New 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback Wilderness Coming Soon

Christian Wardlaw | Feb 16, 2021

Overlanding is a hot trend right now, and people are spending plenty of money on vehicle accessories to make their cars, trucks, and SUVs look like they’re ready for any adventure. Common attributes include lifted suspensions, all-terrain tires, sturdy roof racks, and other functional upgrades designed for getting you deep into the wilderness and then safely back out again.

Subaru Outback in Wilderness

Speaking of the wilderness, Subaru is reportedly planning a new Wilderness sub-brand to capitalize on the overlanding trend. Automotive News reports that the 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Subaru Outback models will be the first to adopt the Wilderness treatment. However, it’s worth pointing out the smaller Subaru Crosstrek is already popular with the overlanding crowd.

Based on spy photos of the new Subaru Outback Wilderness, highlights include front and rear styling revisions, updated lower body cladding, purposeful black 6-spoke alloy wheels, and more aggressive tires. Fog lights flank the lower air intake, similar to the original Outback of the 1990s.

The crossover SUV also appears to sit higher off the ground, adding more ground clearance than the already generous 8.7 inches current Outbacks supply. Combine that with what seems to be tidier front and rear lower bumper sections, and the Outback Wilderness should offer greater approach, breakover, and departure angles in support of improved off-road capabilities.

Expect powertrains to carry over, though it would be nice if the Forester Wilderness added a turbocharged engine option similar to what’s available in the current Outback XT. The new Subaru Wilderness models will more than look the part, thanks to the standard all-wheel drive and the company’s impressive X-Mode off-road traction system with hill descent control.

Subaru dealers attending the recent National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) trade show told Automotive News that customers have been asking for more rugged and capable versions of the automaker’s models. 

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness release date is reportedly marked for a summer 2021 debut, while plans call for the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness release date later in the 2021 calendar year.

Automotive News and Subaru are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on February 16, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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