Tribeca replacement moves one step closer to production
Subaru has revealed the Ascent Concept at the 2017 New York auto show. The concept previews the brand’s long overdue three-row crossover that will finally take the place of the Tribeca that was discontinued in 2014. This newest concept also debuts the Ascent name, which will be used on the production three-row crossover.
Originally previewed by the massive 204.7-inch-long VIZIV-7 Concept that debuted at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show, the Ascent Concept is shorter in length at 198.8 inches long. In terms of height and width, the Ascent Concept is 78.3 inches wide and 72.4 inches tall, 1.7 inches narrower and 0.4 inch taller than the VIZIV-7. The new dimensions place the Ascent closer in size to competitors like the Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and Nissan Pathfinder.
As far as looks go, the Ascent Concept is clearly more production-ready than the VIZIV-7. However, design cues such as the C-shaped headlights are still present to give it a family resemblance to the rest of the Subaru lineup. Underpinning the Ascent will be a modified version of Subaru’s new global platform, which first debuted in the 2017 Impreza and is now used in the recently revealed 2018 Crosstrek. Inside, Subaru has outfitted the Ascent Concept with a seven-passenger seating layout featuring second-row captain’s chairs. Aside from the touch-sensitive window switches, oversized center touchscreen, and fancy-looking electronic shift knob, the Ascent Concept’s interior looks production-ready. It also shares interior design cues with the 2017 Impreza and 2018 Crosstrek.
There haven’t been many powertrain details revealed, but Subaru says the Ascent will use a new turbocharged horizontally-opposed 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection. This makes the Tribeca replacement the second large three-row crossover to downsize to a turbo-four after the Mazda CX-9. Production of the Ascent will start in 2018 at Subaru’s Lafayette, Ind., facility and the crossover will be sold exclusively in North America.