2015 SUBARU LIBERTY REVEALED
But while those earlier shots offered only a look at what’s to come, Subaru has now revealed greater detail of its new family and fleet hauler.
On the styling front, the new Liberty brings a wider and more muscular look to the brand as it arrives to replace the fifth-generation model that debuted in 2009.
What you see here is the final evolution of last year’s powerfully styled Legacy concept, and while some of that potency has been lost in the move to production, many of the show car’s themes remain.
A subtle but deep character line runs through the new sedan’s profile, dividing relatively meaty wheel arches.
In the cabin, the new Liberty gains a look that builds on the hugely upgraded interior that first debuted with the new Impreza range, and has since also appeared in the new Forester.
Along with upgraded materials, the new Liberty promises a more spacious cabin, with even the A-pillar positioned further forward for greater room.
There’s now more room between the driver and front passenger, and seating hip points are also higher, improving entry and exit.
Rear storage has also grown, up from 416 to 425 litres.
Overall, the new Liberty sedan measures 4796mm long, 1840mm wide and 1500mm tall, riding on a 2750mm wheelbase.
By comparison, The outgoing model measures 4735mm long, 1821mm wide and 1506mm in sedan form, with a 2751mm wheelbase.
For now, only US-market powertrains have been detailed, with updated but familiar 2.5 and 3.6 litre boxer engines available.
Subaru’s 2.5 litre four-cylinder FB25 engine again features at the entry end, producing 130kW at 5600rpm and 236Nm at 4100rpm.
Subaru says it has improved mid-range torque with the FB25, while also making significant improvements to the intake, exhaust and combustion systems for improved fuel consumption (figures still to be released).
Buyers of the familiar 3.6R trim will get Subaru’s 3.6 litre EZ six-cylinder boxer engine, delivering 190kW at 6000rpm and 335Nm of torque at 4400rpm.
For now, the company has yet to confirm plans for turbocharged petrol or diesel engines.
Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT auto is now the only transmission option, with the high torque-compatible auto mated to the 3.6 litre engine for the first time - replacing the five-speed auto of the previous model.
All-wheel-drive is again standard equipment, along with Active Torque Vectoring.
Subaru says it has dramatically overhauled its approach to chassis, steering, suspension and brakes to deliver performance better than any Liberty before.
New construction methods promise greater body rigidity and revised suspension mounting positions reduce roll.
High-spec models also get a new Stablex-Ride system, with new valves and larger diameter front strut cylinders for improved damping response at low and high piston speeds.
Likewise, the rear suspension brings a redesigned sub-frame for better ride quality and reduced vibration in the cabin.
The new Liberty gets 6.2 or 7-inch centre displays with ‘intuitive touch operation’ and satellite navigation, along with harmon/kardon audio.
The instrument cluster adds a dual-dial layout with integrated LCD displays.
Safety features include an upgraded version of Subaru’s now familiar EyeSight collision avoidance system, increasing view angle and distance by around 40 percent over the current system.
There is also blind spot monitoring, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, steering responsive fog lights and front, side and curtain airbags.
It remains unclear if a wagon body will join the sedan in the new-generation Liberty range.
It is believed that the American market - now Subaru's most successful arena - is not interested in the wagon, focusing instead on the next-generation Outback, which may as a result get more unique styling.
In Australia, we could instead see the new Levorg wagon - based on the Impreza but around 110mm longer - debut in the not too distant future.
Speaking with TMR today, Subaru Australia's David Rowley said that local timing is still to be confirmed, but pointed to an early 2015 launch.