Subaru Wilderness off-road models pushed back for Australia

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Subaru’s hardcore off-road Wilderness editions are still on the cards for Australia, but they will have to wait until next-generation models arrive.

Subaru Australia has reaffirmed its interest in bringing off-road-focused Wilderness variants of the Crosstrek, Outback, and Forester model lines to Australia.

However, it’s unlikely the hardcore off-road versions will be introduced as current-generation models, and instead will need to wait until next-generation vehicles are introduced.

“[We’re] very keen to have Wilderness. We’ve been working on [these models] for a while now,” Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read told Drive at the local launch of the Subaru Solterra electric car.

“[But] with the way model launch timings are working… with the order bank situation we’ve been in and the industry’s been in, it [has] provided some challenges for us.

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Subaru Outback Wilderness

“We now are looking more to the new-generation models for Wilderness to be coming to market, watch this space. But we’re still working hard to bring that here.”

It means a Wilderness version of the Forester would not arrive until 2025 at the earliest, when the regular version of the next Forester is due in Australian showrooms.

The rugged Wilderness treatment typically increases a Subaru’s ride height for additional ground clearance, adds all-terrain tyres, unique alloy wheels, and extra body protection.

Subaru Wilderness editions were first introduced to the United States nearly three years ago and remain exclusive to the North American market.

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The editions have been on Subaru Australia’s wish list since the first of the vehicles was unveiled in 2021, though it appears increasingly unlikely current-generation Wilderness vehicles will make it to Australia.

As for which Subaru model will benefit first, the next-generation 2025 Forester is a likely candidate.

The Subaru Crosstrek small SUV was recently brought into a new generation, and the Outback large passenger wagon isn’t due for a new model for a few years yet.  

Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned journalists got the better end of the deal. With tenures at CarAdvice, Wheels Media, and now Drive, Tom’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge informs a strong opinion on all things automotive. At Drive, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories.

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