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Subaru Boss Hints At More New Rugged Wilderness Editions Are Coming

Subaru of America has the 2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness and 2023 Forester Wilderness, and Subaru's boss hints that more rugged models are on the way for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Subaru Outback Wilderness and Forester Wilderness trim levels have been a success for Subaru of America. Tom Doll, CEO and President of Subaru of America, hints that more rugged adventure models are coming for U.S. customers.

A recent report from Wards Auto revealed that the Subaru of America boss speaking at the Auto Team America Dealer/CEO/CFO Forum held in conjunction with the 2023 NADA Show may have leaked information about new Wilderness models.

2023 Subaru Ascent Wilderness
photo credit: LP Aventure

It has not been officially announced by Subaru Corporation or Subaru of America, but the next-generation 2024 Crosstrek will also get the rugged outdoor-themed Wilderness trim level. The Crosstrek Wilderness is not expected to arrive until after the launch of the all-new third-generation Crosstrek sometime later this year.

The U.S.-specification next-generation 2024 Crosstrek will make its North American debut on February 9, 2023, at the Chicago Auto Show. But the Crosstrek Wilderness won't be on display at the show.

2023 Subaru Ascent Wilderness
photo credit: LP Aventure

Tom Doll hinted at the Subaru dealer meeting that Subaru of America might launch more Wilderness trim levels soon. Doll said Subaru's present lineup is particularly tailored for U.S. consumer tastes, citing the 3-row Subaru Ascent and top-of-the-line Wilderness trim and equipment packages for the Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester.

According to Wards Auto, Doll says additional Wilderness packages may be in the works, "possibly hinting at a new Ascent SUV Wilderness edition." LP Aventure already has a Subaru Ascent project vehicle (pictured above) with a lift kit, bumper guard, skid plates, Emotion CR Kiwami wheels wrapped in Nokian Hakkapeliitta SUV 9 Studded all-terrain tires, and a 20" TrailFX light bar.

Subaru of America has yet to announce the more rugged Ascent Wilderness trim level. The latest entry for outdoor enthusiasts is a new 2023 Ascent Onyx Edition Limited trim level for U.S. customers.

2023 Subaru Ascent Wilderness

Its newly added dual-function X-Mode with Hill Descent Control is a significant upgrade for the Ascent Onyx Edition, Limited and Touring trim levels. Dual-function X-Mode capabilities include Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud settings to optimize all-wheel-drive performance for enhanced all-weather, off-pavement trail, and beach-going ability.

All 2023 Ascent trim levels come with Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, 8.7 inches of ground clearance, a 260 horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged engine mated to a Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission, X-Mode, and a new dual-function X-Mode on some trim levels, and 5,000-lb. towing capacity with standard trailer stability assist.

The Ascent Wilderness would make sense for Subaru of America's active customers. Subaru could wait until the Ascent gets a complete remodel for the 2025 model year to offer the Ascent Wilderness trim. 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 2023 Subaru Ascent with LP Aventure lift kit and LP6 wheels, built by Austin Subaru