Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, has announced during its catch-up call with the media their plans for 2021. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shelved a lot of product launches for the Japanese automaker this year. So, in order to make up for all the lost time, six new Subaru models will be launched through 2021 and early 2022.
First up, the Subaru Evoltis, which is destined to be launched by H1 2021. At this point, you probably already know that the Evoltis is basically the Ascent three-row midsize crossover SUV sold in North America but with a different name. The upcoming Evoltis aims to compete with the Ford Explorer, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, and other higher-end midsize SUVs. This is not the first time that Subaru has changed the name of its models to cater to local requirements as they’ve already done this for the Legacy in Australia, which is called the Liberty in their country. The Subaru Evoltis comes with the brand’s EyeSight suite of advanced driver-assist systems, along with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 260 hp and 377 Nm of torque.
Up next is the facelifted Subaru XV, also coming in H1 2021. First unveiled in North America earlier this year, the refreshed XV comes with a more rugged exterior design along with a retuned suspension, improved X-Mode for the Symmetrical AWD system, and an improved Si-Drive. The Japanese automaker will also equip all variants with EyeSight as standard. For the North American market, higher variants of the XV are powered by a bigger, more powerful naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 182 hp and 238 Nm. This bigger engine most likely won’t be offered in our market and it’s likely that our 2021 XV will continue to feature the smaller 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 154 hp and 196 Nm of torque.
Recently awarded as the 2020-2021 Japan Car of The Year, the all-new second-generation Subaru Levorg is destined to arrive in the Philippines in early 2022. The sporty wagon, wherein the next-generation Subaru WRX sports sedan will also be based, is powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 177 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Power is sent through all four wheels via a CVT. The Levorg is also the first Subaru to feature a fully-digital gauge cluster and an evolution of EyeSight called EyeSight X, which features increased autonomy. However, we think that the standard camera-based Eyesight is what will be offered in our market.
The all-new Subaru Levorg also serves as a preview of the next-generation Subaru WRX sports sedan. The all-new model has yet to make its debut, though Motor Image plans to bring the next-generation WRX to the Philippines by early 2022.
Also coming to the Philippines by H1 2021 is the all-new Subaru Outback. This ruggedized wagon version of the Subaru Legacy is highly popular among Subaru fans in the Philippines for its car-like handling whilst still having excellent off-road capability. Power will come from a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 182 hp and 238 Nm of torque, with power being sent to all four wheels via a CVT. The all-new Outback is one of the first Subarus to feature the brand’s next-generation Starlink infotainment system, which features a large 11.6-inch portrait touch screen.
Lastly, the all-new Subaru BRZ, which has just recently been launched in the United States, will also be arriving in the Philippines by late 2021. Based on a heavily revised version of the first-generation BRZ’s platform, this new model utilizes all the lessons learned from the highly-rigid Subaru Global Platform that all other Subarus are now using. The resulting chassis improvements have resulted in a 50 percent increase in torsional stiffness, making the all-new Subaru BRZ feel even more sporty and fun to drive. The all-new BRZ also serves as a preview of what the upcoming Toyota 86 will look like since these two cars are related to each other. Whether you pick the 6-speed manual or automatic variant, all models will come with a limited-slip differential (LSD), while EyeSight is only going to be available in the automatic variant.
Under the hood of the all-new Subaru BRZ is a new, bigger 2.4-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine that produces 228 hp and 250 Nm of torque. Utilizing the FA24 code name, the engine features Toyota’s D-4S direct-injection technology. It’s also the same engine used in the Subaru Ascent three-row SUV, albeit without the turbo.
2021 will surely be a busy year for Motor Image Pilipinas. Despite the challenging market conditions, Tan Chong International Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Glenn Tan is optimistic about Subaru’s performance in the country. For the year 2021, dealer sales quota has been relaxed in order for them to be able to survive the economic downturn, though the brand is still aiming to sell 1,500 units next year.
With its plethora of new car launches next year, 2021 will surely be an exciting year for Subaru fans and car enthusiasts alike.