2013 Subaru Outback, Upgraded With New Engines, Better Handling
Subaru will be unveiling the 2013 Outback and 2013 Legacy at the New York auto show next week. The all-wheel-drive sedan and wagon-based crossover are getting a more efficient transmission, a new four-cylinder engine, and a number of other minor changes.
The base engine in the Outback 2.5i and Legacy 2.5i is updated to the FB-series 2.5-liter boxer-four, which has dual overhead cams and produces 173 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, increases of 3 hp and 4 lb-ft compared to the outgoing single overhead cam engine. Subaru says the FB-series engine, which is also found in the new 2012 Impreza and Forester, provides more low-end torque than the old engine.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while Subaru's second-generation continuously variable transmission is optional. The new CVT is supposed to be quieter and more responsive than the old unit. With the 2.5-liter engine and CVT, Subaru predicts fuel economy of 24/32 mpg (city/highway) for the 2013 Legacy, up from 23/31 mpg in the 2012 model. The 2013 Outback is predicted to return 24/30 mpg with the powertrain combo, versus 22/29 mpg in the 2012 model.
Another major upgrade for the 2013 Outback and 2013 Legacy is the addition of EyeSight, Subaru's optional stereoscopic camera safety system. The optional system uses the twin forward-facing cameras to provide adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and collision warning functionality. The company claims its system has a wider range of vision and is cheaper than comparable radar-based safety technologies on other cars, although has yet to announce how much EyeSight will cost.
The Outback 3.6R and Legacy 3.6R models continue unchanged with a 256-hp 3.6-liter boxer-six engine and five-speed automatic transmission. All versions of the cars also get various suspension, chassis, and body updates to improve both ride and handling. In the process, Subaru says body roll has been reduced by 40 percent. The cabin receives new seat fabrics, as well as new wood grain trim.
There is one sad note in the announcement of the 2013 models: Subaru will discontinue the hot Legacy 2.5GT for 2013. The 2.5GT used a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four engine with 265 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, along with a six-speed manual transmission and unique 18-inch wheels. According to Subaru, the sporty variant could hit 60 mph in less than six seconds.
The 2013 Outback and 2013 Legacy will go on sale later this year after the New York show debut.