Concept-Subaru Legacy Preview

  • Aggressive, high-tech concept points in direction of next-generation 2010 Subaru Legacy
  • Reflects Legacy's all-wheel-drive (AWD) sport sedan heritage
  • Larger interior and longer wheelbase provide more comfort and leg room
  • Symmetrical AWD system partnered with a horizontally opposed, 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine
  • Big touch-panel dash display and side-mounted rear vision cameras
  • 2010 Subaru Legacy will reach showrooms in late summer or fall of 2009


The Subaru Legacy Concept, marking the 20th anniversary of the Legacy's 1989 introduction to the U.S., culminates a year of U.S. sales growth for Subaru (one of the only brands to post a 2008 rise in sales), and celebrates a new partnership between Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Toyota Motor Corporation. The Legacy Concept also foreshadows the arrival of the redesigned 2010 Subaru Legacy later this year.

Subaru's redesigned core model, which is produced in Japan and in Lafayette, Ind., will arrive in dealer showrooms in the second half of 2009. If the Subaru Legacy Concept is any indicator, the new Legacy will be larger inside and out, and boldly styled. Subaru suggests that the Legacy Concept focuses on the car's sport sedan heritage in a "more modern and purposeful package."


High-quality materials are used on the exterior and in the cabin of the Subaru Legacy Concept, which may be a cue to the character of the next-generation production car. The Legacy Concept is coated with high-luster liquid silver paint to highlight the design's sharper, more angular lines, more muscular grille, and large, flared fenders, Subaru says. It also features wing-mounted rearview cameras and two rows of LED headlamps in addition to slim vertical fog lamps. Inside the "futuristic" cockpit are four pearl white leather bucket seats that take on a blue sheen under certain lighting conditions, coupled with "black metallic leather" door trim and matte aluminum touches. The concept's steering wheel and shift lever have also been adapted for a sporty touch and the brake and accelerator pedals resemble metal race car pedals.

Addressing a concern with the current Legacy, the concept's interior is roomier and features more leg room. Subaru achieved this by stretching the wheelbase, which is 3.2 inches longer than the current model, and raising the roofline. The cockpit also features an unusual cylindrical center console with deep-set dials that are backlit in blue.


The Subaru Legacy Concept is powered by the same 3.6-liter, horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine that's in the Subaru Tribeca for fun and sporty driving. In addition to this larger 6-cylinder engine, the production 2010 Subaru Legacy is likely to offer an engine lineup similar to the current family of offerings that starts with normally aspirated and turbo versions of the 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder (H-6) engine powertrain that produces less than 200 horsepower. The 2.5-liter turbo version likely will produce over 300 horsepower. The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine in the Legacy Concept likely will replace the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine in the current model.

The new Legacy, like the Legacy Concept, will come standard with Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Subaru is known for its Symmetrical AWD system-standard on all models-that sends power to all four wheels simultaneously to offer better traction and control. Symmetrical AWD offers a balance to ensure stability. The efficiency of transmitting power from the engine to all four wheels at the same time means that the vehicle has greater grip and a quicker response to sliding or slipping on the road, Subaru says. Subaru's Symmetrical AWD system provides more than just safety on slick roads, it delivers better performance on any road in terms of handling, stability and safety, the automaker claims.


The Subaru Legacy Concept features hints at possible new safety features such as what it calls "High Definition" with cameras in front, rear and sides for all-around better driving vision. In addition, the cockpit features an extended-width rearview mirror, which serves several purposes. The mirror offers the driver a quick view of traffic behind the vehicle and the wider rearview mirror will relay pictures onto an inside monitor from the side rearview-vision cameras. These cameras replace traditional side-view mirrors on the Concept model.


In-car information is accessed through dash- and console-mounted touch-screen displays, and rear-seat entertainment is fed to twin monitors embedded into the backs of the front-seat headrests. The Legacy Concept also features side-mounted rear vision cameras that replace exterior side mirrors. The monitor for this system is situated toward the front of the roof to maximize rear visibility.