Who is responsible for designing and bringing new models like the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness to U.S. customers? His name is Michael Redic, and he's the Car Line Planning Manager for Subaru of America. You can blame this man if you don't like the new Forester Wilderness.
In a recent interview with Autoblog, Redic says he finds out what Subaru customers want and don't want in their new all-wheel-drive vehicle. As one of three car line planning managers at Subaru, Redic was responsible for the all-new Forester Wilderness and the recently-refreshed Subaru Crosstrek.
photo credit: Subaru of Wakefield
Most Subaru faithful think he got the Subaru Crosstrek right after upgrading the subcompact SUV with a new 2.5-liter Boxer engine with 30 additional horsepower over the standard 2.0-liter model. It's been an enormous success, and Redic says the Crosstrek Sport and Limited trims with the 2.5-liter Boxer engine account for around 60 percent of all Crosstrek model sales.
What's wrong with the new Forester Wilderness?
Many Subaru enthusiasts wanted the new FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged engine dropped in the rugged 2022 Forester Wilderness. The Outback Wilderness gets the more powerful engine producing 260 horsepower, but not Forester.
Subaru outdoor enthusiasts hoped for more than an "off-roading look" with all-terrain tires and an upgraded suspension. They wanted a more powerful vehicle to carry additional gear for Overlanding and get customers further away from civilization. The 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated powerplant powers all 2022 Forester trim levels, including the Forester Wilderness, trim level.
The 2.4-liter turbocharged engine has 78 more horsepower than Forester's 182 horsepower 2.5-liter engine and would have made a significant difference. For the 2022 Forester Wilderness to be the best model Subaru could have offered, the 2.4-liter turbo engine is needed.
When active customers load up their new Forester Wilderness with camping gear and add a rooftop carrier or rooftop tent, the lifted and heavier compact SUV could have used more power to get up a high mountain pass.
What is the price of the 2022 Forester Wilderness?
The Forester Wilderness has a starting price of $33,945, including destination and delivery fees.
For the new 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness rugged trim to be successful with an active generation, the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine is needed. There's no doubt the Forester Wilderness will sell well, but it could have been wildly successful, and Subaru could have hit a grand slam home run with a turbocharged engine.
Maybe Michael Redic will lobby Subaru Corporation and get the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the next-generation 2024 Subaru Forester. Stay tuned.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: main image Competition Subaru