Subaru plans on unveiling a production-spec XV crossover this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. That's good news for Europeans looking for a small CUV, but does it also signal the sign of a new Outback Sport for North America?
We're admittedly reaching, but not all that far. If you recall, the XV nameplate was previously used on the Impreza wagon-based Outback Sport model when sold outside of North America. Thus far, the 2012 Impreza lineup includes a five-door and a new Impreza Sport trim exclusive to it, but there's no sign of an Outback Sport.
But could the new XV, as previewed by the concept version shown at the Shanghai Motor Show , be the missing link? Subaru isn't saying one way or the other, although U.S. company reps have hinted the model is "under review" for our market. Meanwhile, their European colleagues issued a release, claiming the “production version of the XV remains true to the concept” and that "it will bring something fresh, as well as a new level of engineering excellence, to the segment.”
Our guess is it will at least bring some cladding, large wheels, and a little extra ground clearance to the market, if nothing else. Look for the XV to launch in Europe by early 2012, and -- if a business case can be made -- perhaps here shortly afterward.