The recently-unveiled Subaru Legacy, which is expected to be launched in South Africa later this year, looks set to shed the conservative image of its predecessor thanks to new, sporty styling.

The recently-unveiled Subaru Legacy, which is expected to be launched in South Africa around the end of the year, looks set to shed the conservative image of its predecessor thanks to new, sporty styling.

The Legacy has always lived in the shadow of its smaller, more illustrious, Impreza brother. Although the dramatic styling changes predicted by the B11S concept came too late to affect the new car's styling, new Legacy has nevertheless taken a significant step forward in the style stakes. The headlight design supposedly reminds one of a "falcon's eyes", while the rear end, some would say, has Audi written all over it.

The new Legacy has a wider body and slanted ends. The underside of the floor has been made as flat as possible by the attachment of covers over several components below the floor. The station wagon has a drag coefficient ratio (CD) of 0.3, and the saloon model achieves 0,28.

The car has a sharp curving line from the bonnet to the front bumper and projected fenders. As for the interior, the instrument panel and the round, expanding lines of the door trim and centre console have been redesigned. Audio and air conditioning controls are combined in a metallic-look centre panel.

The Japanese brand’s trademark horizontally opposed engines, symmetrical drivetrain lay-out remain and all-wheel drive systems remain, but about 80 per cent of the engine components have been redesigned.

An electronically-controlled throttle optimises torque delivery in response to the level of acceleration. The computerised control system opens the throttle according to the extent of accelerator depression.

An Active Valve Control System (AVCS) optimises the timing of the intake and exhaust valves according to engine revolutions, which results in better fuel efficiency and optimal torque output.

The DOHC engine features a new intake manifold designed to induce the intake gas to reduce ventilation resistance. This design promotes efficient gas intake into cylinders, thereby achieving high power output. AVCS is fitted in the intake valves to enhance power output, optimal torque delivery, and to boost revolutions.

The initial range will consist only of two-litre models (boosted or naturally aspirated). Subaru claims a revolutionary new exhaust system and twin mufflers (not equipped to all models) have been added to improve engine exhaust efficiency and to deliver high torque in either the high or low revolution ranges.

The "equal length/constant pulsation independent exhaust system" is fitted with two equal-length exhaust pipes, which help to induce equal levels of combustion in all four cylinders. The turbo engine employs a new twin scroll titanium turbocharger, that is claimed to be less “laggy” and smoother.

The Legacy’s acclaimed suspension has been given an upgrade too. The suspension mountings are more rigid and steering and braking systems have been completely redesigned. Chassis rigidity and strength were augmented by changes in the front cross members and the rear support subframe construction, as well as by reinforced joints between the body and cross members. Structural body changes and the use of new technologies and new materials have achieved the goal of making the car substantially lighter in weight.

Using advances on the New Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frames with reinforced subframes around pillars, engineers have improved the body structure and achieved higher levels of strength and safety.

Projected engine outputs are: 2,0-litre SOHC - 103 kW at 5 600r/min and 186 N.m of torque at 4 400r/min, 2,5-litre SOHC - 123 kW at 5 600r/min and 223 N.m at 4 000 r/min and 2,0-litre DOHC turbo – 206 kW at 6 400r/min (manual) and 191 kW at 6 000 r/min (auto) and maximum torque of 343 N.m at 2 400 r/min.

Original article from Car