Mike Stevens | May 15, 2012

Subaru Australia has announced that its diesel-powered Outback models will at last gain an automatic transmission in early 2013.

Adding the automatic 'Lineartronic' Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to the existing manual option, the new models will be available from the first quarter of next year.

The arrival of the new variant marks the first time Subaru has offered a diesel engine with an automatic transmission in Australia.

Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior said that the CVT transmission has been a strong seller in the new Impreza and XV models, and the company is anticipating success with the auto-equipped Outback diesel.

He added that engineers from Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have been working closely with Subaru Australia engineers on the new pairing.

“FHI engineers have just returned to Japan after extensive testing of the pending Outback diesel CVT," Mr Senior said.

The news follows the announcement of revisions to the Outback's diesel engine earlier this year.

Power figures remain unchanged at 110kW and 350Nm of torque, but maximum twist now comes online between 1600 and 2400rpm, compared to 1800-2400rpm for the 2011 model.

Combined-cycle fuel consumption has also improved, dropping from 6.4 l/100km in 2011, to 6.0 l/100km in the 2012 model year.


Forester Diesel automatic?

The Outback has made up the bulk of customer demand for an auto option, but, speaking with TMR today, Subaru Australia's David Rowley acknowledged the interest in an auto-equipped Forester diesel.

"It's fair to say that we're well aware of the pent-up demand for auto diesels, and the Outback is the first step in addressing our customers' desires," Mr Rowley said.

We shouldn't expect an auto Forester diesel in the current model, however;

"The next-generation Forester (see spy photos here) will emerge in Australia early next year, so there's no likelihood of a CVT option in the current car."

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