The last time Subaru offered a three-row anything was the Tribeca back in 2014, and it wasn’t exactly a sales success. Thing is, offering three rows of seating is a terrific selling point in the crossover segment, and despite terrific sales success for pretty much the last decade, Subaru's been missing out on this important segment. We’ve known for awhile that a new three-row Subie was headed to America for 2018, and these latest spy shots give us a really good preview of what’s to come.
From just about every angle the secret Subaru bears a strong resemblance to the Viziv-7 Concept the company displayed at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. A longer front clip can be seen on this prototype as compared to the concept, with considerably less flare to the fenders. There is a prominent grille up front, with headlights and squared-off housings on the corners of the front fascia that bear resemblance to those found on the current Forester.
The rear ditches the Viziv-7’s weird lower lighted exhaust ports for a more traditional arrangement that looks to be all its own. A moderately raked D-pillar with a gently sloping roof line scream crossover, as does the surprisingly low ground clearance. Camouflage over the rearmost glass prevents us from actually glimpsing the third row, but considering this pre-production prototype looks even longer than the Viziv-7 Concept, assume it’s there.
We have absolutely no idea on what to expect as far as power, but all-wheel drive with a boxer engine is pretty much a given. We’re going to lean towards some kind of turbocharged four-pot, as Subaru has mentioned moving away from six-cylinder engines. We also don’t know what to call this big Subie as of yet, though rumors point to the name Ascent as that was trademarked and registered by the company last year.
With plans to launch in 2018, we’ll certainly be seeing more of this crossover in the weeks and months to come.