Given the somewhat lackluster response by consumers to Subaru's B9 Tribeca, the automaker's first 'real' crossover could probably use a little help. Enter COBB Tuning, a Subie-specific tuning house best known for ratcheting up the performance envelope of the WRX and Forester, has stepped in to augment the controversially-styled vehicle with improvements in three areas: Power, Control and Styling.
To that end, the tuners put together a Rotrex compressor-based supercharger setup with a side-mount air-to-air intercooler. Along with a reworked programmable ECU, the 3.0-liter flat-six generates 320 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of twist. To give the force-fed Tribeca a properly sporting tone, a COBB-designed cat-back set of pipework was fitted.
Given the bonus chutzpah, COBB wisely added big brakes (four-piston, 13" units) and a lowered, retuned suspension, along with a set of 20" x 9" Advan Connoisseurs in a bronze finish.
Of course, the B9's Achilles heel has arguably been its aesthetics. In an effort to clean up its visuals, their stylemeisters have added black mesh grille inserts, modified headlamps, and shaved the roof rack rails. According to COBB, the changes were inspired by "older Soviet MiG fighter planes," which may be a bit of stylistic hyperbole, but there's no denying that the reworked schnoz looks a good deal more aggressive than the factory's take.
Autoblog's staffers haven't had the opportunity to sample any of company's handywork first-hand, but we were there to watch a COBB-prepped 2004 Forester XT make an improbable run to a 14th place finish in One Lap Of America two years ago, and if Subaru won't oblige enthusiasts with an STi variant, this aftermarket solution ought to do the trick.
[Sources: COBB Tuning; One Lap of America]