Simplified ’06 Range
Elsewhere, the range has been simplified with, for example, all 2.5 litre versions dropped apart from the Outback 2.5 which will be available in S or SE trim.
Small visual revisions for ’06 include chrome headlamp reflectors, the deletion of smoked tail lamps for the saloon, a different grille, new wheel centre caps and two new colours - Urban Grey Metallic and Violet Grey Metallic - the former available for all models and the latter for the Legacy only.
Key features of the 151mph 3.0R spec.B are uprated suspension with inverted front struts, a six-speed manual gearbox and 18ins wheels with 215/45 tyres.
Exterior styling for the new Legacy and Outback now has a confident new poise and presence and the interior ambience matches the best the sporting executive sector has to offer.
Meanwhile, the symmetrical all-wheel drive driving dynamics are even more involving than ever, with the horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ engines and transmissions lowered and chassis and steering thoroughly revised for an outstanding ride and handling combination.
Manual Or Automatic For ’06 Legacy 3.0R spec.B
A ‘flat-six’ 245 PS powerplant is fitted to the Legacy 3.0R spec.B manual and for ’06 onwards the automatic plus the Outback 3.0R auto.
The automatic 3.0 litre models feature a five-speed transmission with ‘sportshift’ sequential manual selection, while the spec.B manual bases its gearbox on the Impreza WRX STi but with 50 per cent of the components changed.
Helping reduce running costs compared to the previous Legacy are better aerodynamics of 0.28 Cd for the saloon and 0.30 Cd for Sports Tourers plus a typical weight reduction of 55 kg.
‘Constant Pulsation’ Exhausts
Also aiding efficiency are many low-friction improvements to the engine and AWD transmission. A new ‘constant pulsation’ exhaust system, for example, provides more power and economy thanks to reduced back pressure. It also produces a new, sweeter-sounding boxer ‘burble’.
Safety enhancements include active front head-restraints which reduce whiplash injuries during rear-end shunts, dual-mode front airbags which inflate according to the severity of the accident and brake and clutch pedals which effectively snap away under severe impact, protecting the driver’s lower limbs.
All Legacy and Outback models now have curtain airbags, side airbags large enough to protect the head and chest and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD).