Subaru is set to surprise performance fans with the Geneva unveiling of a Spec B version of the highly-acclaimed new Legacy 3.0R saloon.
Displayed purely as a prototype, the All-Wheel Drive teaser will be uncovered on Tuesday, 2 March at 2.45 pm at the 74th Geneva International Motor Show.
Since launch late last year, the new Legacy has been voted ‘Car of the Year Japan 2003-4’, winning widespread praise for its involving chassis, interior ambience and big improvements in refinement, fuel efficiency and emissions.
Now, the range-topping 3.0R – with its new 245 PS six-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine – has received a raft of driver-focused enhancements sure to whet enthusiasts’ appetites.
For example, the display car will have the same six-speed manual gearbox as the Impreza STi. The current Legacy 3.0R is available as an automatic only.
In addition, the Legacy Spec B features front and rear Bilstein suspension with rally car-like inverted struts for tauter high-speed control.
Also aimed at enthusiasts is a torque-sensing rear limited-slip differential. This gives sharper cornering turn-in and more throttle-adjustable handling. Finally, the show car has larger 18 ins diameter wheels with 215/45 R 18 tyres.
Sports Car And Urban Runabout Concepts
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Subaru Stand are two concept cars first displayed at last year’s 37th Tokyo Motor Show – the B9 Scrambler sports car and R1e 2+2 urban runabout.
The low, squat two-seater Scrambler combines motorcycle agility with off-road competence thanks to symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and variable-height air suspension with automatic self-levelling.
The B9 Scrambler boasts a petrol/electric hybrid engine which uses an electric motor up to speeds of around 50 mph, only turning to fossil fuel when the charge drops below a certain level.
Also conceived as an environmental champion, the R1e is a stylish small car with an especially sporty stance which hints at high-grip roadholding. It is designed for ease-of-parking urban use and uses an Electric Vehicle power unit comprising a high-performance battery and advanced power control technology.
The light, compact, brushless motor uses a high-energy manganese lithium-ion battery which can be re-charged via a single-phase 200V AC outlet such as that used in the air-conditioning units of many Japanese homes.Published 18 February 2004