28 February 2019 · Article

New Subaru Liberty Unveiled at Chicago Autoshow

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Based on what we've seen from its unveiling at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, the Liberty will be making a name for itself no matter what moniker it carries.

Subaru Isn't Holding Back

Subaru isn't holding back with the newest Liberty. In addition to sitting on the highly-anticipated Subaru Global Platform, the Liberty will come in several trims sporting a new 2.4-litre turbocharged Boxer engine -- the first time Subaru will offer a turbocharged engine in a Liberty model since 2012. But it's not just the body and guts that have been amped-up.

State of The Art Infotainment

The Liberty will debut a new state-of-the-art 11.6-inch tablet-style 'Multimedia Plus' infotainment touch screen display in higher trims, showing that Subaru means business when it comes to delivering luxury. The base variant will still get two 7.0-inch WVGA displays that split climate and media controls. It's yet to be confirmed what trims will be available in Australia, but they will likely closer mirror the options unveiled in the United States: Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, Limited XT and Touring XT, with the XT models (a throwback to the legendary GT models) packing the 2.4-litre turbocharged engine.

Practical Aerodynamic Design

For a mid-market priced sedan, the Subaru Liberty is a cut above the rest. At first glance, the vehicle features Subaru's iconic understated elegance, with sharp lines, a narrow grille and head and practical aerodynamic design. The new frameless hexagonal front grille and side mirror provide a bit more heft to the body, but overall, the body has seen minimal change from its predecessor. What really matters is how the skeleton has changed -- the Subaru Global Platform has delivered tremendous strides in stability and suspension, after the company spent more than $1 billion developing the platform. The new chassis is 70% stiffer in torsional and front suspension rigidity and 100% stiffer in front lateral flex and rear sub-frame rigidity. These advancements are made possible by Subaru investing in 13 per cent more ultra-high-tensile steel than previous models, for a much stronger and more impact-resistant body.  

But What Does all of That Mean to you?

It means the 2020 Subaru Liberty sits on one of the most advanced frames in the industry, which results in a vehicle with some of the most responsive handling and most rigid suspension in the world. Subaru vehicles were already well known for their sharp steering, thanks to the company's world-renowned symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system. But Subaru has once again upped the ante -- the Subaru Global Platform has an even lower centre of gravity than its predecessor, for sportier handling. It also enhances safety due to the stronger body, as well as a significantly more comfortable driving experience by reducing the vibration felt through the steering wheel, floor and seats. The new platform results in a 50% reduction in body roll, as well as a quieter cabin -- almost 3dB quieter at highway speeds.

New Turbocharged Engine

The 2020 Subaru Liberty on the lower echelon models will be powered by a 2.5-litre non-turbo flat-four Boxer engine that boasts 136kW of power and 239 Nm of torque, with a Continuous Variable Transmission and Subaru's symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. The XT models will be packing a new 2.4-litre turbocharged engine that will ramp things up with 194kW of power and 376Nm in torque. Subaru says the vehicle will easily reach 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.1 seconds, easily leaving other sedans in this price range in the dust.

Award Winning Safety

All models will come equipped with Subaru's award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist program, as well as options for additional safety features such as the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, Blind Spot Detection and Reverse Automatic Breaking. We're keeping a close eye on this one - we expect the 2020 Liberty to make its debut in the Australian market in the early to mid-2020.