20 February 2012

UNSUNG HEROES: Subaru Legacy Spec-B

The Subaru Legacy is an often overlooked car. The Spec-B is a credible Q-car.

The thinking man's Impreza

THINK Subaru and the Impreza WRX STi will instantly spring to mind. So it should be for any red-blooded petrolhead. But mind you, it's the most famous (and popular) car Subaru make. Its success in rallying put Subaru on the map.

The Impreza certainly has bags of kerbside appeal with it being a very quick and capable performance car. From the tarmac sucking four wheel drive, and the turbocharged Boxer engines. But lets not forget the big spoiler, air scoop on the bonnet, aggressive side skirts and the snazzy gold alloys. This menacing appearance looks the part with its anarchic attitude.

But hang on here, isn't the Impreza just a tad boisterous? It's all well and good having a quick car. With the performance, the handling that provides the thrills on twisty, country lanes. There are some, who don't want to draw any attention to themselves from other road users and passers by. You could say that some may find the Impreza too vulgar for their liking. It's as subtle as a bare knuckled street fight.

Many will love the Impreza's performance and road holding, but its garish looks has a love or loathe affair.

There are those who'd like a sleeper - or a Q-car it's also called. A quick car that's much more understated and can blend in with the crowd. They don't want to show off and make an Ooh look at me! I've got a quick car! statement. Happy, safe in the knowledge, that they've got a wolf in sheep's clothing. Knowing what it's capable of doing, which others simply aren't aware of.

This is where it brings me nicely to the Subaru Legacy. A popular car amongst rural communities. Farmers have used their Legacys for years thanks to them being the sensible, rugged family workhorses - especially the estates and Outbacks.

Over time, the Legacy has had its edges sanded down, became more refined and slowly breaking away from its farmyard roots. But they've stayed true to its work ethics. In always being that dependable, family wagon like a faithful old labrador. With water tight build quality and bulletproof reliability. Its robust qualities are what built up Subaru's reputation with a loyal customer base.

There's one particular Legacy that deserves some recognition is not the Outback. The most popular and well-known model within the range that should. The Legacy Spec-B.

Where looks are concerned, the Legacy is no head turner. Its anonymous looks will not get a second glance. In the fashion of old school Japanese cars, the Legacy lacks any aesthetic qualities that you'd usually see on European ones. To its defence, it's no ugly duckling and doesn't look pretentious nor make any statements.

Believe it or not, the Legacy shares much of its architecture with the Impreza under the skin. It sits on the same platform; all models in the range are four wheel drive, and are powered by their well renowned Boxer engines. All of which the Impreza has.

The 3.0 litre flat-six Boxer engine that powers the Legacy Spec-B unmasks a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Under the unassuming looks with the Legacy Spec-B, is a real devil in disguise. The Spec-B is the top of the range model. Under the bonnet, is a 3.0 litre flat-six Boxer engine that pumps out 260 bhp. It gets the Legacy to 60mph in 6.6 seconds and goes all the way to 150mph.

OK, I'll concede the fact that the Impreza WRX STi will get to 60mph a smidge quicker than the Legacy Spec-B. But that's the missing point here. The point I'm making here, is that it's great for anyone behind the wheel of the Legacy Spec-B have a neat trick up their sleeves. Safe in the knowledge on how quick and capable this sleeper car is. Having a fast car that doesn't showcase its capabilities. Something other motorists will either underestimate or be blissfully unaware of its abilities. You know what they say, never underestimate of the quiet ones.

The Legacy Spec-B is a great sleeper car. Based on the fact that it's a fast and capable car like an Impreza. That will appeal to those who don't want to come across a show-off, draw any attention to themselves and blend in with the crowd.

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