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Subaru is hard at work on a range-topping seven-seater crossover

Subaru is developing a successor to the defunct Tribeca crossover in a bid to continue setting sales records in the United States.

Tentatively scheduled to go on sale late next year, the yet-unnamed crossover will be bigger in all directions than the unpopular Tribeca that was axed over a year ago. The extra sheet metal will allow it to offer ample space for up to seven passengers, positioning it against the Toyota Highlander, the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot and Volkswagen’s upcoming seven-seater model.

Subaru is currently debating what the crossover should look like. The company is split between giving it a design that borrows rugged, off-road-inspired styling cues from the popular Outback (pictured) or giving it a more conventional look that falls in line with the smaller Forester. Either way, the company promises that the crossover will not look as striking as the original Tribeca.

Power will come from gasoline-burning flat-four and -six cylinder engines sourced from the Subaru parts bin, a move that will help the company benefit from economies of scale. It goes without saying that Subaru’s time-tested Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive technology will be on hand to help the crossover tackle adverse weather conditions with ease.

Interestingly, an earlier report finds that the crossover could eventually be offered with a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain, the first of its kind in the United States. If given the green light, the setup will consist of an evolution of the 2.0-liter turbo0diesel flat-four mill that equips a large number of the Subarus sold in Europe and a compact electric motor borrowed from partner Toyota.

Built in Indiana, Subaru’s range-topping crossover will be presented to the public at a major auto show next year. However, Australian media outlets are reporting that it could be previewed by a close-to-production concept that will bow next November at the Tokyo Motor Show.