Subaru’s venerable Symmetrical All Wheel Drive; the company did not disclose the engine that would power the front wheels.
Reportedly, at the time of the Crossover 7 unveiling in Chicago, Subaru sent out a survey to current owners asking for input on potential new names, none of which really conveyed the “outdoor adventure” connotations the company is seeking.
The production of the new vehicle in Indiana will bring facility output to four nameplates (joining Legacy, Outback and Impreza) and five models (both sedan and hatchback models of Impreza will be built at the plant by the end of 2016). By the end of 2016, output is expected to be in the 400,000 range.
“We are delighted to be bringing even more Subaru manufacturing to the US,” concluded Tom Easterday executive vice president, secretary, and chief legal officer of Subaru of Indiana Automotive. “The new model will also result in increased jobs and investment at SIA and at our suppliers across Indiana.”