The coronavirus has made 2020 a challenging year, not only for Subaru Philippines but for the entire automotive industry as well. That’s the main gist that we got from a recent media catchup meeting with Motor Image Pilipinas (MIP), the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, under Tan Chong International headed by its deputy chairman and managing director, Glenn Tan.
Despite the adversities, MIP remains bullish with its objective – with certain leniencies, of course. The main strategy for the company is to stimulate the consumers, and what better way to do so than to introduce new cars to the local market.
Thankfully, Tan felt generous and disclosed the six new cars that MIP will be launching in the next 18 months including the target timeline. Subie fans, take note.
After making a global debut in November this year, Subaru Philippines is bringing in the second-generation, all-new Subaru BRZ in Q4 2021.
Still co-developed with Toyota, the revamped BRZ is now more powerful than ever, with the juice coming from a horizontally opposed, naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine. The power plant, which the BRZ shares with the other upcoming model, the Ascent/Evoltis, makes a healthy 228hp and 249Nm of torque – still sent to the rear wheels.
Tan said that the 2021 BRZ’s automatic variant will have the EyeSight suite of safety features.
Speaking of the Evoltis, Subaru will also bring in the seven-seat, midsize crossover in the Philippines next year. Originally planned for a 2020 launch but postponed due to the pandemic, the Evoltis is the same as the Ascent in the U.S. and will be built in the same plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
Tan said that the Evoltis will have a ceiling price below P4-million and will give more definitive pricing closer to launch.
Another Subaru model to enter the Philippine market next year is the facelifted XV. As seen in the U.S. (known as the Crosstek) and in Japan, the refreshed model comes with an updated styling, which should give MIP’s second-best seller a boost in terms of sales.
It’s still unknown whether the souped-up Sport variant or the bigger 2.5-liter engine will arrive here, but with the success of the 2.0-liter variant, we won’t hold our breath on those two.
Returning for Q2 2021 is the Subaru Outback. Revamped globally for the 2020 model year, the Outback is returning with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated FB25 engine that makes 182hp and 238Nm of twists. It also now sits atop the new Subaru Global Platform that promises better torsional and rear subframe rigidity.
Expect premium features in the new Outback for the Philippine market, such as Nappa leather and EyeSight feature, among others.
Revealed in the Land of the Rising Sun this year, the second-generation Levorg has already garnered early recognition, bagging the coveted Japan Car of the Year for 2020-2021 – and it’s also coming to the Philippines next year.
Armed with the Subaru Global Platform and a newly developed turbocharged 1.8-liter CB18 engine, the new Levorg sounds promising, and we expect nothing less from the practical family vehicle with a rally racer’s face.
Probably the juiciest bit from the press event was when Tan said that the new WRX is also arriving on the Philippine shore by Q1 2022. This basically confirms the next-generation sporty sedan’s global reveal next year, something that’s still unconfirmed globally at this point.
Tan also said that the new WRX will be powered by a 2.4-liter Boxer engine – most likely a high output, turbocharged version of the FA24 utilized by the BRZ.
The WRX STI will also arrive afterward, with international reports stating that it could produce up to 400hp. If you’re wondering what the next WRX and WRX STI will look like, the Levorg should give you a preview.
There you go. Six new Subaru vehicles within a year and a half. Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy 2021 at MIPI and we’re praying for good health for them as several sleepless nights are headed their way.