The Subaru B9 Tribeca SUV didn’t do well for Subaru. In fact, it was a sales flop.
Despite its benign name, Subaru was keen to push the thing long after it proved a clear loser. Finally, after a decade of dismal sales, earlier this year Subaru agreed to put the Tribeca out to pasture at the end of January 2014.
In a few short months, Subaru fans everywhere will be able to collectively exhale a sigh of relief, as their nine-year-long nightmare will soon be over. That is, for now.
Word has come from Carscoops that Subaru is back at it, conjuring up a successor to the Tribeca line that will also be built in America.
Speaking with Automotive News, Subaru President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said “I’ve received very strong requests from U.S. dealers for a multi-passenger, seven-seat vehicle,” while adding that Subaru is “planning to introduce [the new SUV] to the U.S. market.”
If your heart rate is suddenly rising, let me reassure you that the new SUV will have nothing in common with the failed Tribeca. “The seven-passenger vehicle project is completely different… You won’t see the new vehicle coming out immediately when Tribeca production ends,” Yoshinaga added.
The B9 Tribeca wasn’t a bad idea; it was just poorly executed. Aside from two extra seats, Subaru didn’t give people a lot of reason to buy it over, say, the Forester or the Outback. A seven-seater that adopts the snazzy new bodylines of the current Subaru line, I think, could do quite well.
If Subaru were to also implement its hybrid-based all-wheel drive system under the bodywork of the new SUV, I think it could be a smash-hit – at least with eco-friendly Millennials who are in a family way.
We’ll have to wait and see, though. Since Subaru is just starting to talk about the car now, it’ll likely be several years before we see anything near production-ready.