2000 Subaru Outback Makes World Debut at Detroit Auto Show
6 January 1999
2000 Subaru Outback Makes World Debut at North American International Auto Show
Using its core technology as the basis for the 2000 Outback, Subaru combines its unique compact boxer engine with its equally unique and efficient all-wheel drive system and optimally tuned long stroke four-wheel independent suspension system. This allows the 2000 Outback to have the roadability of a SUV, the utility of a wagon, and the handling of a fine-tuned sedan, and all without compromising safety and driving pleasure.
The all-new 2000 Outback combines active and passive safety in a new package that is attractive, fun to drive and economical to operate on all roads and in any weather. To that end, the 2000 Outback has received numerous technological improvements, all designed to improve safety and driving performance while increasing comfort and cargo room.
Active safety is the number one priority when Subaru designs a car. And all-wheel drive is the beginning of the active safety formula. AWD is combined with a four-channel anti-lock braking system that controls four-wheel disc brakes for quick sure-footed stopping. The 2000 Outback now receives as standard equipment a limited slip rear differential for added traction.
While designing the 2000 Outback, it quickly became clear that in order to develop the ultimate Outback one design rule must always prevail -- form follows function. The shape and design of the 2000 Outback easily coexists in the dual worlds of sporty performance and utility.
To accomplish this goal, Subaru design engineers began with driver visibility. The Outback's sloping hood and fenders have been designed to enhance driver's feel for the vehicle in relationship to other objects. The A-pillar is angled to give drivers a wider viewing area with a smaller "dead" space. Rear visibility is enhanced with a rear window shaped like a lazy "V" for increased visibility of small objects directly behind the vehicle. And the B-, C- and D-pillars have been strategically placed to further reduce blind spots.
Large halogen headlamps with a daytime running feature are taller, providing a wider illumination range during nighttime driving.
From a passive safety perspective, dual airbags are standard on the 2000 Outback and seat mounted side air bags are optionally available. The side glass tumblehome has been reduced to increase the spaciousness of the interior and to increase side impact performance. All passengers now have headrests for increased safety and the center rear passenger now has a three-point, roof mounted shoulder harness. A built-in child safety seat is offered as standard equipment on some higher trim level models, ensuring that even Subaru's youngest customers benefit from its safety engineering.
The 2000 Outback has a newly designed platform with structural refinements that equate directly to passive safety. Previous generation Outbacks were known for their high structural rigidity, but the 2000 Outback is even stiffer.
Much of the increase in rigidity can be attributed to newly designed Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frames. The Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame system uses supports at the front, center, rear-quarter and rear-gate pillars to increase rigidity. This system is expanded into the side of the vehicle by making a single ring of the front pillar, side rail, rear gate and side sill. The side doors have also been designed for increased strength with dual door beams, and a transverse mounted beam is located under the rear seats for additional protection.
The Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame system design allows effective dissipation of energy from a collision in any direction, a key point of its design.
Hybrid utility vehicles carry both people and cargo. Equal attention to detail was given to both the cargo area and the safety equation for the 2000 Outback. Interestingly, the changes that were incorporated in the 2000 Outback to increase its cargo room also added to the active and passive safety performance of the vehicle.
A newly designed independent rear suspension system eliminates the intrusion of the shock tower into the cargo area, thus dramatically increasing cargo space. In fact, all rear suspension components are located below the cargo floor. New for 2000, the rear suspension is a floating multi-link system mounted on a sub frame that helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness and contributes greatly to structural rigidity.
The design goal for the new rear suspension system was to create a larger cargo room while maintaining consistent driving performance regardless of the load. The 2000 Outback exhibits predictable handling under both heavy and light cargo loads.
The 2000 Outback is available with the proven 2.5 liter 16-valve SOHC 4-cylinder boxer engine that produces 165@ 5600 rpm horsepower and 166@ 4000 rpm lb-ft of torque. The boxer engine gives all Subaru vehicles a low center of gravity. A choice of either 5-speed manual with continuous all-wheel drive, or 4-speed automatic with a gate-type selector and active all-wheel drive, complete the package.
The 2000 Outback will be manufactured in the U.S. at Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana. It will go on sale summer of 1999 and will be available at nearly 600 Subaru dealers nationwide.