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Subaru Outback revamped for 2020, with facial recognition, revealed at New York Auto Show

Nathan Bomey

NEW YORK – Subaru is hoping to maintain its American hot streak with a redesigned version of the Outback, the company's 2018 U.S. best seller.

The 2020 Subaru Outback made its global debut Wednesday during press previews at the New York Auto Show .

The vehicle emerged out of a makeshift Old Faithful geyser during an outdoors oriented press conference that transformed a corner of the Javits Center convention hall into a tribute to the National Parks.

"Simply put, it's the most innovative Outback we have ever made and the perfect companion for any family adventure," Tom Doll, CEO of Subaru America, told a crowd of journalists.

The midsize SUV could enable Subaru to add to its 85 consecutive months of sales growth in the U.S. The surging brand surpassed Hyundai to become the seventh biggest seller by sales volume in 2018.

The 2020 Outback is the sixth generation of the vehicle. Subaru says its safer, more dynamic and quieter than its predecessor.

The standard powertrain on the new Outback has a 2.5-liter engine with 182 horsepower and fuel economy of 33 miles per gallon on the highway and 26 in the city. An optional upgrade offers a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine with 260 horsepower, fuel economy of 30 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in the city and 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.

The vehicle's suspension is stiffer, and its crash protection system is improved, including a driver knee airbag.

The Outback will also come standard with adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist, which helps drivers stay centered in their lanes.

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The vehicle will also include a new "distraction mitigation system" that integrates an in-car infrared camera and facial recognition technology "to identify signs of driver fatigue or distraction and provides audio and visual warnings to alert the driver and passengers," Subaru said.

The interior has a widened windshield and an 11.6-inch touchscreen tablet infotainment system that will be sold on all but the base model.

Subaru did not announce pricing for the 2020 Outback, but the 2019 model ranges from $26,345 to $38,995.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @ NathanBomey .

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Subaru Outback revamped for 2020, with facial recognition, revealed at New York Auto Show