In the wake of the unveiling of the Ascent three-row crossover in Los Angeles, the Detroit show will be relative quiet for Subaru. But things will heat up later in the year.
Ascent production begins in May at Subaru’s retooled Indiana plant, with the first models arriving at dealerships by summer.
Pricing has not been announced, but Subaru promises it will start in the low $30,000s.
The first two nameplates redesigned on the Subaru Global Platform, the Impreza and the Crosstrek, both saw strong sales in 2017 and figure to continue as key vehicles this year.
Following the Ascent, the next model to join the modular platform is the Forester, one of Subaru’s largest selling. Spy photos indicate that the next Forester will keep the same general shape and attributes that have been staples of the crossover’s design for years: a sloping windshield, large windows and a tall roofline. Additionally, it appears the next-gen crossover will get a more aggressive front end and sportier side profile, which would follow the lead of the Impreza, Crosstrek and Ascent. The redesigned Forester will debut in 2018.
The Subaru Global Platform, which allows for gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric drivetrains, will see its first plug-in hybrid variation debut in 2018, though it’s unclear which nameplate will get that distinction.
Also joining the lineup in 2018 are two limited-edition performance models, the WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS. Both will have runs of 500 vehicles.
The new year also marks a milestone for Subaru of America as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. The automaker will be offering 50th anniversary editions for each of its models.
— Jack Walsworth
Tesla Inc. will continue its no-show streak this year in Detroit, but that won’t stop it from making headlines in the new year.
The electric automaker surprised investors and customers with the unveiling of the second-generation Roadster in November while further delaying the ramp-up for Model 3 production. During its third-quarter earnings call, Tesla said it will have production of the mass-market sedan up to 5,000 vehicles a week in the first quarter of 2018, but if more delays come, it has a few concepts left it can introduce this year to keep the hype going.
The Model Y, which CEO Elon Musk said will share a platform with the Model 3, is a compact crossover expected to start production in late 2019 or 2020. Thus far, the automaker has only flashed a vague silhouette of the Model Y’s front, so more could come in 2018.
Musk said in April that a Tesla pickup would be coming in the next 18 to 24 months, however, he adjusted the timeline in December, when he tweeted that the pickup would immediately follow the Model Y.
However, the focus will remain on whether Tesla can deliver on its promise to bring its EVs to the masses by ramping up Model 3 production and delivering the $35,000 sedan to the 455,000 customers who have already put down deposits.
— Katie Burke