Well, Subaru fans—it looks like it just might be official. After years of Subaru owners modifying their crossovers for moderate off-roading and overlanding duties with accessory racks and aggressive tires, a set of trademarks filed by the automaker in Canada all but confirms a set of off-road and lifestyle-themed Wilderness trims are coming. These special Subies should bring increased off-road capability (and the appearance thereof) to Subaru’s range of popular crossovers straight from the showroom floor, including the Outback, Forester, and maybe even the Crosstrek.
Exciting stuff, but this isn’t hitting us out of left field; spy photographers have spotted jacked-up, high-riding camouflaged Outback and Forester test vehicles over the past few months, and the “Wilderness” sub-brand name was just confirmed a few days ago at a Subaru dealers meeting in Wisconsin. According to a report from Automotive News, the forthcoming off-roady sub-brand will launch later this year on the Outback and Forester.
This is right in-line with the just-filed Canadian patents—with a twist. Much of what we’re hearing only pegs the aforementioned Outback and Forester to receive the Wilderness trims, but it looks like at least Canada enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on a Wilderness version of the smaller Crosstrek as well, with no word yet if the U.S. will receive its own hopped-up version of Subaru’s compact crossover.
It’s still a mystery as to what these new Wilderness trims entail, but we expect both the Forester and the Outback to arrive with lifted suspensions, underbody armoring, skidplates, new wheels, all-terrain tires, and additional body cladding. Expect the Wilderness editions to also come with extra terrain modes on Subaru’s standard X-Mode system.
Of course, each Wilderness edition should also come with the requisite lifestyle accoutrement; we’d be surprised if some sort of rooftop tent mounting system wasn’t standard, along with a weather-friendly interior and additional storage compartments. Beyond the included hardware, dealer accessory catalogs should be overflowing with Wilderness-branded gear as well.
Again, official pricing, availability, and equipment is unknown, but rumors say we should get our first look at these new overland-friendly trims sometime later this year. In much less exciting news, Subaru also registered the trademark “Soltera” in Iceland, where it only sells the Crosstrek, Forester, and Outback. If you’re left scratching your head as to what this might entail, we’re equally in the dark. Stay tuned for forthcoming info on both the Subaru Wilderness sub-brand and the mysterious Soltera trademark later this year.