Fuji Heavy Industries Inc. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, today announced its plan to introduce the redesigned Subaru B9 Tribeca, now named Subaru Tribeca, and to start sales in the U.S. this summer. FHI will unveil the new Tribeca (U.S. specifications) at the New York International Auto Show, which will be held from April 6 through 15.
Advancing the concept of a progressive sports utility vehicle (SUV), the new Tribeca features powerful new styling, improved performance, enhanced comfort and functionality. Its exterior design stresses a more SUV-like appearance with a new front face design. The revamped Tribeca is equipped with a newly designed 3.6-liter boxer engine. Although larger and more powerful than the previous 3-liter engine, the new engine delivers both improved performance and fuel efficiency in real world driving situations. Design modifications in its cooling system have enabled the use of regular unleaded fuel, a change from premium only—helping to lower consumer operating costs.
NEW DESIGN, MORE STYLE
The exterior design of the new Tribeca is both streamlined and powerful, with a new, wider and taller grille, new front fenders and new hood design. The grille is now integrated into the front bumper, featuring a new chrome spread-wing design, with the Subaru star cluster badge as the focal point.
A raised hood line, deeper front valance and new headlamps visually widen and heighten the Tribeca, establishing greater road presence with a more SUV-like appearance. The new grille flows into a powerful silhouette, enhanced by new rear three-quarter windows. The rear quarter windows are also functional, and with the addition of new larger side-view mirrors, improve side and rear vision as well as increasing visibility for third row passengers. The side profile also features powerful fender and wheel forms that enhance the Tribeca’s signature rising character line. All-new rear styling includes a new rear valance below the tailgate and new, wider taillamps.
MORE POWER: NEW 3.6-LITER H6 ENGINE
The dramatic exterior styling changes reflect the major changes under the skin for the 2008 Subaru Tribeca. A new 3.6-liter boxer engine has been designed with a goal of improving low-end torque and also lowering consumer running costs with a change to regular unleaded fuel. The larger engine displacement has increased engine torque to 247 lb.-ft., up from 215, and horsepower to 256 from 245, providing improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-rpm power. The new engine package, despite the larger engine size, not only maintains emissions levels but delivers improved fuel efficiency in real world driving situations.
To achieve these goals without affecting engine packaging, a unique shortened con rod was created to allow for a new and larger displacement engine without increasing the physical dimensions of the power unit. Keeping the deck height of the engine the same, the Tribeca is able to maintain its excellent low center of gravity. Improved cooling efficiency - needed to achieve the use of regular fuel - was achieved through a new common rail cooling system that individually cools each cylinder with water separation chambers rather than allowing water to flow from cylinder to cylinder. This allows for increased engine efficiency and standardized timing for all cylinders.
The new 3.6-liter engine features Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves (the 3.0-liter engine had AVCS on the intake side only). The new 3.6-liter H6 engine is connected to a substantially revised 5-speed automatic transmission that features an all-new torque lock-up converter and a new transmission control unit that deliver faster shifts and quicker reaction time. The new transmission delivers smoother shifts with less lag time and weighs less than the previous system, for a total weight reduction of 9.7-lbs. for the new drivetrain.
The transmission drives through the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Enhancing the AWD system are standard Variable Torque Distribution (VTD), standard Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and four-wheel traction control system (TCS).
IMPROVED ACCESS AND COMFORT
The design of the award-winning Tribeca interior is maintained, but third row seating access has been enhanced. Also new for 2008 is a re-calibrated rear suspension with new bushings to improve ride comfort. New for 2008, the second row seat now features a tilt-and-slide control on both the driver’s and passenger’s side and a new assist spring that reduces the effort needed to slide the second row seat. Also new are molded assist grab handles on the lower C-pillar to ease step in to the third row.
AWARD WINNING INTERIOR BLENDS DESIGN AND COMFORT
The sophisticated twin cockpit design features a flowing, sculpted dash and center console design. Aluminum-look trim highlights the sculpted shapes of the dashboard. Electroluminescent dials and subtle ambient interior lighting provide a sophisticated touch, illuminating the front and rear footwells, the center console and cup-holders. The center console is dominated by an information center that groups the readouts for the audio system, clock, fuel economy and outside temperature. A seven-inch touch screen information center is standard with the navigation system. The easy-touse audio and climate control system controls are located just below the screen.
FLEXIBLE 5 OR 7-PASSENGER CAPABILITY
The Tribeca is available in a variety of 5 and 7-passenger configurations. The 7-passenger model is equipped with a standard with a 50/50 split fold-down third-row seat that features integral headrests and carpeted back surface. For added passenger comfort, the 7-passenger model also features an auxiliary rear cabin air conditioner with fan speed control in the second row. The 7 passenger Tribeca models can be equipped with an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
The new 2008 Tribeca was designed with achieving the highest ratings in the auto. The previous generation B9 Tribeca achieved top honors in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests with 5 stars in both the frontal and side-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions. These results are in addition to the 4 star rating in the NHTSA tests for rollover resistance.
The Subaru Tribeca features a Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame Structure, occupant-sensing, dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, seat-mounted side impact air bags, and standard curtain side air bags (front and second rows). A Roll Sensor system that detects a potential vehicle rollover and deploys the standard side curtain airbags is also standard. In addition, the Tribeca features Brake Assist on its standard ABS brake system, Vehicle Dynamics Control and fourwheel traction control. Brake Assist analyzes the force and stroke on the brake pedal and increases hydraulic boost to provide enhanced emergency braking, also activating the ABS system early if needed.
1. Streamlined sophisticated styling
The exterior design of the new Tribeca is streamlined and powerful, building upon the sporty and dynamic feel of its predecessor model. Interior designs express a sophisticated quality look and sportiness.
2. Outstanding performance
The new Tribeca has been developed with the goal of balancing improved performance and environmental considerations.
- Without increasing the physical dimensions of the power unit, the displacement was expanded from 3.0 to 3.6 liters, which was made possible primarily through design changes involving expanded bore dimensions and a longer stroke.
- The new engine maintains the same levels of emissions and fuel efficiency as the previous 3-liter unit, despite the larger engine size and more powerful output.
- The new 3.6-liter boxer engine features Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS) for controlling timing in both the intake and exhaust valves, which helps provide improved low-end torque.
- Design modifications made to the cooling system allow the use of regular unleaded gasoline, which contributes to lowering consumer operating costs.
- A substantially revised 5-speed Automatic transmission with newly designed control unit, refined torque converter and optimized gear ratio delivers faster shifting response and smooth and powerful acceleration.
- The new engine and transmission are lighter weight, achieving a total weight reduction of 4.4 kilograms.
3. Improved comfort and functionality
The new Tribeca offers a pleasant ride with improved access, visibility, and comfort.
- Third row seating access has been enhanced through a number of changes. The second row seat comes with a tilt-and-slide control on both the driver’s and passenger’s sides and a new assist spring that reduces the effort needed to slide the second row seat. Also new are molded grab handles on the lower C-pillar to assist in stepping into the third row.
- With redesigned door mirrors and rear quarter windows, side and rear vision have been improved.
- Re-calibrated rear suspension with new bushings improves ride comfort.