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Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X)

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Comments

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Interesting line of thinking Jon. Now that I reread some of those earlier things, it would seem to make sense. Guess we'll find out in a couple of months. Of course, we could just be reading WAAAY too much into it. But, we do have expectations...

    I *think* Subaru learned from the Baja that they can't just limp in to new territory. The new Legacy and Outback have done well (were the turbo models available before the non-turbos?). For the B9X to do well, it's gotta start out right, a mere 250hp 3.0H6 is not going to impress. A 400hp 3.0H6 TT would be surprising, and would continue the line of performance. But, as pointed out, that's not what the market is calling for from this type of vehicle.

    Lexus has developed the RX400h, basically a RX330 with hybrid technology. They announced that earlier this year (goes on sale next year?). Subaru would have a sure hit with a hybrid in the B9X, and Detroit (and Lexus) probably don't see it coming (at least this soon from Subaru). This would be a grand slam, IMO.

    -Brian
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Subaru would have a sure hit with a hybrid in the B9X, and Detroit (and Lexus) probably don't see it coming (at least this soon from Subaru). This would be a grand slam, IMO.

    Would it ever! It would be a Mark McGuire-like grand slam! :)

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    A 400hp 3.0H6 TT would be surprising, and would continue the line of performance. But, as pointed out, that's not what the market is calling for from this type of vehicle.

    I'm not so sure about that. Infiniti has done very well with the FX35/45, vehicles which blend high performance and the crossover concept rather nicely. I think this caught many by surprise. I for one, am surprised by how many FXs I see on the road.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    We know either one will solve any power lapse problems the 3.0 may have. The question is, which would benefit SOA the most, in terms of positive publicity? I don't think there's any question the hybrid will win on this front.

    Bob
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    "What would really work well is a hybrid H6 similar in implementation to the Accord hybrid."

    Does Subaru have the resources to undertake such a hybrid project by itself? I dont think so! How about a technology licensing deal such as the Toyota-Nissan arrangement for the upcoming hybrid Nissan Altima. A Subaru-Toyota deal would make a hybrid B9X possible.

    The B9X would be a laughing-stock among the competition if it was underpowered by a 3.0 non-turbo engine. If that would be the case, Subaru would soon have difficulty clearing these vehicles from its lots.

    I myself am hoping for a hybrid B9X versus a turbo B9X. I am thinking of going to a dealership soon and ordering a B9X. If it is hybrid I will avoid a 12 month waiting list. If it is a 3.0 Turbo or non-turbo I would just cancel my order and get my down-payment back.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Does Subaru have the resources to undertake such a hybrid project by itself? I dont think so!

    The B9SC hybrid has been shown at various auto shows worldwide, including Detroit last year.

    http://www.cars.com/go/features/autoshows/vehicle.jsp?autoshow=&a- mp;vehicletype=concept&autoshowyear=2004&vehicle=concept_- Subaru_B9SC

    So they can do it. The question is, are they ready to do it?

    Bob
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I am sure dealers won't even be able to place orders until Jan-Feb at the earliest. But you can sure get in line!

    Subaru may not be able to develop a hybrid powertrain on their own, but FHI could (very large and diverse company) and they could also tap into GM's resources. And they may have pursued licensing for all we know. Since some of the earlier concepts were based on a hybrid powertrain, we can assume they have been working on it for several years at least.

    Craig
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Late to comment, but I think the 9 points of style is a justification ex-post-facto. That's latin for after the fact, i.e. they came up with a name for the platform and then had to explain why, and came up with this.

    9 really means large.

    So much for Tribeca. I guess this says a lot about the reliability of rumors. People were swearing up and down that it would be called Tribeca. Perhaps they even leaked false names to keep us guessing?

    B9X-JE - for the juice edition, don't forget unpainted cladding. If that textured stuff on the lower portion is dimpled, better still.

    18" rims standard? VDC also? Sounds good. In fact 18" is what the Infiniti FX has.

    FX has a 3.5l standard and a 4.5l V8 optional, is Subaru aiming that high? :-)

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would be shocked. Impressed, but schocked. No way is GM going to let Subaru have it first.

    Seeing a hybrid powertrain in the B9SC is one thing, keep in mind it was never tested in the real world. For all we know it could have been a mock-up.

    Toyota has delayed the Highlander and RX400H, and Ford took forever to come out with the Escape hybrid.

    It would be *great* for dealers. They'd have a cash cow they sorely need after working so hard to unload Bajas.

    It's unlikely though, at least for the first full model year, maybe 2.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    In fact 18" is what the Infiniti FX has.

    Same with the Murano. 18" wheels just look "right" on a vehicle this size. :)

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    No way is GM going to let Subaru have it first

    ??? Why do you say that?

    I think since Subaru is moving to become a premium brand, that they would love to have the B9X being constantly compare to the Lexus RX400h.

    Bob
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    FYI -- the RX hybrid has not been delayed, they are just stockpiling a large inventory before they go on sale. Not sure what the strategy is there, but they must be expecting a land rush.

    Craig
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Why? Because Subaru has the smallest market share of any of the potential recipients of the hybrid drivetrain.

    Well, Saab may be smaller.

    Their pickups got it first - highest volume may be why.

    I don't doubt it might eventually get a hybrid, but I'm talking MY2007 or later.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Why? Because Subaru has the smallest market share of any of the potential recipients of the hybrid drivetrain.

    But they've already got it developed specifically for a Subaru application. The B9SC hybrid may not work on other GM products, as it was Subaru-specific in terms of engineering.

    What better way to get back in the social graces of those who were upset by the Outback being considered a truck? The larger-still 9BX will also be a truck, but an environmentally responsible one with a hybrid—and coming out of the starting gate with one would a HUGE marketing coup for Subaru.

    Bob
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    the Subaru 2.5 Turbo engine is quite a gas guzzler. A 3.0 Turbo will be one Big Hog. IMO, the gas consumption would turn me off from buying a B9X.

    "It's unlikely though, at least for the first full model year, maybe 2."

    Ateixeira, unfortunately I think your above statement is correct. It takes a lot of time and resources to introduce hybrids. Mercedes is introuducing hybrids in five years. Yes, five years! And Subaru will introduce a surprise Hybrid in a few months. Fat Chance!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    B9SC was coupled to a boxer 4, a 2.0l turbo. EJ20 I believe was stamped on the block.

    We're talking EZ30, different engine family completely. Nothing in common at all.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Mercedes is introuducing hybrids in five years.

    Mercedes, and Europe in general, have been very slow to warm up to the idea of hybrids. They're much more focused on diesels. They seem to be reacting more out of social/marketing pressure than from conviction.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    We're talking EZ30, different engine family completely. Nothing in common at all.

    That doesn't mean the hybrid aspect can't be the same, or modified easily to work with the 3.0.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    All I'm saying is I would not draw conclusions from a concept that added hybrid power to an EJ20 and then never even let the press test it to verify that it was a runner.

    For the supposed $33k starting price, heck, I'd love to see a hybrid included. That might put the non-hybrid that would come out later into the high 20s.

    Hopeful, but doubtful.

    If it is a hybrid, please Subaru, include a built-in generator. GM has the technology, use it!

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    It's interesting if you follow recent Subaru concepts, from the B11S forward till now. Most, if not all of those concepts have features now showing up on production cars. A key element of the B9SC is the the hybrid aspect. I don't think Subaru would have shown that vehicle at so many important auto shows worldwide, if it weren't going to produce something with that kind of powerplant—soon. The B9X just seems like a "natural," since this is the first of the "next" Subarus. What better way to kick off such a product launch?

    Bob
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    a quote from http://www.cars.com/go/features/autoshows/story.jsp?autoshow=Detr- oit&autoshowyear=2004&story=coverage_01_04_09&aff=lat- imes

    Technologically, the B9SC roadster represents the future. It is equipped with a hybrid powertrain, ideally suited to Subaru’s existing Symmetrical all-wheel-drive systems and can be adapted to current vehicle platforms, Takenaka said

    Also, if it is a hybrid engine, Subaru would also benefit from the strategy Lexus is taking with the RX400h - building up supply. Although, having high demand will help drive up prices (which IIRC we've seen mentioned before that SOA was looking for some $$$ to be recognized as a premium brand).

    -Brian
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, but I still don't think a hybrid is likely.

    If you look at the bigger and much more powerful manufacturers building them now, Ford and Toyota, they're struggling to get enough batteries and paying patent infringement settlements that would put a small company like Subaru out of business.

    Let's just say it would be risky to bet the bank, and that's what it would take to get a hybrid out this quickly.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I suppose they could do both: A low-boost turbo 3.0, and a 3.0-hybrid. I just don't see the existing H-6 as working in the B9X because of the increased weight, as I've stated before. If they offer a 3.0 (only), They need to re-tune it for a broader powerband.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I do think the 250hp 3.0l H6 as the only engine from the start would be a mistake. Reviews would slam it.

    The Pilot has more power and costs less. Highlander gets 3.3l. Endeavor has 3.8l. I'm not sure if anyone has an engine that small any more.

    Subaru has an uphill battle. Showing up to a gun fight with a knife would not be wise.

    -juice
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    looks promising, from the sketch. Hope Bob is wrong about the "schnoz" being bigger in real life than in the sketch.....sketchwise, it looks ok just as it is. As for the name, I guess it's a little more benign(sorry) than Montauk or Halifax or Tribeca. Although, from the proposed $40K US price point, maybe they should have called it the
    Out-of-my-reach-Back. Seriously, 40K US translates to a mid-fifties price point in Canada
    (despite the recent rise in our loonie, it hasn't been reflected in cheaper car prices) before you even add in all the taxes, etc, so you're really looking at over 60K large. They mentioned one of the competitors being the Murano, but they go for less than 40K Canadian....a huge difference. Pilots are upper 30's to lower 40's and even MDX's aren't much more than 50K. I think they're going to have a hard time selling them at anywhere near the proposed price. The Pacifica, at a mid-40's price in Canada was considered overpriced, yet the B9X will be about 10K more than that. I just don't see it.
    BTW, Dewey, if you can afford to shell out 60+K Canadian for the B9X, fuel consumption probably won't be of any concern.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    with regards to price. We dont know where it will land, so lets not speculate other than the starting point, which Juice has said will be in the low 30s.

    Also, with respect to power- exactly how much weight are people expecting this SUV to carry around?

    Even with a 200lb gain over the 3.0L H6 OB, I dont think it will be as big of a dog as people are indicating, especially if the tranny is smartly applying the power. If theres a two engine strategy in place, will the 250hp H6 motor be detrimental as a base unit?

    ~alpha
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If they have two engines I think it would be adequate as a base.

    Caveat - it had better be more fuel efficient than its competitors. You gotta get something for giving up that extra displacement.

    Also, the press gives new models the attention up front. The Rendezvous got the coarse 3.4l engine from the minivan and lukewarm reviews. Now it gets a modern DOHC 3.6l from the CTS and did anyone even notice?

    The best engine should be available right from the start. In fact send the quickest model to the press, turbo and manual tranny if available. They will rave about 6 seconds 0-60 times, then 80% of people will buy the base model anyway, but the positive press worked.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Now climbing back up the tree in search of a new limb... Ah, there's one!

    New prediction:

    • Bottom-feeder B9X will have a re-tuned 3.0, non-turbo, non-hybrid powerplant. This will be the first B9Xs to arrive at dealers

    • About 6 months after the initial launch, the much-rumored $40k version will arrive with hybrid assist.

    • Hybrid assist will add about $3K, right? So that means base non-hybrids, starting with the "juice edition," will start ~ $34K, with a up-level "Limited" model next at ~ $37K. Add the hybrid assist to the Limited, and "voila!" you're at $40K.

    • All models will be introduced at Detroit.

    Bob <that's my story, and I'm sticking to it>
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, shall we go double-or-nothing on the Odyssey bet I won earlier?

    I think we bet a drink so we'll say loser buys lunch or something.

    I say no hybrid of any sort on the B9X at Detroit.

    Subaru has CAFE credits so I think a light pressure turbo H6 is more likely.

    Look at the 2.5l. First they put a light pressure turbo in the Forester and Baja. And we're talking not much volume, either.

    Then the Legacy and Outback get more boost.

    So I say the B9X will come in a light boost model, if there is a 2nd powertrain at all. To summarize:

    * 3.0l H6 vanilla most likely
    * 3.0T H6 with light pressure turbo 2nd most likely
    * 3.0l H6 + hybrid drive least likely

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good.

    Let me say this is one bet I would *not* mind losing. :-)

    Give it a generator, Subaru! I could sell that to the wife. We lost power for 9 days after Hurricane Isable. A generator would cost a few grand, so that makes the price a lot easier to justify.

    It would also set Subaru apart from Toyota's HSD, which is now viewed as the "premium" hybrid system.

    If they want to leap frog into upscale territory, beating Lexus is the way to do it.

    -juice
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    When is the Lexus 400h due out now? Could Subaru beat them to it? Wouldn't that be an industry shocker!

    As much as I understand the need for the generator option, I don't see Subaru doing it on the B9X. Was this demonstrated as a benefit on the B9SC?

    I keep trying to think of how the B9X will relate back to the Legacy. If the B9X gets a twin turbo 3.0H6 with 400hp, that engine could be the STi (or whatever they'd call it) version for the Legacy. So, the B9X becomes the flagship with "THE" engine.

    -Brian
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    January I think. Getting supply up was not what I'd heard for the delay, I thought it was restrictions on the supply of batteries.

    Toyota also settled a patent infringement case for big bucks, but there were only one of several companies that paid the settlement.

    B9SC was too small to even imagine having it power a house. But a B9X could power a camp site, maybe the fridge and one light bulb!

    -juice
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2004-08-02-hybrid_x.htm

    The delay, widely assumed but only now confirmed by the automaker, gives Lexus time to:

    &#149; Have engineers perform additional checks to make sure the vehicles escape some of the teething problems that have beset other gas-electric hybrids.

    &#149; Build inventories. One of the biggest disappointments about hybrids is how long it takes to get them. Toyota dealers, for example, have quit taking orders for the Prius hybrid because the backlog is so great. Lexus says dealers have more than 8,000 deposits for the RX 400h. About 24,000 a year are planned for the U.S. market, or about 20% of all RX sales.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here is juice's truth-in-translation:

    * serious problems have delayed the intro once again
    * let's use the inventory excuse to pretend that dealers won't add huge markups

    I'm speak "PR" because I'm married to a PR Spin Doctor.

    -juice
  • In message ateixeira Nov 8, 2004 11:41am ateixeira wrote:
    Hybrid? I would be shocked. Impressed, but schocked. No way is GM going to let Subaru have it first.
    FHI does not depend on an GM technology for its SSHEV system. It was developed completely in-house. FHI doesn't have to wait on GM for anything.

    In message ateixeira Nov 8, 2004 12:20pm ateixeira wrote:
    If you look at the bigger and much more powerful manufacturers building them now, Ford and Toyota, they're struggling to get enough batteries and paying patent infringement settlements that would put a small company like Subaru out of business.

    Let's just say it would be risky to bet the bank, and that's what it would take to get a hybrid out this quickly.
    FHI has little risk in the battery department. In 2002 FHI became a 49% partner in a joint venture with NEC, called NEC Lamilion Energy, to develop laminate manganese-lithium ion batteries for automotive applications. NEC has long experience with manufacturing smaller versions of such batteries; FHI is supplying packaging know-how, a technology called balance control that converges with high accuracy and eliminates voltage imbalance between the cells caused by repetitive battery charging and discharge, as well as battery diagnostic circuit technology. These are the batteries used in the R1e EV and the B9SC SSHEV. I think FHI is well insulated from patent infringement problems. Lamilion is actually looking to supply batteries to GM and it looks like solving the problems associated with scaling up the batteries for automotive use went more smoothly than anticipated, given that these batteries were present in the R1e and B9 Scrambler shown at the Tokyo show a year ago.

    Here's the NEC press release announcing Lamilion:
    http://www.nec.co.jp/press/en/0205/1401.html
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    I agree on the fuel consumption issue...

    My OBXT 5MT consumes almost as much fuel as my Highlander did. So I'd hate to see what a real SUV equipped with an H6 Turbo would consume...

    Sly
  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    It's looking like Subaru could pull off a real coup here, if they're so inclined.
    Owen
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    what it is worth - it's just my opinion. I have no detailed inside information that have to worry about leaking/implying, etc. Just an observation - before we go off too far in a direction here - -

    In looking at the history of Subaru, when they launch a new model - they rarely introduce new major technology along with a model. I can't remember when they last did both on the initial launch. XT Coupe, turbo XT coup, 6 cylinder XT coupe. Impreza, WRX, Sti, etc. I would be really surprised if we see a change in that pattern - just based on the history. But, they've surprised me before! I know that this post has no value, but my hands hurt from sitting on them. I'm enjoying the reading here and I'm sure others at SOA are too.

    Patti
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    My $0.02.

    I hope I am wrong, but I cannot imagine that Subaru would have a hybrid planned for next year, and no information would have leaked out by now.

    Through retuned VVT and maybe a variable intake, I think it would be feasible for Subaru to get 250 hp and maybe 250 lb ft out of their 3.0, with a sizeable drop in peak rpms for the torque as compared to the current version. If the B9x ends up being 4,000 lbs +/-, Subaru would actually be in the hunt with the power levels similar to what is offered in other competing crossovers (Passport, MDX, Murano, Highlander, RX330), and would have acceptable power if that engine was mated to a 5 speed automatic (0-60 in 8 seconds should be possible).

    Then in 2006, Subaru will go the next step with a turbo or hybrid. That is exactly what they did with the 2003 Forester, which became an XT in 2004.

    Maybe Subaru could have received some help from their ailing cousin, Isuzu, which used to share the plant with them. It is a shame that Isuzu's direct injection technology is dying with the end of the Axiom and Rodeo. Such as system would increase the efficiency of the Subie 3.0, and bridge the gap created by the smaller size of the Subie engine as compared to their competition. I do not think this is likely either, but it is fun to think about.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Patti, it sounds like you really are as much in the dark here as we are.

    As to major technology, I'm sure you are correct. However, there have been "surprises," such as the 2.5 STi. Very few people expected a 2.5 motor in that car. Given the level of importance of this new car, and its launch, I would hope for (and expect) some surprise(s) that equal or better that of the US-spec STi.

    Bob
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    I agree that 250HP and 250 ft/lb would be enough, as long as they can tune the H6 to produce most of that torque at low RPM.

    That level of power would be quite competitive with the likes of Highlander and Pilot. But the game is really in low-end torque. Pure HP mostly affects high-speed performance, which is not as important for an SUV. But low end grunt is the key, as well as the closely related towing capacity.

    Sly
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Sly, it's not the horsepower, but the torque that's at issue here. Yeah, if they could get 250/250, that would be great. But then again, if they could do that, why would there be a need for the 2.5 turbo with those exact same specs?

    Bob
  • In message subaru_team Nov 8, 2004 5:12pm subaru_team wrote:
    In looking at the history of Subaru, when they launch a new model - they rarely introduce new major technology along with a model. I can't remember when they last did both on the initial launch.
    Perhaps "new major technology" introductions aren't that frequent. Front wheel drive premiered with the introduction of the FF-1 in 1969. Didn't 4WD premiere with the introduction of the Leone S/W in 1972? How about dual-range transmission and the Brat? The all-new EJ engine and distributorless ignition premiered on the all-new Legacy in 1989. I can't think of any "new major technology" introduced since 1989.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    changes to the LSD, trans. changes (6 speeds, 5EAT, etc.) so I guess it depends on ones definition of major? And Bob - you are right. I'm clueless on this aspect. When I talk about an information embargo, it's pretty far reaching. We have no details on this good stuff! I'm hoping to know more about the car VERY soon and I'll share once I have an okay.

    Patti
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    That's exactly what I was saying Bob, it's about torque, and low-end torque, so it needs to produce 250+ ft lbs from like 1500 RPM.

    Hey, we just went from 0 to 100 posts in 4 days flat. :)

    Sly
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    That's what I was referencing earlier. A true passionate group of folks - found only at Edmunds!

    Patti
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    "That level of power would be quite competitive with the likes of Highlander and Pilot."

    If looks could kill....This B9X looks gorgeous. What this vehicle needs is an engine that lives up to it's looks. IMO, there is nothing more depressing than a gorgeous sporty looking vehicle that is underpowered.

    Just being as good as the competition is not good enough. Especially when the competition is a moving target. Remember Highlander/Pilot will be redesigned and improved in a future date.

    The Outback 2.5GT/3.0 may end up looking like a gem when compared to a 3.0 B9X. A few years ago I waited in anticipation for the new BMW X3. When I found out that the current 325Xi touring(next year an improved version with X drive will be available) has superior handling/performance and similar cargo volume as an X3 my enthusiasm cooled down.

    Hopefully the B9X will not be outflanked by an Outback.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Question: atlgaxt, and others here: do you really feel 250 foot pounds of twist from a non-turbo 3.0L powerplant is likely? Especially when the 3.0L H6 is currently a whopping 38 lb. ft. short of that? Torque takes displacement. I don't think 3.0L can do that kind of twist with normal aspiration. The most twist I can think of in recent memory from a 3.0L engine was the defunct VVTi unit 220hp 222lb ft unit in the Lexus RX/Toyota HL (and that occured all the way up at 4400RPM!). I'm sure someone can top me, but my posit remains-- 250 foot pounds from 3.0L displacement seems unlikely. And in the event that it does happen, I dont think it will happen south of 4 grand on the tach.

    ~alpha
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I think it was on this forum that people have been discussing the On-Sale date of the RX400h:

    Toyota's Press Release today, 11-08-04

    "Lexus announced to its dealers on Friday that the RX 400h luxury hybrid SUV will go on sale April 15, 2005. Lexus has more than 9,500 confirmed pre-sold orders for the 2006 RX 400h...."

    ~alpha
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