Like many of its competitors, Subaru experienced a slide in August sales, but the numbers show that its most popular models have become even more popular. Peering into Subaru’s crystal ball, product refreshes and an all-new sport coupe, co-developed with Toyota, will help it diversify into new niches beyond 2011.
Here’s what we know about Subaru’s future product plans:
Coupe: The rumors are true: Subaru will collaborate with Toyota to produce a small coupe, though the two will be distinguishable by their exterior styling. Any remaining mystery surrounding the coupe, which may be rear-wheel-drive only, is about timing. Subaru will likely power its version of the coupe with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine lifted from the JDM Impreza WRX STI, rumored to produce over 250 horsepower. According to Automotive News, Subaru plans to introduce the coupe no earlier than late 2011.
Forester: The latest generation of Subaru’s cute-ute debuted in 2008, will receive a powertrain update later this year in advance of a full refresh around 2012. As we reported earlier, Subaru will install a revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rumored to produce nearly the same amount of horsepower, but boost fuel economy by about 10 percent. Turbocharged XT models will keep the existing engine.
Impreza: We’ll have to wait until 2012 for the next generation of the Impreza sedan and hatchback. For 2011, the STI trim level received upgrades to its suspension and powertrain, making Subaru’s most rally-inspired car more fun to toss around.
Tribeca: Subaru’s only traditional SUV will not receive major updates for at least another year, if at all. While the Tribeca last received an overhaul for the 2010 model year, Subaru has not announced whether or not it will have a successor.
Legacy/Outback: The Legacy/Outback duo will soldier on in their current duds until 2014, at the earliest. They were introduced last year with a variety of engines and transmission choices, and the capable Outback has thus far served us well in a yearlong test.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)