Subaru adds compact; holes remain
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Editor's note: The BRZ is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. An earlier version of this story described it incorrectly.
Subaru is adding a compact crossover, the XV Crosstrek in September, but still has work to do to fill out its lineup.
The brand needs an SUV larger than the slow-selling Tribeca and perhaps a flagship sedan to compete with its Japanese rivals and Volkswagen. But neither vehicle appears to be on the horizon.
Subaru won't bring any of the smaller subcompacts it sells in Japan to the United States. Executives say they would not be profitable given current exchange rates, and they aren't sure there is enough demand.
But Subaru will boost the performance end of its lineup in the next two years with the redesigned WRX and STI. The high-output versions of the Impreza will crank out nearly 300 hp, meaning they'll compete with the VW Golf R and even pricier German compact sports models.
BRZ: The lightweight sports coupe developed with Toyota went on sale this spring. It is the only rear-wheel-drive vehicle that the all-wheel-drive specialist offers in the United States. According to press reports, the BRZ will get a convertible version for the 2014 model year. A freshening is expected for the 2016 model year
Forester: The Impreza-based crossover will be redesigned for the 2014 model year. The new Forester likely will become longer and wider and get a revamped interior and a larger LCD screen for a new system that manages entertainment, communications and climate control.
Impreza: The redesigned compact went on sale early this year rather than in 2011 because of production delays caused by last year's earthquake in Japan. No changes are expected until the sedan and five-door hatchback are freshened in 2014 or 2015. There have been press reports of a hybrid using Toyota technology.
WRX/STI: The redesigned sedan and hatchback will get sportier styling and a new turbocharged or supercharged engine with up to 300 hp when they are redesigned for the 2014 model year.
The cars are expected to take design cues from the Advanced Tourer Concept unveiled at last year's Tokyo auto show.
Outback/Legacy: The Outback wagon and Legacy sedan are scheduled for a freshening in the 2015 model year.
XV Crosstrek: The small Impreza-based crossover debuts in late September. The five-door Crosstrek has a raised suspension giving it an 8.7-inch ground clearance. It has a slightly shorter wheelbase than the five-door Impreza but is about 1.5 inches longer.
The 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine is teamed with a standard five-speed manual or an optional continuously variable transmission.
Tribeca: Subaru said it won't build a second generation of the mid-sized crossover. But a possible successor is a seven-seat SUV/ crossover based on the next-generation Toyota Highlander.
Hybrid: A compact plug-in hybrid will go on sale in 2013. Subaru hasn't provided details, but there are reports that it will be based on the redesigned Forester.
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