Subaru Outback May Get A New Rugged Wagon Competitor From Ford
The popular 2020 Subaru Outback wagon could be getting competition from Ford soon. As was reported here last July, sources within Ford Motor Company said the Fusion would live on as a lifted “sport wagon” similar to the “go-anywhere rugged Outback. The new model from Ford could be getting close because spy photos from AutoCar reveal a new model in Europe.
It’s modified body comes from the European Ford Focus wagon. Ford also currently offers a wagon version of the Fusion in Europe known as Mondeo. With the exit from the U.S. market of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack AWD because of slow sales, the Subaru Outback is left with no competition until now.
2020 Subaru Outback may be getting competition
If Ford gives the new model standard all-wheel-drive, raises it up with enough rock-clearing ground clearance, and infuses it with some recreation-purposed attitude, Ford might be able to replicate the Outback recipe. Ford also has more drivetrain options with the Fusion’s naturally aspirated and turbocharged 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines, along with hybrid and plug-in hybrid power.
The Outback currently offers the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter Boxer and the all-new Ascent-sourced 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer flat-four producing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. But there is more to the Outback than a little body cladding, all-wheel-drive, and higher ride height.
Outback also comes with X-Mode
With the 2020 Subaru Outback X-Mode system activated, the vehicle is better able to capitalize on the traction available and provides sure-footed-ness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's Symmetrical full-time all-wheel-drive. Not all owners take their wagon off-road, but it has the capability to go over some rugged terrain.
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If Ford tries to replicate the success of the Subaru Outback with the Ford Fusion wagon, they will need an exceptionally rugged product, and they will need to connect with a generation of buyers who have an adventurous spirit. Subaru has spent 23 years building that customer base and is the only automaker in the U.S. who has been successful at selling a wagon to North American SUV/Crossover shoppers.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!
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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Subaru Bend