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Subaru's "maxi-Forester" unveiled in LA


After a lengthy teaser campaign, Subaru has finally taken the wraps off the new three-row Ascent on the eve of the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Drawing inspiration from the concept of the same name shown in New York back in April, the Ascent not only indirectly replaces the long discontinued Tribeca as Subaru's flagship SUV, but also ushers in a new drivetrain and updated EyeSight system.

Riding on the same Global Platform architecture as the Impreza and XV, the Ascent incorporates Subaru's Dynamic x Solid styling language with more than a few nods to the Forester at the front, consisting of a hexagonal grille and C-shaped headlights claimed to mirror the pistons moving inside the Boxer engine.

Said to provide seating for up to eight and a cargo capacity of 2 055-litres, the Ascent also receives Subaru's latest Starlink multimedia system displayed on a either a 6.5-inch or eight-inch touchscreen, incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM internet radio, in-car Wi-Fi and Connect Services.

As part of the updated EyeSight system, which comes standard on all models, safety tech consists of Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Pre-Throttle Management and the new Assist Monitor with Heads-Up Display.

Additional items include Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, while the higher-spec Limited and Touring models come equipped with Steering Response Headlights and in the case of the former, 180-degree front view monitor as well as Smart Rear View Mirror.

Aside from the trim levels mentioned, the Ascent range consists of three models, the Premium serving as base, with motivation coming from a brand-new twin-scroll turbocharged 2.4-litre Boxer petrol engine developing 191 kW and 376 Nm of torque. Connected to a equally new eight-step CVT, the new mill also features Active Valve Control with Subaru claiming a range of just under 805 km on a single tank. X-Mode with Hill Descent Control is fitted as standard for the mood to go off-road arises.

Sales of the Ascent, which will be build alongside the Outback, Legacy and Impreza at Subaru's Lafayette Plant in Indiana, will commence in early 2018 with a projected price tag from $30 000 (R410 589). No word on whether the Ascent will become available in South Africa has yet been made.

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