Booming SUV sales assurance Liberty’s afterlife warrant, afterwards added than three decades on auction in Australia
The Subaru Liberty has been beatific packing.
Just one added addition from Japan is set to access in Australia this year, and all banal is accepted to be gone by aboriginal 2021.
The autograph was on the bank for the Subaru Liberty aback in March as the importer had to accomplish a accommodation on whether to activate importing the high-tech next-generation Liberty.
Subaru Australia told carsales today the business case didn’t assemblage up for the admirable mid-size sedan, and the so the Liberty will be clearly deleted from the Australian new car menu.
However, the car aggregation is accepted to be because a adieu special-edition Subaru Liberty in the advancing months, to bless 31 years of the acclaimed nameplate in Australia, area it alveolate up added than 153,000 sales.
It’s a atramentous day for Subaru Australia but the cast will get affluence of new metal over the abutting 18 months with the new-generation Outback and Levorg advancing in 2021, forth with new WRX, BRZ and WRX STI action machines to follow, as able-bodied as a new Forester and an EV.
The Subaru Liberty is aloof the latest victim in the annihilation of the once-popular mid-size auto articulation as a absolute aftereffect of added address for SUVs. Medium cars are now beneath accepted than baby and ablaze cars and others to abandon as a aftereffect accommodate the Hyundai i40, Nissan Altima, Holden Malibu, Suzuki Kizashi, Citroen C5 and, soon, the Kia Optima.
The Liberty managed aloof 2441 sales over the accomplished two years, compared to models like the jacked-up Outback, which begin 13,844 buyers, let abandoned the Toyota Camry with about 10,000 sales this year alone. In 2020 sales of the Subaru Forester SUV are bottomward added than 20 per cent to the end of July, yet it’s begin about 7000 buyers.
As the Japanese car cast states, it is a “clear adumbration of bazaar preferences”.
The first-generation Subaru Liberty, which is badged as the Legacy in some countries, was launched in Australia in 1989 and back again has won endless awards, including actuality called Wheels Car of the Year in 1995 and 1999.
Subaru Australia managing administrator Christian Dinsdale said the Liberty played a “pivotal” role in the brand’s Australian success.
“While chump preferences accept confused on to added cartage in our range, Liberty has played a badly affecting role in the brand’s advance and acceptability for engineering, safety, backbone and retained value,” he said.
“It was our aboriginal archetypal with all-around address and confused the cast abroad from its commonsensical roots to acceptable a admired automotive company.
Dinsdale additionally acicular out the Liberty’s motorsport successes, and the actuality that the Liberty laid the arena assignment for the iconic Subaru WRX’s ambulatory triumphs.
“The aboriginal turbocharged Libertys paved the way for the absurd successes that followed with both Subaru Rally Team Australia and the Subaru World Rally Team.”
The backward Possum Bourne piloted a Subaru Liberty RS turbo during the aboriginal 1990s in the Australian Rally Championship, accouterment the road-going RS turbo with huge artery cred.
The Liberty additionally helped advance Subaru as a ‘safe’ brand, a Japanese Volvo if you will. In 1994 actual few cars offered bifold avant-garde airbags beyond the ambit – one of them was the Liberty.
Another agent that has been alarming for Subaru Australia is the Levorg wagon, whose ambit has aloof been bisected in Australia as address dwindles.
Only the top-shelf $50,000-plus WRX-powered Levorg GT-S and STI Sport will abide accessible here, powered alone by the Subaru WRX’s 2.0-litre turbo-petrol boxer agent (197kW/350Nm).
But the Levorg will alive on in Australia, with Subaru acknowledging the new-generation adaptation will blow bottomward on Aussie terra firma in aboriginal 2021, afore the new Outback follows it on auction in the additional bisected of next.
If you’ve got a Subaru Liberty adventure to acquaint — good, bad or animal — amuse leave a animadversion below.
1989First-generation Liberty launches in Australia.
199110,000th Liberty awash in Australia and RS Turbo adaptation launched. Winner: Wheels’ anniversary affection accolade and NRMA Best Medium Car accolade — the aboriginal of abounding motoring organisation titles.
1994All Libertys get bifold avant-garde airbags.
1995Liberty wins Wheels Car of the Year.
1999Liberty wagon wins Wheels Car of the Year.
2001Liberty B4 reintroduced turbocharged technology to the range.
2004New-generation Liberty and Outback awarded the best-ever best crashworthiness ratings in absolute testing performed by the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
Introduction of six-cylinder 3.0-litre options, including the Liberty spec.B. Locally developed special-edition, the Liberty GT acquainted by STI, arrives.
2005Liberty 3.0R called Australia’s Best Luxury Car beneath $57,000, by Australia’s accumulated motoring organisations.
2006Premium versions of Archetypal Year 2007 Liberty and Outback affection the high-tech SI-Drive system. Subaru Intelligent Drive offers the advantage of three altered drive adventures in one.
2009Liberty passes the 120,000 sales mark in Australia. Fifth-generation Liberty launches and Liberty 3.6R Premium called Best Prestige Car in the accumulated motoring organisations Australia’s Best Cars awards.
2012Subaru introduces the avant-garde EyeSight disciplinarian abetment assurance systems on Liberty and Outback 3.6 Premium variants.