May 26th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Cosworth is back tweaking high-performance road cars and details and photos of it’s latest offering have just been released. Named the Cosworth Impreza STi CS400 the car is a result of a joint effort between Subaru and Cosworth. The vehicle is based on a stock Subaru STi hatch which usually generates 304 bhp (227 kW) but Cosworth has given it a thorough working over.
Visually the special STi has a new front bumper, mesh grille, foglights and a replacement rear spoiler. Filling the guards are a set of crisp 18-inch alloys. Exterior paintwork comes in three choices – silver, dark grey or red. The interior features new Recaro buckets, a piano black centre console and tinted glass.
Maximum power from the 2.5-litre turbo mill has been boosted up to 395 bhp (295 kW) while torque has been increased to 540Nm (398 lb-ft). The 0 – 100 kph time is now a supercar matching 3.7 seconds and top speed is a limited 250km/h.
The Cosworth engine upgrades include new pistons, connecting rods, a redesigned head gasket and a new turbo with a new compressor design and wastegate actuator. To get the most from the reworked engine the vehicle’s ECU was tweaked as well.
Suspension has been lowered by 10mm while the front brakes featuring AP Racing discs measuring 355mm. The track is widened by 12mm.
It’s set to be an exclusive ride with only 75 units of the Cosworth Impreza STi CS400 being built exclusively for the UK market. Pricing starts at £49,995 ($107,500 NZ)
May 7th, 2010 by Car and SUV
It does seem a touch odd that Subaru’s crossover wagon is named after a flat, dry, straight expansive centre of Australia, when it takes oppositional conditions to reveal its true strengths. But the new 2010 Outback isn’t just about using its trademark boxer engine and all wheel drive system to expertly negotiate twisting mountain passes, it has serious intent as a spacious, family-hauling all rounder. The three previous generations of Outback have developed a reputation of Swiss-army-knife practicality for the new model, so can it raise the bar even higher? Car and SUV opened up the new top-spec Outback 3.6R Premium to check if it has all the tools for success.
Sitting 70mm higher than its Legacy stable mate, the Outback casts a burly purposeful shadow. An increase in width over its predecessor helps negate the raised ride height and creates a balanced stance. A thick strip of black plastic cladding protects the bottom edges of the car and houses silver-ringed fog lamps out front. The winged grille and frowning headlights give the Outback road presence and the 17-inch 6-spoke alloys are a good match despite struggling to pack out the high wheel arches. Aesthetically, the Outback isn’t a natural beauty and has clearly been styled with the American market in mind. That said, it has a modern, clean look that’s well colour-coded and has some nice touches like tinted rear glass, integrated roof rails and subtle use of silver trim.
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April 30th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Balance is a relative skill and while it’s easy for most of us to stroll down a flat road walking a tightrope is something we leave to the professionals. Creating a successful modern four-door family sedan is another balancing act with pitfalls on either side. Styling should be distinctive but not ostentatious, handling should be dynamic but the ride comfortable and the engine needs strength but to still offer decent fuel economy. Like most carmakers Subaru has at times struggled to perform the balancing act required to appeal to the masses and has instead been viewed as a niche automaker. Now for 2010 Subaru has a new model Legacy that is attempting to appease badge fans while attracting new buyers. Car and SUV spent some time with the Legacy Sedan Sport to take in the show.
What’s immediately noticeable with the 2010 Legacy is the increase in size over its predecessor. Length, height, width and wheelbase have all seen varying increases resulting in a completely new profile. A raked character-lined bonnet pushes into the arched roofline, ending out back in a short, high boot lid. A strip of chrome trim accents the roofline and matched up well with 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels on our tested base-model Sport. Pumped out wheel arches, a chrome grille and XL-sized light clusters finish an exterior look that’s stylishly modern but still rather generic. in fact, it shares little resemblance to the Legacys of old and is closer aligned to the Nissan Maxima. That said, it’s a handsome machine especially considering it’s the base-model and has features often reserved for higher-spec versions like front fog lamps, colour-coded side mirrors and tinted rear security glass.
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April 22nd, 2010 by Car and SUV
Due to cost running above the feasibility of development, Subaru has ended developing an AWD version of the co-joint Subaru/Toyota FT-86 Platform based sports coupe also known as the 216A.
Between the Toyota and Subaru versions, the only variances will be aesthetic as both stables will be running the same driveline and engine package. So the focus will turn to exterior and interior styling as to which will be the favoured vehicle purchased by consumers. The focus for the Subaru designers and engineers will be the area forward of the A pillars and rear of the C pillars, as a simple re-badge and grill conversion would not suffice. Early speculation would also see that the 216A Subaru would fit into the STI lineup as a special edition similar to the R205.
The estimated price for the 216A when it hits the Japanese market will be around $60000 NZD, while Toyota’s version of the vehicle may prove marginally cheaper.
March 31st, 2010 by Car and SUV
Toyobaru (Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 086a) test mule in testing at Nurburgring
February 12th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Across various media and product forms there are occasionally cases of an unlikely oddball gaining a cult following and then reaching major commercial success. The film that cost 300 grand to make and then grossed 150 million at the box office or those rubber shoes that look ridiculous but are sold by the truckload. If this notion were translated into the car world the most title for the most unlikely success story would belong to Subaru. Once a fringe player, Subaru is now an automaker making serious sales in many markets including our own. Its Outback model has played a major role in this transformation and has now reached its fourth generation. Car and SUV had a private viewing with the new diesel powered Outback to see if it’s strictly for Subaru fans or if it has a much broader appeal.
While the Outback doesn’t depart from Subaru’s trademark symmetrical all-wheel-drive and boxer engine combination a main change comes with the inclusion of a diesel engine option for the first time. It’s not just any diesel engine either, the 2-litre unit is the first time a horizontally opposed diesel engine has been used in a passenger vehicle. It’s by no means a rough first effort and took more than a decade to fully develop. The end result is 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque that’s delivered smoothly and quietly. It’s an advanced motor that is surprisingly petrol-like and revs freely, pushing past 4500 rpm. But it does have a tendency to lag slightly lower in the rev range before the turbo kicks in and can’t match the low-rpm gusto of some competitors. That said, the Outback will hit 100kph in under 10 seconds and is brawny through the mid-range enabling worry-free open road overtaking.
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February 8th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The big premiere for Subaru at next month’s Geneva Motor Show will be its new Impreza VX. The all-wheel-drive specialist hasn’t released any images of the car yet, but it’s touted to be similar to the North American Outback Sport model (pictured).
A unique grille, wheel arches and roof rails will visually set the VX apart from standard Imprezas. Motivation will likely come from a 2.0-liter boxer-four, fueled by either gasoline or diesel. The Impreza VX will go on sale in Europe mid-year.
Joining the Impreza VX on the stand will be the Hybrid Tourer Concept that was first revealed at last year’s Tokyo show, as well as the plug-in Stella.
December 22nd, 2009 by Car and SUV
A couple decides to buy the newly-redesigned Forester and make room for it in their lives, and garage. But rather than sell their old Forester, they decide to sell their boat and keep both Foresters