If there's one vehicle Subaru Philippines has yet to add in their stable, it's a seven-seater. They had one about a decade ago in the form of the Tribeca, but they're having a crack at it again with the 2021 Evoltis. Glenn Tan, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Tan Chong International Ltd., said back in January that it will be sold in parts of ASEAN and now, Motor Image Pilipinas has previewed the crossover.
If it looks familiar, that's because this mid-sized (by American standards) crossover is known as the Ascent in the US. The preview model shown here is, in fact, badged as an Ascent. Over there, it competes against the likes of the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Santa Fe V6.
As it's still badged Ascent, the model you see here isn't the final specification for the Philippines just yet. This particular one is also slightly customized with aftermarket wheels which are definitely not bound for the local units. Sans those wheels, however, this is likely as close as it gets to the Philippine-bound Evoltis. It's also interesting to note that the preview of the Evoltis was held here. Does this mean that we will be the first to have it in Southeast Asia?
While the spec isn't final yet, it is more than likely that we will get the same engine used in the US-spec Ascent. It packs Subaru's new turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer engine. It's good for 264 PS and 350 Nm of torque. Being a Subaru all-wheel drive is (of course) standard plus it has torque vectoring to enhance road-holding.
Price is yet to be determined at the moment. The thing is, the Evoltis does not fall under JPEPA, a tax exemption for certain Japanese cars, because of two reasons. One, the engine is less than 3,000 cc and, two, it's not assembled in Japan. In fact, the Evoltis/Ascent is assembled in the US at Subaru's Lafayette, Indiana facility.
The 2021 Subaru Evoltis has originally been slated for a late 2020 launch in the Philippines, however, given the current delays caused by the COVID-19 on the global auto industry, the exact launch schedule is uncertain.