Subaru has not had a three-row ute since the Tribeca was killed off in 2014. Subaru specified that the Ascent will have a 117-inch wheelbase, which is roughly 9 inches longer between the wheels than the current Outback. Less glitzy than the showcar before it, the Ascent concept seems to be nearly production-ready on the outside, and dare we say it's more attractive than the Viziv-7.
With Volkswagen adding the Atlas and existing SUV makers like Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda, and others all putting greater emphasis on the large utility segment, Subaru felt compelled to respond. Under the hood will be an all-new turbocharged direct injection boxer engine.
Given that the production version is just around the corner, it is surprising that the Ascent Concept we see here is in some ways even more aggressive than the Vizi-7. Expect Subaru to employ a continuously variable automatic transmission as the middleman between the engine and the drive wheels.
The Ascent will be built on a modified version of the Subaru Global Platform.
Subaru could be back in the SUV game if the Subaru Ascent Concept is anything to go by. The dashboard, with its metal and full leather wrapping, is likely to switch to more plastic, though the core layout will probably stay much the same.
To be built at Subaru's plant in Lafayette, Indiana, the Japanese automaker says it will be sold exclusively in the North American market starting in 2018. Pricing and exact release date will come closer to launch.