The Next All-New Subaru Model You Want This Year - A Midsize Pickup
The rendering from @catchme_outback pictured above of a new 2023 Subaru Baja midsize pickup is what Subaru and pickup fans want in their garage next year. A new 4-door midsize Subaru pickup with an FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine would allow outdoor enthusiasts to tackle steep trails or tow a trailer. It's the missing vehicle in Subaru of America's all-wheel-drive lineup, and it would be a top-seller for the Camden, N.J. automaker.
Midsize pickup trucks are the hot segment, and Subaru is losing out if they don't offer one in the U.S. market. Subaru of America would be in a great position to cash in if they would go even further and build a new midsize Wilderness truck to join the Outback, Forester, and soon-coming Crosstrek Wilderness SUVs.
photo credit: Nissan Surf-Out concept pickup
Hyundai introduced the all-new Santa Cruz Sport-Adventure Vehicle (SAV), and a Subaru Wilderness truck would raise the bar. Nissan just teased an all-electric Surf-Out concept pickup truck as part of its next-generation product plan to counter off-road offerings being pitched by everyone from Ford to Tesla.
What is Subaru's plan for an electrified lineup?
Subaru plans to have a full lineup of full-electric vehicles coming through the mid-2025 to 2030 models. By a full lineup, that does not mean an all battery-electric lineup. Subaru plans on bringing more hybrid and plug-in hybrid models to its current lineup of all-wheel-drive models.
photo credit: Nissan Surf-Out concept pickup
Subaru has set a target to "sell only electric vehicles" worldwide by the first half of the 2030s. It will likely be hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology coming from its partnership with Toyota. Subaru is calling them "strong hybrids." Subaru could build an all-electric Baja pickup or a plug-in hybrid variant.
Build the Baja midsize pickup in the U.S.
A midsize Subaru pickup could use the new 2022 Outback Wilderness frame and suspension without significant design changes and built at the plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The argument is that Subaru is at total capacity now at the U.S. plant with no room for a new model. Subaru may have to drop the Legacy sedan in favor of a newly resurrected Subaru Baja pickup.
photo credit: @catchme_outback
The 2023 Subaru Baja would fill a gaping hole in the lineup
The Outback-based Baja Wilderness pickup would successfully fill a gaping hole in the Japanese automaker's all-wheel-drive lineup. The brand's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system would be a perfect fit for the new pickup and would be a big hit with truck buyers who want to go off-road.
The new Wilderness Baja would sit higher off the ground with at least 9.4-inches of ground clearance like the Outback Wilderness with an upgraded suspension. With a 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder Boxer engine for power, the Baja would have the horsepower and torque needed to pull a high mountain pass carrying a whole load of cargo.
Subaru Baja would come in five trim levels
The new Baja midsize pickup would come in Base, Premium, Limited, Sport, and Wilderness trim levels. The Wilderness would feature black alloy wheels, interior, exterior accents and badging, and Subaru's dual-function X-Mode all-terrain all-wheel-drive system.
An all-new Baja pickup would be right in Subaru's wheelhouse of niche all-wheel-drive models and appeal to tens of thousands of midsize truck buyers. The already developed Wilderness platform gives Subaru a leg up in the hot midsize truck segment and instant creds to compete with the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, and GMC Canyon.
Would you buy a new 2023 Subaru Baja midsize pickup if the Japanese automaker offered it next year? It's the missing piece in the Subaru all-wheel-drive lineup.
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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 @catchme_outback