Thoughtful enhancements for award-winning Subaru Outback

TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - The current generation of Subaru Outback was an instant hit with both consumers and critics, winning a diverse range of accolades including Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, Best New Wagon and Best-in-Class honours from Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a Best Retained Value award from Canadian Black Book in the mid-size category, and the Interior of the Year award (popular-priced car under $29K) from Ward's Automotive Group.

For 2011, Outback gains a few thoughtful enhancements to an already lengthy list of standard and optional features:

    
    -   Folding side view mirrors are now standard equipment on every Outback
        sold in Canada.
    -   The new entry level model for 2011 is the 2.5i Convenience, which now
        includes a voice-activated Bluetooth system for handsfree cell phone
        connectivity. PZEV emissions technology is available as a separate
        option.
    -   The 2.5i Sport Package now also includes a silver-coloured front
        bumper under-guard.
    

For 2011, Outback is offered in two models: 2.5i and 3.6R. The 170-horsepower Outback 2.5i may be equipped with either 6-speed Manual Transmission (6MT) or optional Lineartronic(TM) CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with paddle shift controls. The 6-cylinder 256-horsepower Outback 3.6R is outfitted with a 5-speed Electronic Direct Control Automatic Transmission with Manual Mode (5EAT), blipping control and paddle shift controls.

Confident All-Weather Performance, On- and Off-Road

All Outback models are also equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control capability. Every Outback is also equipped with a standard 4-wheel/4-channel/4-sensor disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist safety system.

Exceptional Comfort and Convenience in All Models

Standard comfort and available amenities are increased across the Outback line for 2010. The base 2.5i features standard steering wheel integrated audio and cruise control buttons, fully automatic headlights, and an overhead console with holder for sunglasses. All Outback models are also equipped with an electronic parking brake which includes a driver-selectable Hill Holder System. When activated, the all-new driver-selectable Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle to pull away from a stop. Previous versions of this system only held the car for a few seconds.

Every Outback is very well-equipped for comfort and convenience. The entry level model has an extensive list of standard equipment includes a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support, two-way heated front seats, 60/40 split folding and reclining rear seat, new power driver-side window with auto down, air conditioning with air filtration, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system with steering wheel controls, and new sport-design gauges that include an ECO gauge, which displays how efficiently the Outback is being driven. Every Outback equipped with the Lineartronic CVT also includes a manual mode accessible from steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

To this, the Outback 2.5i Sport Package adds a power tilting/sliding moonroof, integrated windshield wiper/de-icer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, and illuminated power window switches at all seating positions.

A Limited Package may be added to the Outback 2.5i Convenience and 3.6R, and includes perforated leather seating surfaces, 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, premium 440-watt AM/FM/6CD/MP3/WMA audio system with nine harman/kardon speakers including a larger subwoofer, and automatic dual-zone climate control. This package also includes the Lineatronic CVT with steering wheel paddle shifters on 4-cylinder models.

A Multimedia option can be added to the Limited Package on both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder models. This includes voice-activated GPS navigation with colour touchscreen monitor, voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free cell phone technology and Bluetooth streaming audio, a back-up camera, and DVD playback.

Subaru's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Subaru has adopted a chain-type CVT, the world's first longitudinally mounted CVT system for AWD production vehicles. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, which uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT provides infinite variability between the lowest and highest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range for improved fuel economy and performance.

Because a CVT does not shift gears, the driver enjoys smoother performance in all driving situations. The selectable manual mode of the Lineartronic CVT uses six pre-selected ratios to allow the driver to "shift" manually using steering wheel paddle controls.

Equipped with the Lineartronic CVT, the Outback 2.5i uses just 9.5 L/100km city and 6.9 L/100km highway (30 mpg city/41 mpg hwy), as good as or better than many front-wheel-drive vehicles of the same size.

Front and Rear Subframes and Double Wishbone Rear Suspension

Outback employs a front cradle mount system and rear subframe to enhance comfort, handling, and safety. The strut-type front suspension features L-shaped lower arms with liquid-filled rear bushings and anti-dive geometry. The front cradle mount system is designed to also enhance frontal crash protection by helping to shunt the powertrain under the car in a strong impact and acts as a suspension crossmember.

The rear suspension is a double-wishbone configuration. The rear suspension is mounted to a full subframe that is isolated from the body structure. The double wishbone design provides excellent ride and handling characteristics, as well as a wide and low trunk space. The MacPherson-type strut front suspension is mounted to an engine cradle mount system to enhance frontal crash protection. A double-wishbone rear suspension provides excellent ride, stability, and handling.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive-The Subaru Advantage

Subaru offers three different Symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive systems in the Outback line, tailored to the engine and type of transmission. In all Outback models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the viscous-coupling limited-slip centre differential full-time AWD system distributes power 50/50 front to rear.

Models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT use the Multi-plate transfer clutch (MPT) version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions.

Outback 3.6R models exclusively feature the advanced Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) All-Wheel Drive with a 5-speed automatic transmission. A planetary centre differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels to enhance handling agility, and it continuously adjusts power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

Vehicle Dynamics Control

All Outback models are equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control capability. The 2010 Outback uses an enhanced VDC system featuring integrated lateral-g and yaw sensors.

VDC monitors input from the ABS system, steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors. The system adjusts individual wheel braking as needed, helping to maintain vehicle control under a variety of driving conditions. A VDC 'off' switch is useful for driving out of slushy roads, deep snow or gravel. The 'off' position deactivates the traction control system, but stability control remains engaged for an added level of safety.

In Outback models with the CVT or 5-speed automatic transmission, VDC also actively controls the centre differential's power distribution

The Subaru Outback Safety Package

The Outback, like all Subaru models, has consistently earned top scores in government and insurance industry crash tests. Shortly after this generation of Outback was launched, it was named a 'Top Safety Pick' by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of "good" in the Institute's front, side, and rear impact tests and be equipped with electronic stability control.

Subaru's Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame safety structure, proven over a decade in all Subaru models, forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety. In addition, the engine cradle mount system enhances frontal crash protection by helping to direct the powertrain under the car in a strong impact, allowing the main frame to absorb more energy from a frontal collision.

Outback's front seats provide protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision, and all Subaru models incorporate pre-tensioners and load-limiters in the front three-point seatbelts. These systems work together to gradually restrain the occupants and absorb the impact energy of a frontal collision. The seatbelt pre-tensioners operate simultaneously with the front air bags and cinch the front seatbelts to help restrain the driver and front passenger in their seats. Next, the mechanically operated torsion-bar load-limiters extend the belts to reduce seat belt-inflicted injuries.

Outback models are also equipped with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System. This intelligent air bag system employs dual-stage-deployment driver and front passenger air bags. The passenger side front seat incorporates an occupant detection module that classifies the seat as empty or the occupant as an adult or infant/child to control the force of air bag deployment.

In addition, front seat side impact air bags for thorax-area protection, and side curtain air bags (full side coverage) for head protection. Mounted in the upper sides of the front seatbacks, the front seat side-impact airbags offer protection regardless of seat position. The side curtain air bags deploy from the headliner and include a roll-over sensor.

Every Subaru is equipped with the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) for securing specially equipped child seats in the rear seat.

For more information on the 2011 models, including complete specifications, please go to www.subaru.ca.

Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of over 85 authorized dealers across Canada.

SOURCE Subaru Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Elaine Griffin or Jen Giller, (905) 568-4959


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