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Fool's Folly: Subaru's Grand Outback

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On: Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 5:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fool's Folly: Subaru's Grand Outback

I typically despise April Fool's Day when it comes to news/press releases/official information of any kind. April Fool's is a fun holiday for playing pranks on your younger brother when you're 12 years old, but shouldn't you kind of outgrow it when you're—let's say, a 47-year-old news journalist reporting fast-breaking, important news stories? I sure think so. Nothing irks me more than reading a 2,000-word news feature before I've had my April 1st morning coffee only to realize I've been completely duped into wasting valuable minutes on a fake story.

Despite my general hatred of April Fool's news, there's usually a gem or two in the mix. This year brought us the BMW M3, and also the Subaru 'Grand Outback'.

According to Subaru, the Grand Outback is 50 percent larger in every major dimension: it's taller, higher, longer, and wider than the standard Outback. You could basically fit the regular Outback in the trunk.

If you're a numbers geek, we're talking a wheelbase of 166 inches versus around 108, a boulder-missing ground clearance of 13 inches versus 8.7, and a track extension to 90 inches, from 61. It's a real beast of an Outback.

Of course, you can't power that much crossover with a wimpy, 2.5- or 3.6-liter Boxer, so Subaru ups the muscle to a 5.0-liter Boxer 12-cylinder. No word on final output figures.

Why so large? Well, Subaru figured that since sales increased by 50 percent when it increased the size of current vehicles by 20 percent, sales should increase more than 100 percent now that it's grown the Outback to 'Grand' proportions. It’s simple math, really.

Just in case you're a little groggy, Subaru doesn't leave it ambiguous.

Chief Engineer 'Wattan Obveyus Johk' explains: “It’s really very simple. We keep all the good stuff: all-wheeldrive and the Boxer engine, we just make everything bigger! The engine is now a 5.0 liter 12 cylinder boxer and wheels are now 34. It can’t fail, although you will need a step ladder to get into the vehicle."

Unfortunately, unlike the M3 pickup, we'll never get to see the Outback monster truck. Subaru wanted to show off its new wheels, but “couldn’t get it out of the door."


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