These days, two of the automotive industry's hottest trends are off-roading/overlanding...and reclassifying what used to be known as model names and trim levels into "sub-brands." Ford did it with the new Bronco. Mercedes plans to branch out the G-Wagen into its own brand. And now, we have more evidence that Subaru plans to hop on the off-road sub-brand train as well.
Recently, a Subaru dealer bigwig referenced some exciting new product arriving this year. And as spotted by Motor Trend, Subaru's Canadian trademark filings have all but confirmed that will be "Wilderness" trims en route for the Outback and Forester. Motor Trend says the Crosstrek could get a Wilderness version, as well.
Like Toyota's TRD Lift Kit for the Tacoma, the Wilderness trim/package/sub-brand should bring many modifications Subaru buyers might have made in the aftermarket in-house. Spy shots have shown Subaru SUVs riding around on raised suspensions. More robust-looking all-terrain tires, more aggressive body cladding and skid plates should make sense to pair with that. Wilderness SUVs could also get a roof rack for tents and gear, and additional terrain modes from Subaru's X-Mode system.
The name Wilderness works in isolation, although "Outback Wilderness" and "Forester Wilderness" both sound redundant when you think about it. Still, Expect the trim to be a hit with the younger, more adventurous set of Subaru SUV buyers, even if it may ultimately be more about the appearance than the functionality (as most off-road trims are).