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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Subaru XV has been officially confirmed for Australia, with the car set to arrive in local showrooms in early January next year.

Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said the Subaru XV would be the first of a number of new launches for the Japanese brand in Australia in 2012.

As previously reported, the XV will be a stand-alone model in Subaru’s global range, slotting into the SUV line-up beneath the larger Forester, Outback and Tribeca.

The XV will launch in Australia just weeks before the all-new 2012 Subaru Impreza sedan and hatch, which are also due here in the first quarter.

Mr Senior said the Subaru XV – essentially a high-riding, off-road-ready version of the new Impreza hatch – promised to offer greater on- and off-road versatility than its direct competitors.

“On preliminary figures, our centre of gravity is 39mm lower than a Nissan Dualis and 22mm lower than the Volkswagen Tiguan, and these are key competitors,” he said.

”Yet despite this the new Subaru XV has a ground clearance of 220mm. That’s 32mm more than the Dualis and 25mm more than the Tiguan, demonstrating the superiority of Subaru’s Boxer engine and Symmetrical AWD, and our years of experience in building world class SUVs.

“A lower centre of gravity, but not ground clearance, adds up to a load more fun – fun to drive, fun for adventure, fun for recreation, fun for the Australian way of life.”

Mr Senior said the XV’s trademarks would be its “excellent stability, highly responsive handling and exceptional driving dynamics”.

Subaru Australia is yet to confirm final specification and pricing details for our market, but after a long drip-feed unveiling process that has spanned much of this year, there’s plenty we already know about the XV, due here in around three months’ time.

The compact SUV will be powered by the 2.0-litre FB Boxer engine from the new Impreza range. The horizontally opposed unit produces 110kW of power (at 6200rpm) and 196Nm of torque (at 4200rpm).

Australian customers will have the choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or Subaru’s Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Tested under European standards, the XV CVT will use 6.6 litres/100km on the combined cycle, while the XV manual uses 6.9 litres/100km. Expect these figures to rise marginally under Australian standards, but the new model will still be much more fuel efficient than the outgoing Impreza XV, which uses 8.8-8.9 litres/100km combined.

Other highlights include unique 17-inch alloy wheels, seven airbags (dual front, side, curtains and driver’s knee) and soft-touch surfaces and switchgear.




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