Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Subaru Outback Turbo CONFIRMED for Australia, release date start of 2023


A torque-rich turbocharged engine will soon be offered in the Subaru Outback in Australia, providing some much-needed gusto for the comfortable cruiser

The Subaru Outback will gain the option of a 2.4-litre turbocharged engine option in Australia with a release date for the Outback turbo set for the first months of 2023.

The turbocharged flat-four has thus far only been offered in the United States where it produces 194kW of power and 375Nm of torque.

Set to be badged the 2023 Subaru Outback XT in Australia, the force-fed Outback will offer a far higher level of performance than the current sole engine option – a 138kW/245Nm 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated flat four-cylinder engine introduced with the sixth-generation car in 2021.

Subaru will offer a 2.4-litre turbocharged engine option in the Outback next year

Subaru Australia general manager Blair Read told Chasing Cars the turbo-powered Outback will return and in doing so resurrect the ‘XT’ badge.

“We are pleased to announce today the Outback will gain a 2.4 turbo engine from the 2023 model year, with production set to start in Q4 this year,” he said.

“[The] 2.4 XT Outback will feature a 2.4 turbo direct-injection engine.”

Turbo engine to provide more punch

The decision to offer the sixth-generation Outback exclusively paired to the 2.5-litre engine has faced criticism from buyers and automotive outlets including Chasing Cars for being underpowered.

Making the contrast particularly stark was the loss of the 191kW/350Nm 3.6-litre petrol flat-six and 110kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four which were offered in the fifth-generation model, leaving the Outback faithful without a grunty engine option in the new model.

The engine should offer some much-needed punch to the raised station wagon

It’s also worth noting that the 2.4-litre turbo engine will enable the Outback to close the performance gap between rivals such as (162kW/350Nm) Volkswagen Passat Alltrack and (183kW/350Nm) Volvo V60 Cross Country.

Subaru’s new 2.4-litre turbo engine has been offered in the sixth-generation Outback in the United States for some time, but right-hand-drive markets such as Australia and Japan have been denied the option. 

It remains unclear whether the Outback will source its turbocharged engine from the United States and then have it shipped to Japan (where Australian models are currently sourced) or if the Outback XT will be built entirely in the land of the rising sun.

Further details on the exact price and specification of the 2023 Outback XT will be provided later this year.

Signs point to Outback Wilderness introduction

The introduction of the 2.4-litre turbo engine could also mark an important step for Subaru Australia in securing the Outback in the rugged ‘Wilderness’ guise.

The Outback Wilderness is currently only sold in the United States with the aforementioned turbocharged engine paired to a CVT transmission and AWD.

The Outback Wilderness is only offered with the turbocharged engine

Speaking at the launch of the Subaru BRZ coupe earlier this year, Mr Read told Chasing Cars they were studying the Wilderness range for introduction, which also includes the Forester midsize SUV.

“[The Wilderness line-up is] still under evaluation but we’re very interested in those offerings and how they could become a part of the range for Australia,” he said.

“So definitely still a work in progress and no definitive timeframes around Wilderness offerings at present but definitely something we’re monitoring really closely and working with the factory.”

Subaru Outback 2022: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Outback AWD: $41,490
  • Outback AWD Sport: $45,990
  • Outback AWD Touring: $49,790
  • Outback AWD XT: TBC