High Performance Subaru Legacy Launched | Part Four

Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Like all Subarus, the new Legacy 3.0R spec.B boasts a rally-honed symmetrical all-wheel drive system which feeds full time power to all four wheels.

Once either the front or rear of the car begins to slide, torque is rapidly fed to the axle with the most grip.

As a further boost, the Legacy spec.B has a rear limited-slip differential allowing torque to be shared between both rear wheels. This LSD facility gives sharper turn-in and more throttle-adjustable handling.

Unlike some 4WD cars - with their inelegant transmission systems and power-sapping transfer boxes, or certain sport utilities with transverse-mounted engines and gearboxes and, again, inefficient transfer boxes - Subaru’s AWD system is simple and effective.

Because the ‘boxer’ engine is in-line with the gearbox which is, in turn, in-line with the propshaft and rear differential, frictional losses are kept to a minimum. In addition, the drive shafts are of equal length for a ‘pure’ division of power.

Ultra-Smooth, Flexible New 245 PS Flat-Six

A major contributor to the new Legacy 3.0R spec.B’s refinement and effortless performance is its new 245 PS horizontally-opposed six-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine. This was first fitted to the automatic-only saloon, Sports Tourer and Outback at their introduction in November 2003.

Featuring twin overhead camshafts per bank, maximum power is 245 PS at 6,600 rpm with a solid 219 lb. ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. The bore and stroke are 89.2 x 80 mm respectively and the unit runs on a 10.7:1 compression ratio.

Improvements over the previous engine as fitted to the H6–3.0 Outback include Active Valve Control for the intake air plus variable valve lift.

The engine also has a fast-response electronic throttle, re-profiled pistons, a lighter, quieter crankshaft and 3-port, 6-2-1 exhaust system which boosts power and lowers emissions.

The result is a top speed of 151 mph for the saloon and a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds with the Sports Tourer not far behind, recording 145 mph and 6.6 seconds for the 0-60 dash.

continues... | Part Five
Published 11 September 2004 Melanie Carter

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