Masayuki Uchida, senior project general manager of the Subaru Legacy concept, spoke with CarAdvice at the reveal of the new Subaru Outback at the New York show, where he stated the brand’s medium car range will be offered only as a sedan, with wagon duties being taken care of by the new Outback and smaller Levorg model.
When asked if there will be a wagon version of the Liberty (which is badged Legacy in other markets), Uchida said there will be: “Just Outback”.
“Outback is very strong character. And Outback includes wagon character. We’ve put good handling for [the new Outback], like a car. Car-like handling,” he said of the suspension and steering changes for the new model.
“In Japan, Legacy wagon is more popular than Outback. It’s a unique market.
“I know many customers like Outback. But we think in Japan there are also people that can understand and will like the uniqueness of the Outback. We think those kind of customers are in Japan. So we think this model will be well accepted in Japan,” he said.
“In Japan [we have the new smaller] model, Levorg. That is a replacement for the Legacy wagon,” Uchida said.
Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) corporate communications spokesman Masato Saito back-pedalled slightly on Uchida’s comments.
“The plan has been not decided yet. For the US, just Outback and Legacy sedan [will be sold],” he said.
“When we were selling both Outback and [Legacy] wagon, the character is similar. So the uniqueness of the Outback was not clear. So we stopped wagon in the US. So after that, the uniqueness of this model was very clear,” Saito said.
The smaller Levorg, which is offered in Japan with the same engine as the new-generation WRX, isn’t yet confirmed for Australia, but the local arm is rallying to offer the car as a mid-way point between the Impreza and the Liberty.
Uchida said he is aware of the desire of markets outside of Japan to offer the Levorg model.
“We know those kind of needs, but as of now, we have not decided yet,” he said.