Mr. Saito writes:
”We strongly believe this article was written
to capitalize on the controversies surrounding pending NHTSA policy changes
with respect to vehicle classifications.
The article does not represent the company’s position regarding fuel economy and emissions standards.
Subaru has always made fuel economy a top priority in its product development process.
Given our experience in developing cross-over
vehicles, our market research indicated that our customers and potential
customers wanted Subaru to enhance the Outback product to include even
stronger SUV-like features such as higher ground clearance, dark-tinted
side rear windows, greater axle clearance, and greater approach and departure
angles suitable for off-road driving.
With this research in mind, the new 05
MY Outback was redesigned to be a light duty truck and will debut next
month at the Chicago Auto Show.
We are confident that the new Outback will continue to deliver the best of both worlds to the popular cross-over segment and remain a strong alternative to SUVs.
Subaru has a track record of producing
superior crossover vehicles that meet stringent federal safety and emissions
The new Outback is no exception.
The base model Outback is expected to have improved gas mileage for model year 2005, while we will also offer a model with enhanced performance characteristics for those customers that have expressed that desire.
Both the new Outback Wagon and Sedan will
exceed the standards for a light duty truck on 4 of 5 requirements including
break over angle, departure angle, running clearance, and axle clearance.
We're giving customers what they desire, while at the same time complying
with federal emissions standards. The new Outback Sedan and Wagon is expected
to meet federal emissions standards for light duty truck – which is as
stringent as emission standards for light duty vehicles as defined by the
EPA and ARB.
However, final testing by the EPA for emissions compliance and fuel economy label calculations for model year 2005 Outback has not yet been completed and therefore is not available.
Subaru is committed to developing advanced
technologies that improve fuel economy and emissions as evidenced by the
new Sequential Series Hybrid Electric (SSHEV) propulsion system in the
B9SC and the urban commuter electric vehicle R1e concept cars featured
at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.
In addition, the new Outback released later this year will feature advanced engine technologies such as Active Valve Control System (AVCS) that improves overall engine efficiency.
Further, the newly designed Outback body structure reduces overall vehicle weight by as much as 180 pounds.
Subaru always has been and will continue
to be committed to safeguarding the natural environment that so many of
our customers avidly enjoy."