Subaru's latest factory-tuned model impresses- in most areas.
Subaru's latest factory-tuned model impresses- in most areas
Not many cars can make one wish for a snowstorm in the middle of August. But while recently testing a Subaru Legacy, I hoped Mother Nature would dump freezing nastiness all over Northern Ontario. Of course, the weather didn't co-operate and temperatures hung around the mid-twenties without a cloud in the sky. Darn.
Every machine Subaru makes comes with rally-tuned all wheel drive (AWD) which can make treacherous wintertime driving a total hoot. Subaru's AWD system isn't only a bad-weather companion either- as it enhances performance when the roads are clear too.
This holds especially true of their latest performance designated model- an upgraded Legacy for customers after a capable luxury car with a fun streak. It's called the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec.B. That's a mouthful of a name, but what's easy to swallow is the reputation Subaru has earned for creating some of the most no-nonsense, reliable, all-weather cars on the road.
A lightly-warmed performance model
Capitalizing on a recent makeover to their flagship, Spec.B's visual separation from standard models is fairly conservative. There are special wheels and badging, a unique interior treatment, a unique color and a few other upgrades- though most of the extra stuff is underneath in the form of a Billstein-tuned suspension setup and high performance tires.
The effect of the dynamic upgrades is vein-tangling grip while the car holds on to the very last bit of each corner with claws dug in. Push too hard, and it's only a small, neutral slide separating you from the end of the bend. Dial in some weight transfer entering a corner, and you're treated to a mild, predictable oversteer. This is a ton-and-a-half of tail-happy fun, and many other Japanese performance sedans suffer more greatly in the ride quality department to enable similar capabilities.
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