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Why the 2021 Subaru Outback can take the pressure off the Forester

The Subaru Outback is the first of three new models launching for the brand this year.

Subaru will reinvigorate itself in 2021 with a raft of key new models arriving in showrooms.

While the new BRZ and WRX will grab the attention, none will be more important than the new-generation Outback. The high-riding wagon is due to arrive in March and will help provide back-up to the Forester, which currently accounts for almost 40 per cent of all Subaru Australia’s sales.

The success of the current Forester has been promising for the brand, starting 2021 with a strong performance in January with a 52.7 per cent increase on the same month last year. The Forester led the brand in 2020 with 39 per cent of its sales, with the Outback was the third-best performer (after the XV) with 15 per cent of sales.

The 2021 Outback is a new-generation model, riding on the brand’s latest underpinnings (Subaru Global Platform) and powered by a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. That’s why Subaru Australia is confident that it can replicate the success of the Forester and pass the XV to become the brand’s second best-seller.

“There’s every reason to think it can certainly achieve at a greater level than it is now…,” explained a Subaru spokesperson. “We’re pretty happy with where it’s at and where it’s headed. I think it’s got every potential to sell more than it does now.”

The spokesperson also revealed the new model is drawing plenty of interest and enquiries from customers ahead of its launch, which is driving the positive outlook.

The company is also optimistic that renewed supply from its factories, following restrictions amid the pandemic in 2020, will also help continue the brand’s positive start to 2021 – which saw its sales up more than 70 per cent for the month.

Of course, the Outback isn’t the only reason for optimism inside the walls of Subaru Australia HQ. The brand will add a pair of halo performance models to the range with the arrival of the BRZ and WRX by the end of the year.

As previously reported the BRZ is due in the third quarter of this year, when it will arrive with a new 2.4-litre engine and stiffer chassis.

The WRX is expected to be unveiled within the next three months, but won't be in local showrooms until the fourth quarter of the year. It will ride on the Subaru Global Platform and will likely be powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.4-litre boxer engine.

The three new arrivals should all boost sales, alleviating the pressure on the Forster that has a tough year ahead of it with the arrival of the new Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5 and, potentially, Nissan X-Trail.