Automotive

Seven-seat Subaru Ascent set to climb every curb, ford every carpark

Seven-seat Subaru Ascent set t...
The new Subaru Ascent Concept, launched in New York 
The new Subaru Ascent Concept, launched in New York 
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The Subaru Ascent on show in New York 
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The Subaru Ascent on show in New York 
The grille on the Ascent could have been borrowed from an Outback and scaled up
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The grille on the Ascent could have been borrowed from an Outback and scaled up
The Ascent is unmistakably a Subaru
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The Ascent is unmistakably a Subaru
Subaru has a history of toning down its concepts for production, but we're hoping it doesn't change the Ascent too much 
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Subaru has a history of toning down its concepts for production, but we're hoping it doesn't change the Ascent too much 
The Ascent aims to succeed where the B9 Tribeca failed 
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The Ascent aims to succeed where the B9 Tribeca failed 
The Ascent is pumped-up with lots of black cladding in an attempt to look tough 
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The Ascent is pumped-up with lots of black cladding in an attempt to look tough 
The cabin of the Ascent is very pretty, but there's no guarantee it'll make production in this spec
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The cabin of the Ascent is very pretty, but there's no guarantee it'll make production in this spec
Behind the wheel of the Subaru Ascent Concept 
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Behind the wheel of the Subaru Ascent Concept 
The shiny Ascent Concept cabin is a far cry from the usual Subaru fare 
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The shiny Ascent Concept cabin is a far cry from the usual Subaru fare 
Details on the new Subaru Ascent
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Details on the new Subaru Ascent
The new Subaru Ascent Concept, launched in New York 
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The new Subaru Ascent Concept, launched in New York 
The Ascent is bigger than the average for Subaru 
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The Ascent is bigger than the average for Subaru 
The Ascent is unmistakably a Subaru 
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The Ascent is unmistakably a Subaru 
Back-seat passengers are well catered to in the Ascent 
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Back-seat passengers are well catered to in the Ascent 
The Ascent is seven-seater 
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The Ascent is seven-seater 
Behind the wheel of the Subaru Ascent Concept 
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Behind the wheel of the Subaru Ascent Concept 
All three rows of the Subaru Ascent Concept 
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All three rows of the Subaru Ascent Concept 
View gallery - 17 images

Having whet our appetite with the Viziv-7 Concept last year, Subaru has followed through and confirmed its plans to build a hulking family four-wheel drive for America. Although it's just a concept at the moment, a car looking very similar to the Ascent you see here will be popping up in showrooms soon, with its sights set on taking down the new VW Atlas.

In traditional Subaru fashion, details about the Ascent are incredibly scant. Most brands go to the trouble of giving their concept cars a definitive power output, or perhaps a bit of information about why the design team chose to do certain things. Subaru isn't really like most other manufacturers, though, so the Ascent Concept is more the strong and silent type.

We know the production car will be powered by a turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine and, seeing it's a Subaru, all-wheel drive is a given. The company has also been generous enough to divulge the 198.8 x 78.3 x 72.4 in (505 x 199 x 184 cm) measurements, which put the car squarely in line with the Volkswagen Atlas. Coincidence? We think not.

The shiny Ascent Concept cabin is a far cry from the usual Subaru fare 
The shiny Ascent Concept cabin is a far cry from the usual Subaru fare 

Just like VW, Subaru is targeting one of the most lucrative segments in America with the Ascent. In spite of growing congestion, rising fuel costs and the obvious environmental impact of gas-guzzling four-wheel drives, US families can't get enough of giant seven-seaters like the Chevrolet Tahoe. Subaru has actually tried to crack the market before, but the B9 Tribeca was simply too small. The Ascent proves Subaru is determined not to make the same mistake twice.

On the outside, the Ascent is instantly recognizable as a Subaru, although all the details we know and love have been scaled up. Up front, there's a set of hawkish headlights and bold grille, while the taillights could have been borrowed from the Impreza launched in New York last year. It looks pretty good to us, but Subaru is notorious for turning out pretty concepts and toned-down production cars. We're hoping it breaks with tradition this time.

Behind the wheel, the concept looks close to production ready. Tone down a few of the materials, swap the tech-heavy speedo display for a traditional set of dials and you're just about ready for the showroom. Subaru isn't known for its luxurious interiors, but all the materials look to be high quality, and the basic design is prettier than the function-first layout you get in the VW.

The Subaru Ascent Concept is on show in New York, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action. Stay tuned for the latest.

Source: Subaru

View gallery - 17 images
3 comments
LarryWolf
And bust every budget.
Stomps
Subaru will have to come up with a new engine line for that...
MinzyCole
I hope Subaru finally becomes more appreciable than Ford Explorer, the competition between these two is visible but Ford always manages to win. I also hope the Impreza recall won't stay on its way, repokar shocked me with this news too.