New York Wrap Up: Subaru Legacy Spec.B

We've packed up our swag (more on that later) and vacated New York's Jacob Javits center, where this year's auto show will continue outside the circling kleig lights of the Automotive Media Establishment(TM). Still, there's wrapping up to do. For instance, Subaru unveiled its new, 2007 Spec.B model, which includes the company's new SI-Drive. It's a system that lets the driver adjust engine performance and includes several driving modes, from "Sport Sharp," which delivers the bulk of torque up front, to "Intelligent," which heightens fuel efficiency. We'd imagine these kinds of features that provide a range of driving options — rather than having engineers hard-wire a car's responses — will become more widely available in moderately priced cars. As for us, we'll be reporting from the couch today; we've had enough of our ilk.


Press release:

2007 SUBARU LEGACY 2.5 GT spec.B DEBUTS NEW SI-DRIVE PERFORMANCE SYSTEM AND 6-SPEED TRANSMISSION

New SI-Drive Enables Driver to Select Engine Performance Level
VDC Stability System Supports Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
New Audio System Offers Satellite Radio Capability

NEW YORK, April 13, 2006 - Subaru of America, Inc., America's All-Wheel Drive leader, today unveiled the 2007 Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B performance sedan at the New York International Auto Show. The introduction spotlights Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), a key new technology that enhances driving engagement by allowing the driver to select the level of engine performance.

First offered in 2006 as a limited edition production run of 500 units, the Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B returns as a regular production model for 2007 and features a host of performance and interior enhancements. In addition to the new SI-Drive system, the 2007 spec.B also gains a modified version of the 6-speed manual transmission from the Impreza WRX STI , plus the advanced Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Also new for 2007, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential helps to optimize traction at the rear wheels.

Like all Subaru models, the 2007 Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment. The 2.5-liter intercooled turbo Boxer engine in the spec.B produces 243 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 241 lb.-ft. of peak torque @ 3,600 rpm. The new Subaru SI-Drive system will also be standard on all Legacy 2.5 GT Limited and Outback 2.5 XT Limited models for 2007 (all are powered by the same engine).

SI-Drive: Three Engines in One
The new SI-Drive system allows the driver to maximize engine performance, control and efficiency by choosing from among three selectable modes - "Intelligent" "Sport" and "Sport Sharp" - using a rotary dial on the center console.
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The SI-Drive controls the electronic throttle system's response and fuel and ignition curves to modify engine torque characteristics, changing the performance character of the car in each mode. With Intelligent mode selected, the system reduces engine torque and maximum power and switches to a more relaxed throttle response curve. Intelligent mode is an ideal choice for commuting in traffic, for example, where it can also help boost fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent.

In "Sport" mode, the performance of the 2.5 GT spec.B (and other 2007 turbo Legacy and Outback models) is similar to the 2006 model, with quick throttle responses and powerful, linear acceleration.
In "Sport Sharp" mode, SI-Drive modifies the engine's electronic throttle mapping to deliver lightning quick throttle response and more power sooner. Delivering maximum driving enjoyment, this mode is ideal for tackling twisty roads and for merging or overtaking other vehicles on the highway with confidence.

On 2007 Legacy and Outback models equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission (not available on Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B), SI-Drive also changes the transmission's shift patterns. It will hold each gear longer through the rpm range and downshift more quickly under hard acceleration, depending on the mode selected.

The SI-Drive system includes instrument panel displays that allow the driver to monitor performance. The multi-information display located in the tachometer face - in addition to providing trip computer functions - denotes the selected SI-Drive mode and provides an active torque curve display.

Exclusive Bilstein Sport Suspension
The 2007 model carries forward the Bilstein Sport Suspension with inverted front struts similar to that in the rally-bred Impreza WRX STI, including aluminum-alloy lower control arms, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and high-performance tires. The multi-link rear suspension features aluminum-alloy rear arms and upper links in place of cast-iron pieces to reduce unsprung weight.

Luxury, Power and Performance
Once again, the Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B features an exclusive interior design, for 2007 featuring Charcoal Gray leather-trimmed upholstery with Dusk Blue Alcantara inserts. A new standard SRS WOW audio system brings a new sonic performance and quality to the Legacy line, plus MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) playback and an input jack for iPods and other portable audio devices. All Legacy and Outback audio systems for 2007 offer XM Satellite Radio capability.

The standard 8-way power driver's seat gains a memory function for 2007, and the interior is further differentiated from the Legacy 2.5 GT Limited model by aluminum-alloy pedal covers, a 3-spoke MOMO leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls and "spec.B" floor mats. The Subaru Navigation System remains standard on the spec.B model and available for all automatic transmission-equipped Legacy 2.5 GT Limited models.
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Standard features shared with the 2.5 GT Limited Sedan include dual-zone automatic climate control, performance-design front seats, power moonroof, 4-stage heated front seats, a 4-way power passenger seat and heated exterior mirrors. In addition, all Legacy sedan models for 2007 gain a new standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with trunk pass-through to enhance cargo-carrying versatility.

All Legacy models for 2007 feature, as standard equipment, the Subaru Advanced Frontal Air Bag System, front seat side impact air bags, active front seat head restraints and side curtain air bags.