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by Alex Gibson

The next Subaru Tribeca will not be a direct replacement for the current model, but will instead be a different kind of seven-seat vehicle, with its arrival at least two years away.

In an interview with Automotive News, the president of Subaru’s owner, Fuji Heavy Industries, Yasayuki Yoshinaga, said, “The [next] seven-seat passenger vehicle project is completely different. You won’t see the new vehicle coming out immediately when Tribeca production ends.”

It is expected the Tribeca’s replacement will move away from the current model’s SUV format, and fit into a different class size. A possible preview of the vehicle, the Crossover 7 concept, will be shown at next week’s Tokyo motor show.

The Crossover 7 will be shorter, narrower and taller than the current Tribeca, and is said to be powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine teamed with a continuously variable transmission feeding an all-wheel-drive system. The current Tribeca comes with a 3.6-litre V6, often criticised for its poor fuel economy.

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It was recently announced the Subaru Tribeca would cease production in January 2014. Subaru also recently revealed a plan to increase annual production capacity in the US to 300,000 units between the start of next year and the end of 2016, however this plan made no mention of a Tribeca model, suggesting the replacement will not arrive until 2017 or possibly later.

Despite the Tribeca’s impending demise, the Japanese car maker still has the seven-seat Liberty-based Exiga wagon in its line-up in some markets. Automotive News suggests the next Tribeca could be based on this car, with the next-generation Liberty tipped to launch around the beginning of 2015.




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