As far as teasers go, this image would be awesome if Subaru didn’t already build wagons and wagon-esque crossovers. As such, there’s almost nothing we can glean from the artful teaser photo Subaru dropped today, even when zoomed in and digitally tweaked. We do say almost, and the photo came with a promise of full disclosure coming later in March, so we do have some new information to share.
Since the calendar currently reads March 16 as this article posts, that means Subaru’s big announcement will happen in the next two weeks. That said, the news isn’t exactly a secret – rumors say Subaru is launching a rugged sub-brand called Wilderness that will add additional off-road prowess to some models. Think of it as a softer version of a Chevrolet Z71 or Toyota TRD model, catering to folks seeking more adventurous travels from their Subie.
We zoomed in on the teaser image, and it does offer some clues. In February we reported on rumored Wilderness details that included a launch timeframe of spring 2021, coming first to the Subaru Outback. This official teaser confirms the rumored timeframe, and while we still can’t positively identify this model with the photo zoomed in, the overall shape does resemble an Outback. It’s also a rather dark-looking vehicle, so expect some kind of black or dark appearance package as part of the Wilderness makeover.
Beyond that, Wilderness models are expected to have increased ride height with tires more suited for off-road driving. Suspension upgrades are a distinct possibility, and other exterior enhancements designed to take advantage of the rugged theme are almost a certainty. That said, we don’t think you’ll see Subarus tackling Moab anytime soon. But Wilderness models could deliver proper off-the-beaten-path capability to a motoring segment wholly uninterested in pickup trucks or vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco.
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When Subaru comes clean later this month, we expect to see a tweaked Outback lead the Wilderness charge followed by a Wilderness Forester later this year. Stay tuned.