New York Auto Show: Subaru gives Tribeca facelift, more power [VIDEO]

UPDATE: Video of live reveal added after jump

click on image above to view high-res shots of the 2008 Subaru Tribeca

The Tribeca has the lowest consumer awareness of any Subaru product. You have to admit, the first edition, which came out in 2005, was rather odd looking. So Subaru has given the Tribeca a facelift and added more horsepower for 2008 model year. The newest version was shown for the first time today at the New York Auto Show.

The new Tribeca has a much less polarizing design than the first edition. Gone is the isolated grille design, in favor of a grille that is integrated into the front bumper. In fact, all of the sheetmetal forward of the A-pillar is new. There's a more prominent hood line, sleeker headlamps and more aggressive front valance. The rear end was also freshened with restyled three-quarter windows, wider taillamps and new rear valance.

A new 3.6-liter engine that runs on unleaded fuel will power the 2008 Tribeca. Horsepower is increased from 245 to 256, and torque jumps from 215 lb-ft to 247 lb-ft. The features highly valued by Tribeca loyalists, such as the graceful interior and the all-wheel-drive system, will carry over. Subaru did improve access to the third-row seat.

Subaru officials say the new Trifecta will go on sale this summer, with a starting price less than $30,000.

Catch the complete Subaru news release following the jump, as well as a high-res photo gallery by clicking below. You can review all of today's debut by visiting the master post of debuts and galleries, as well.



• 2008 Tribeca Features More Style, More Power and Improved Efficiency
• New 3.6-liter Delivers 256 HP and 247 lb.-ft. on Regular Gas
• Seven Passenger Seating in an Award Winning Interior

New York, NY April 4, 2007 -- Subaru today unveiled the redesigned and newly named 2008 Subaru Tribeca at the New York International Auto Show. With powerful new styling, a new, larger displacement 3.6-liter H6 engine, improved performance and fuel efficiency, the new 2008 Subaru Tribeca delivers a unique balance of style, safety and functionality in a progressive SUV form.

The exterior design of the new Tribeca is both streamlined and powerful, with a new, wider and taller grille, new front fenders and new hood design. The grille is now integrated into the front bumper, featuring a new chrome spread-wing design, with the Subaru star cluster badge as the focal point.

A raised hood line, deeper front valance and new headlamps visually widen and heighten the Tribeca, establishing greater road presence with a more SUV-like appearance. The new grille flows into a powerful silhouette, enhanced by new rear three-quarter windows. The rear quarter windows are also functional, and with the addition of new larger side-view mirrors, improve side and rear vision as well as increasing visibility for third row passengers. The side profile also features powerful fender and wheel forms that enhance the Tribeca's signature rising character line. All-new rear styling includes a new rear valance below the tailgate and new, wider taillamps.

The dramatic exterior styling changes reflect the major changes under the skin for the 2008 Subaru Tribeca. A new 3.6-liter boxer engine has been designed with a goal of improving low-end torque and also lowering consumer running costs with a change to regular unleaded fuel. The larger engine displacement has increased engine torque to 247 lb.-ft., up from 215, and horsepower to 256 from 245, providing improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-rpm power. The new engine package, despite the larger engine size, not only maintains emissions levels but delivers improved fuel efficiency in real world driving situations.

To achieve these goals without affecting engine packaging, a unique shortened con rod was created to allow for a new and larger displacement engine without increasing the physical dimensions of the power unit. Keeping the deck height of the engine the same, the Tribeca is able to maintain its excellent low center of gravity. Improved cooling efficiency - needed to achieve the use of regular fuel - was achieved through a new common rail cooling system that individually cools each cylinder with water separation chambers rather than allowing water to flow from cylinder to cylinder. This allows for increased engine efficiency and standardized timing for all cylinders.

The new 3.6-liter engine features Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves (the 3.0-liter engine had AVCS on the intake side only).

The new 3.6-liter H6 engine is connected to a substantially revised 5-speed automatic transmission that features an all-new torque lock-up converter and a new transmission control unit that deliver faster shifts and quicker reaction time. The new transmission delivers smoother shifts with less lag time and weighs less than the previous system, for a total weight reduction of 9.7-lbs. for the new drivetrain.

The transmission drives through the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Enhancing the AWD system are standard Variable Torque Distribution (VTD), standard Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and four-wheel traction control system (TCS).

The design of the award-winning Tribeca interior is maintained, but third row seating access has been enhanced. Also new for 2008 is a re-calibrated rear suspension with new bushings to improve ride comfort.

New for 2008, the second row seat now features a tilt-and-slide control on both the driver's and passenger's side and a new assist spring that reduces the effort needed to slide the second row seat. Also new are molded assist grab handles on the lower C-pillar to ease step in to the third row.

The sophisticated twin cockpit design features a flowing, sculpted dash and center console design. Aluminum-look trim highlights the sculpted shapes of the dashboard. Electroluminescent dials and subtle ambient interior lighting provide a sophisticated touch, illuminating the front and rear footwells, the center console and cup-holders. The center console is dominated by an information center that groups the readouts for the audio system, clock, fuel economy and outside temperature. A seven-inch touch screen information center is standard with the navigation system. The easy-to-use audio and climate control system controls are located just below the screen.

The Tribeca is available in a variety of 5 and 7-passenger configurations. The 7-passenger model is equipped with a standard with a 50/50 split fold-down third-row seat that features integral headrests and carpeted back surface. For added passenger comfort, the 7-passenger model also features an auxiliary rear cabin air conditioner with fan speed control in the second row. The 7 passenger Tribeca models can be equipped with an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

The new 2008 Tribeca was designed with achieving the highest ratings in the auto. The previous generation B9 Tribeca achieved top honors in the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests with 5 stars in both the frontal and side-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions. These results are in addition to the 4 star rating in the NHTSA tests for rollover resistance. (No SUV to date has earned 5-stars in the rollover test.)

The Subaru Tribeca features a Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame Structure, occupant-sensing, dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, seat-mounted side impact air bags, and standard curtain side air bags (front and second rows). A Roll Sensor system that detects a potential vehicle rollover and deploys the standard side curtain airbags is also standard. In addition, the Tribeca features Brake Assist on its standard ABS brake system, Vehicle Dynamics Control and four-wheel traction control. Brake Assist analyzes the force and stroke on the brake pedal and increases hydraulic boost to provide enhanced emergency braking, also activating the ABS system early if needed.

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