Mike Stevens | Apr 23, 2012

A new variant will join Australia's Subaru Liberty line-up later this year, adding a raised ride-height to the list of 2013 model-year updates.

Sitting 60mm higher than the regular Liberty range, the new variant offers ground clearance of 210mm - just 3mm short of the ride-height of the Outback wagon.

The new model - which has yet to be named - is expected to appeal to motorists who frequently travel on unsealed roads, while the car's 70mm-higher hip-point makes entry and exit easier for the less able.

"Only two markets - Australia and China - are getting this new variant, recognising some of the unique road conditions in both countries," Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior said, adding that around 60 percent of Australian roads are unsealed.

“We see its main market to be in rural areas, but it will also be ideal for those with tricky driveways, those who travel with trailers and caravans, or just those who want a sedan where you can sit a bit higher."

Previewed by the US market model's recent 2013 update, the new variant will get a new grille, front bumpers, side-sills with chrome highlights, and 18-inch wheels.

Inside changes will include a black metal look to the centre stack, centre console and steering switch panel, and the the electronic park brake and SI-Drive switches have been repositioned for easier use.

The new model will be available with the Liberty's 2.5 and 3.6 litre petrol engines.

As for the rest of the 2013 range, details are still to be revealed, although Mr Senior added that some of the styling features of this new variant will make their way to the regular Liberty models. The raised ride-height will be unique, however.

The new variant and the updated Liberty range will hit Australian showrooms in the third quarter of this year.


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