Subaru displays RWD sports car skeleton at Geneva show

March 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Geneva Motor Show has kicked into gear and among the futuristic concept cars and green technology is a little something for sports car fans.

Toyota and Subaru have been working together on a new rear-driving sports car for a couple of years now, and it is nearing production. While Toyota was soaking up the limelight with its pre-production FT-86 II version of the car, Subaru was all about showing how it’s going to look under the sheet metal. Subaru’s take on the rear-drive, front-engined platform looks very promising indeed.

Subaru’s concept car is non-turbocharged but comes sporting a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated boxer engine and rear-drive system without Subaru’s trademark AWD. The model is scheduled for production next year and as we already know from its performance models, Subaru can tune a chassis, and with this new car purpose-built for fun, rather than family duties it’s coming with big expectations.

So what makes it any good? Well, the engine is located lower and further back in the engine bay than in Subaru’s all-wheel-drive cars, because it doesn’t need a transfer case for the front wheels. There is also very short front and rear overhangs and the more central engine location means it will change direction swiftly. It does uses MacPherson strut suspension, however, so it may be limited in some respects for those seeking lower ride heights.

This Geneva unveiling is of a skeletal RWD Sports Car which looks cool but gives little away in terms of exterior styling. Performance figures haven’t been released yet, but expect that 2.0-litre boxer engine to be one peaky unit. Continue reading “Subaru displays RWD sports car skeleton at Geneva show” »

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C launched in Japan

December 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

A Subaru Impreza WRX STI would be special enough for most of us but for the hardcore enthusiast it’s simply not exclusive enough. Always keen to help out, Subaru has just released the new extra rare Impreza WRX STI Spec C for the Japanese domestic market.

This latest Spec C version aligns the new model with the facelifted WRX which debuted earlier this year.

So what’s special about the Spec C?  For this new edition it includes an ECU remap and the addition of new ball-bearings for the twin-scroll turbocharger. That equates to new power figures of (227 kW / 304 bhp) and 430 Nm of torque from the 2.0 litre turbo unit.

There are also some driveline changes on the WRX STI Spec C with a mechanical rear LSD replacing the previous Torsen type as well as having the front chassis reinforced with a new cross member. It will be lighter too, losing weight through an aluminum bonnet, smaller battery and 18-inch light alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tyres in 245/40R18 dimensions.

Gold-colored Brembo brake calipers are standard and there are options available including Recaro sport seats. This edition is exclusive and only 900 examples will be produced.

Subaru reveals third-generation Boxer engine

September 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru’s heavyweight parent company – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) has just announced the new-generation Boxer engine that will start appearing in its vehicles from early next year.

This third generation engine replaces the motor that first appeared in the first Legacy in 1989 and has been developed subsequently to meet emission regulations and market expectations.

Boxer engines have been the core technology that has supported Subaru’s unique driving since the first generation motor first powered the Subaru 1000 way back in 1966.

This latest third generation Horizontally-Opposed 4 cylinder petrol engine in two and 2.5 litre capacities, showcases Subaru’s latest engineering research and development.

The engine is entirely new, starting from the basic structure, while all the advantages of the horizontally-opposed layout have been maintained: lightweight, compact, low centre of gravity, and superior vibration balance.

New-generation improvements include advances in both environmental friendliness, with a reported 10% improvement in fuel efficiency, and driving performance.

FHI designed the new engine with consideration of the technology’s expandability and potential capability to receive further upgrades meeting future environmental measures.

Major mechanical features of the New-generation Subaru Boxer engine are a longer stroke, improvements in practical torque and fuel economy. A more compact combustion chamber aids the greater torque and fuel efficiency, together with Tumble Generated Valves in the intake ports and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation cooler.

Continue reading “Subaru reveals third-generation Boxer engine” »

New 2011 Subaru WRX officially launched in NZ

September 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The 2011 model Subaru WRX received its official NZ launch at a special press event held in Auckland yesterday. The WRX, is 18 years old with the introduction of the 2011 model and is now a more direct sibling to Subaru’s flagship performance car, the STI, than ever before.

The Subaru WRX will now come with the same wide body styling of the STI and more importantly the same wide track suspension with wider tyres to produce greater stability, handling and road holding.

At a quick glance the WRX looks just like an STI, although keen Subaru fans will notice the rear wing on the hatch and sedan is not as big as the STI and the still generous wheels and tyres are “only” 17 inches in diameter.

“The WRX still offers the best bang for the buck in the performance car market,” said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand. “At $44,990 until the end of September its unbeatable value for money whether you want a sedan or hatch.”

Both the WRX sedan and hatch have the same design front spoiler which merges into the bumper and dark finish grille to produce a wide, low aggressive look. The car’s sides are highlighted by the wider flared wheel arches that lead to the sedan’s rear diffuser with centre rear fog light. Both hatch and sedan have four exhaust tail pipes. It is the same system as the STI.

WRX comes with a 195 kWs version of the 2.5 litre quad cam turbocharged Boxer engine and a five speed manual gearbox with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive. Maximum torque of 343 Nm is available at 4000 rpm. It is distributed by a Torsen rear limited slip differential and an open front diff.

Braking has been increased with larger 16-inch front calipers and pad return springs. The system has ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).

Continue reading “New 2011 Subaru WRX officially launched in NZ” »

Subaru Forester Elaion Dakar 2010

December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Dakar Argentina will see this Subaru Elaion (based loosely on the Forester) compete against the Pajeros with its 300hp JDM-spec 2-litre boxer engine

Subaru Coupe – further details revealed

October 29th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru Coupe renderings fq

It’s no longer a secret that Toyota and Subaru are collaborating on the build of a new sports coupe. While Toyota’s version will be derived from the FT-86 Concept car unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, Subaru’s interpretation is still under wraps… almost

Some details have leaked out including speculation about suitable engines. The engine thought most likely was a 2.0-litre turbo boxer making about 118kW (160hp). However, it now seems that the revised 2.0-litre turbo unit from either the Impreza 2.0 GT or the WRX STI will be used. But power is rumoured to be around 184kW (250hp) with a possible STI version making 227kW (308hp).

Subaru will further distance the 216A from the FT-86 through signature styling elements (as viewed in the pictured artist renderings), longer and wider dimensions and up to an extra 100kg in weight due to the AWD drivetrain. However, the closeness in actual wheelbase and overall length with the FT-86 mean the two could share many parts.

Pricing has been speculated at around ¥3 million ($45,700 NZ) when launched in Japan in 2011.

Subaru announce details of new Legacy for NZ

August 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru Legacy Premium 2010 fq

The fifth generation Subaru All Wheel Drive Legacy is on sale in New Zealand on 28th August with a complete new look, improved fuel economy and some technical advances across the range.

What’s stayed the same is Subaru’s All Wheel Drive system along with the Boxer engine and symmetrical drive train.

Fuel consumption is improved in every Legacy, including a substantial 10 per cent gain in automatic 2.5i models, on the combined cycle. Driver’s can also keep an eye on their progress with an economy gauge. Emissions performance is also improved across the entire range.

In real world fuel economy testing of Legacy around a 430km circuit from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula.  It was revealed that the vehicles can beat the claimed manufacturer fuel economy ratings with the Legacy 2.5i Sport 6-speed CVT auto Wagon achieving 6.78 l/100km and the Legacy 2.5i Premium CVT Sedan achieving 6.91 l/100km.

The test was completed with a passenger, air conditioning on, radio on, and 20kg of luggage in each vehicle.  Official AA Fuel Economy tests will be completed on a similar course in September.

The larger cabin offers better shoulder, head and legroom. The sedan boot has more luggage space and the wagon also has a greater capacity, with a wider opening.

“We expect the new Legacy to be an outstanding alternative for traditional large car owners”, says Graeme Woodlands, Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand.

“The space and comfort offered by the new Legacy, along with our renowned All Wheel Drive system, means the large rear wheel drive buyer can now get superior handling and performance, and much improved fuel economy.”

The Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is now available as is the Legacy’s largest engine yet – a 3.6-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder boxer.

The All Wheel Drive Legacy also raises the safety bar with the addition of a knee SRS airbag for the driver and an engine “cradle” that folds to absorb energy in heavy frontal collisions.

The Lineartronic CVT is available on all 2.5-litre normally aspirated Legacy models and requires no transmission fluid replacement, unless being driven in severe conditions continually.
The largest Legacy engine yet — the compact and powerful 3.6-litre, six-cylinder horizontally opposed Boxer with 191 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque is available in the Legacy sedan. This engine can also run on 91 RON fuel.

A six-speed manual gearbox has been introduced on the entry-level Legacy 2.5i Sport, while steering wheel paddle shifters are standard on all CVT and automatic transmission models.

Automatic on/off headlights that respond to specific driving conditions and automatic windscreen wipers for optimum driver vision are standard on the 3.6R model.

Dual zone air conditioning is standard on all models and a keyless access and push button start system is fitted to the 3.6R model.

DataDot security is applied to every Legacy — in line with the entire Subaru range and service intervals are now at 12,500 kilometres/12 months for all models.

The new generation Legacy line-up is available in sedan and wagon and comprises the Legacy 2.5i Sport, with the choice of Lineartronic CVT or six-speed manual transmission and a very high level of standard specification from $41,490 for sedan and $42,990 for the wagon variant.

The Legacy 2.5i Premium adds leather trim, electric sunroof and rear air vents and costs $48,490 for the CVT only model sedan and $49,990 for the wagon.

A Legacy 2.5i Sport Spec.B — includes Lineartronic CVT transmission, plus sports front bumper, Bilstein suspension, alloy pedals, 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45/R18 tyres and Xenon headlights with washers and unique sports interior trim for $47,490 for the sedan and $48,990 for the wagon.

The Legacy 3.6R Premium is only available as a sedan and includes the six-cylinder engine, five-speed automatic, leather trim, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/50/R17 tyres, 10-way memory power drivers seat, 8-way power passenger seat, Xenon HID headlights, electric sunroof, push button start, rain sensing wipers and fully automatic dusk sensing headlights for $54,990.

The Legacy 2.0D Euro Spec Boxer diesel variant will be launched in mid-September and the high performance Legacy GT Spec.B will be launched in mid-October to complete the line-up.

Subaru Legacy gets a diesel boxer

July 25th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


Subaru has unveiled the Saloon version of its critically acclaimed new Boxer Diesel Legacy in the UK.

Launched earlier in the year in the Legacy Sports Tourer and Outback, the world’s first boxer-diesel-engine for a passenger car offers outstanding refinement, throttle response and fuel economy coupled with class-leading ultra-low emissions.

Also exceptional is the new Boxer Diesel Legacy’s handling thanks to the engine’s light weight and low centre-of-gravity afforded by its horizontally-opposed cylinder layout.
The 150 PS Boxer Diesel Legacy Saloon boasts the best fuel efficiency in the 4WD passenger car class — and the lowest exhaust emissions. In fact, the new Legacy 2.0D Saloon returns 5.6 L/100km on the Combined Cycle with only 148 g/km of CO2.
Nor are these figures achieved at the expense of performance. The Boxer Diesel Legacy Saloon has a 215km/h top speed and 0-100km/h time of only 8.3 seconds.

Refinement is also a Boxer Diesel strongpoint, with official moving sound levels of 70.5 dB (A). Even a Rolls-Royce Phantom is higher at 72.0 dB (A).

The new Boxer Diesel provides class-challenging performance thanks to 150 PS at an ultra-low 3,600 rpm and a massive 350Nm torque at an accessible 1,800 rpm.

With a ‘square’ bore and stroke of 86 mm and 16.3:1 compression ratio, the world’s first Boxer Diesel provides effortless performance throughout a wide speed range, avoiding the breathless response of some diesels at high revs.

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