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Outback 3.0R a New Subaru Star

20 October, 2003

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Subaru has unveiled its most powerful ever Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Outback, featuring a 3.0 litre horizontally opposed boxer engine that takes the brand's six-cylinder performance to new heights.

The engine for the new generation Outback 3.0R produces 180 Kilowatts of power at 6,600 rpm, making it 16 per cent more powerful than its predecessor.

It also has greater pulling power, producing 297 Newtonmetres of torque at 4,200 rpm and offers an impressive braked towing capacity of 1,800 kg.

Outback 3.0R features Subaru's Active Valve Control System (AVCS) and Variable Valve Lift, ensuring optimum power and torque output, complemented by improved fuel consumption and low exhaust emissions.

It is available exclusively with a responsive five-speed Sportshift automatic transmission, which is believed to be the lightest of its type.

There are two Outback six-cylinder models, the 3.0R and the 3.0R Premium Pack.

Both variants include significant safety, engineering and specification enhancements, representing even greater value-for-money, yet only minimal price increases of between 2.8 and 4.5 per cent.

Nick Senior, General Manager, Subaru Australia, said: "We see Outback 3.0R competing against the likes of Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd, Mitsubishi Pajero GLS, Toyota Prado GXL and Volkswagen Touareg.

"Outback 3.0R Premium Pack is benchmarked against the Audi Allroad 2.7T, BMW X5 3.0, Honda MDX and Volvo XC90 and represents incredible value, feature-for-feature.

"All the six-cylinder Outbacks have been extensively tested in Australia and we are delighted with the results.

"Now that we are able to offer a towing capacity of 1,800 kg, we can envisage the Outback 3.0R appealing to even more Australians.

"It also has the advantage of being built for Australian conditions - a full size spare tyre and it runs on 95 RON unleaded, not 98 RON.

"This really a breakthrough vehicle, not only for Subaru but for the automotive industry.

"Due to the All-Wheel Drive experience of Fuji Heavy Industries, its ability to be an innovator and the passion of its engineers, we have a 180 Kilowatt all-terrain vehicle with a 1,800 kg towing capacity that weighs just 1,540 kg.

"Compare that with kerb weight of some competitors - a BMW X5 3.0i automatic weighs 2,065 kg, the Volvo XC90 2.5T 1,982 kg, the Toyota Prado GXL a massive 2,110 kg and the Holden Adventra is said to be close to 2,000 kg.

"That's an amazing amount of extra weight to carry around.

"The Outback 3.0R driver will get the added benefit of better performance and fuel economy.

"On handling dynamics alone, this is a wonderful car and the overall package is going to prove irresistible to many people used to paying far more for vehicles with equivalent or less specification, engineering, safety and performance."

Standard features at a glance

Outback 3.0R:

  • ABS brakes with four-wheel discs and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Child seat anchor points
  • Dual front airbags
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Rear door child lock
  • Seatbelt indicator lights - all seats
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
  • Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt


  • Adjustable steering column
  • Air conditioning - climate control
  • AM/FM radio/cassette/six stack CD player with six speakers and steering wheel controls
  • Cargo area light
  • Cargo security blind
  • Cruise control
  • Cup holders
  • Escaine trim
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Immobiliser security system
  • Intermittent wiper control
  • Leather steering wheel, gear shift, park brake handle
  • Map lights (2)
  • Momo leather steering wheel
  • Multi-function trip computer
  • Power steering, mirrors and windows
  • Rear centre armrest
  • Two remote central locking keys
  • Remote fuel lid release
  • Seat back storage nets
  • Sportshift
  • Vanity mirror
  • 60/40 split/fold rear seat


  • 17 inch alloy wheels - full size spare
  • Colour-coded mirrors and door handles
  • Dual exhaust
  • Fog lamps - front
  • Grille design unique to Outback models
  • Headlights auto off
  • Rear roof spoiler
  • Rear wiper - control with intermittent

Other features

  • Auto tailgate unlock
  • DataDot security technology
  • Electronic throttle control
  • Self-levelling rear suspension
  • Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
  • 3.0 litre horizontally opposed boxer engine

Outback 3.0R Luxury Pack adds:

  • Curtain airbags -front and rear
  • Dual front side airbags
  • Eight-way adjustable power driver's seat
  • Leather trim
  • Sunroof - dual
  • VDC - Vehicle Dynamics Control


The Outback 3.0R has 17 inch alloy wheels with a design unique to the model.


All Model Year 2004 Outback 3.0R variants feature a monotone colour scheme.

Arctic White Pearl
Atlantic Blue Pearl
Brilliant Silver Metallic
Champagne Gold Opal
Obsidian Black Pearl


The Outback 3.0R Luxury Pack is equipped with an eight-way electronic adjustable driver's seat.

All Outback 3.0R variants are fitted with a six-stack CD/AM/FM cassette player, with six speakers.


Both power and fuel consumption have been refined in the 3.0 litre six-cylinder horizontally opposed boxer engine.

Exhaust gas emission has also been reduced to a lower level.

Improvements have been made across the entire engine rev range, primarily due to the adoption of variable intake valve timing and lift, plus tuning of the exhaust system.

AVCS and Variable Valve Lift

The Active Valve Control System (AVCS) in the Outback 3.0R now includes Variable Valve Lift, to increase engine power and torque output while at the same time gaining improvements in fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and idling stability.

By controlling the intake valve timing and lift to suit the engine load and speed conditions, AVCS optimises the engine volumetric efficiency and combustion process. Active variable valve timing is achieved by rotating the intake camshaft relative to the camshaft sprocket, within a maximum range of 50 crankshaft degrees.

Variable lift is achieved through the use of two different sets of cam profiles - low and high lift cams.

The Engine Control Module (ECM) calculates the optimum valve timing and lift, based on input signals from the airflow sensor, engine coolant temperature sensor, throttle position sensor and camshaft position sensors.

The ECM then generates a signal to an Oil Control Valve (OCV) positioned at each intake camshaft sprocket. This controls engine oil pressure, which is supplied to advance and retard chambers within the AVCS actuator.

Similarly, the ECM controls Variable Valve Lift. This is via a solenoid valve, which supplies oil pressure to a switchable tappet that alternates between the low and high cam lobes, depending on engine load and speed conditions.

In simple terms, the engine runs at low lift below 2,000 rpm, then switches between low and high between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm, depending upon load.

Above 4,000 rpm, valve lift is high, irrespective of engine load.

Valve timing is continuously and infinitely variable within the 50 crank degree range. It is controlled according to engine speed and load conditions.

Computer mapping is programmed for optimum valve timing, producing stable idling, improved fuel consumption and low emissions in the medium speed range, and maximum power at high engine speed and load.


The exhaust system on the 3.0R engine features equal length header pipes for improved exhaust efficiency. This creates a sporty and light revving new Subaru Boxer engine sound.

Exhaust gas extraction is improved through use of the independent exhaust pipes for each cylinder. The length of pipes to the joint collection point has been increased by 300 mm, improving exhaust gas flow efficiency.

The exhaust pipes are doubled skinned, with an air gap to maintain gas temperature for more rapid activation of the catalyst. This improves exhaust gas emissions, particularly during the warm-up phase.

Engine and transmission mix

Model Engine Transmission Manual Automatic 3.0R 3.0 litre DOHC N/A 5AT Sportshift

New Engine Details

All 3.0R models Cylinder head and block Weight reduction (by eliminating excessive reinforcement and mass)
Cylinder liner Improved roundness
Throttle valve Electronic Throttle Control System
Muffler Twin mufflers
Variable valve control mechanism Addition of intake Variable Valve Timing and Variable Valve Lift system
Cylinder head Exhaust - three independent ports (better exhaust efficiency)


There is a new five-speed automatic for Outback 3.0R variants, with Sportshift.

The new close-ratio direct control type transmission was developed to achieve high quality, smooth speed changes.


Outback 3.0R Premium Pack features dual front side airbags, offering greater head protection for front seat occupants in the event of a side collision.

SRS curtain airbags (front/rear passenger protection) are also features of 3.0R Premium Pack.

The range-topping 3.0R Premium Pack has Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC). The electronic control unit (ECU) uses information from sensors tracking wheel speed, steering position, front/back and lateral (sideways) G force, and yaw rate to monitor forces that could destabilize vehicle running.

In extreme situations, such as when swerving, sideslipping or entering a spin, VDC activates to control each wheel individually, via braking, engine output, and the All-Wheel Drive system. This improves stability by using the car's most stable wheels.

In cases of extreme oversteer, VDC activates, applying brakes to the front and rear outside turning wheels, producing yaw - a force that opposes the oversteering tendency. With understeer, VDC applies brakes to the inside rear wheels to counteract the effect.

Both the VDC and ABS Anti-Lock Braking systems are controlled from the one digital ECU.

VDC is designed for a "driver's vehicle." In normal conditions it is purely a monitoring system, and applies no control.

But near the car's performance limits it gives the driver more control - resulting in safer and more comfortable driving.

Outback 3.0R MY04 pricing

Outback 3.0R automatic $45,990
Outback 3.0R Premium Pack automatic $53,440

Outback 3.0R highlights


  • Most powerful Outback ever - 3.0 litre 16 per cent more powerful
  • Great pulling power - braked towing capacity of 1,800 kg
  • ACVS and Variable Valve Lift for optimum power and torque output - also improves fuel consumption and lowers exhaust emissions


  • New five-speed Sportshift automatic


  • AM/FM radio cassette with six-stack CD and six speakers
  • Escaine trim on 3.0R
  • Leather trim and sun roof on 3.0R Premium Pack
  • Momo leather steering wheel


  • 17 inch alloy wheels with design unique to Outback six-cylinder


  • Curtain airbags front and rear on 3.0R Premium Pack
  • Dual front side airbags on 3.0R Premium Pack
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control on 3.0R Premium Pack

Outback 3.0R engine specifications

Outback 3.0R naturally aspirated:
Type Horizontally opposed
Cylinders Six
Displacement 3000 cc
Bore x stroke 89.2 x 80.0
Compression ratio 10.7
Cam-train system DOHC
Fuel system Multi Point Sequential Injection
Maximum power 180kW/6,600 rpm
Maximum torque 297 Nm/4,200 rpm
Overall length mm 4730
Overall width mm 1770
Overall height mm 1545
Wheelbase mm 2670
Tread - front mm 1495
Tread - rear mm 1485
Min. ground clearance mm 200
Unladen mass kg 1540
Fuel consumption (L/100km):


Fuel tank capacity 64 litres
Minimum fuel requirement 95 RON PULP
Steering Engine speed sensitive power assisted rack and pinion
Turning circle (metres) 10.8 curb-to-curb
Front Coil McPherson strut-type
Rear Coil multi-link type
Front Vacuum assisted ventilated discs
Rear Vacuum assisted Discs
Tyres 215/55R17 93H
Towing capacity (kg) 1800 with brakes, 750 without brakes

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